Do good to your servant according to your word, LORD. Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
Affliction. It comes in many forms. Illness. Slander. Rejection. Death. Discouragement. Job loss. Divorce. Prodigal child. Financial hit. The list goes on. Afflictions arrive uninvited and unwelcomed. Yet, when they come there are benefits.
The psalmist said, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” Difficulties move us closer to God and His Word. They make us depend on Him more completely. They cause us to run to Him for comfort. Challenging times highlight our hope.
In the midst of inevitable afflictions we turn to God for His sustaining grace. God is more real. His love is experienced more fully. Relationships are more cherished. The love for our spouses is deeper. Our children are held tighter. The sun shines brighter. The stars are more brilliant. The air is fresher. We can say with the psalmist, “You are good, and what you do is good.”
Father, in the midst of this storm I am clinging to You. Preserve me and protect me so that one day soon I can see Your goodness in affliction. In Jesus’ name. Amen.