Lessons learned in times of afflictions
You have done many good things for me, Lord, just as you promised. I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgment and knowledge. I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word. You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees. Arrogant people smear me with lies, but in truth I obey your commandments with all my heart. Their hearts are dull and stupid, but I delight in your instructions. My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees. Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver. Psalms 119:65-72
You are going through trying times and your thinking that you might have done something that led you to suffer. Then, while dealing with this, you look around and you noticed that there are those that should be in your position yet they seemed to be doing well. Not only that you are overwhelmed with the suffering you are facing but also bitterness starts to grow in your heart. You find it difficult plowing through hardship while others around you seemed to be having an easy life. Inasmuch as you know that suffering in life provides opportunities for growing in faith, you would rather have God provide you an easy life. You are not longing every time you wake up in the morning that you will be confronted with hardship. Yet, it seemed that at times that is where God is bringing you, deal with a life getting afflicted. As a Christian, most of your growing in faith is learned in the crucible of suffering. Even though you prefer an easy life free from hardship, but God in His omniscient plan intended for you to learn trust and obedience during times of suffering. This is what the Psalmist was expressing as described in the text. He realized that only in times of afflictions that he could experience the truthfulness of His Word and His promise of His presence. He learned to accept the fact that God at times will allow affliction in his life so he would go back to God. “I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word” (Psalms 119:67). When you think that absence of affliction in your life is the measure of success and happiness, you will be heading for a fall. This mindset will lead to pride. Instead of coming to ask God for help in times of need, you start to believe that you can trust your own abilities. Nothing good will come out of such attitude because you will convince yourself as the source of your sufficiency. Do not forget that if you call God your Father part of the relationship is that He will not let you continue to go farther away from Him by becoming self-sufficient. “For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?” (Hebrews 12:6-7) He will not allow you to miss out in experiencing His faithfulness and goodness. They only become real in your experience when you grow trusting Him in times of afflictions.