It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. ~Psalm 119:71
I am an avid coffee drinker, especially good, aromatic coffees. There used to be reports citing that drinking coffee is bad for your health. In recent years, the medical reports are saying drinking coffee is good for you. I think all of us want what’s good for us. The psalmist said, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted.” Let us see the good that is affliction.
We see the carnality.
The psalmist said, “I went astray.” This means he was living in sin and was far from God. He got that way from being careless about his spiritual life. He became negligent and haphazard about reading his Bible and spending time in prayer before God. Carnality is when we are walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit. Isaiah says, “All we like sheep have gone astray.” Sheep tend to wander off from the flock and endanger their lives. When we wander from the Lord, we also are in danger.
We see the correction.
The psalmist said, “I have been afflicted.” God chastened the psalmist in order to correct him. Chastening is God’s means of spiritually disciplining His children in order to bring them back into fellowship with Him. Chastening is not so much punishment as it is correcting sinful behavior. Affliction refers to humbling, trials, and difficulties in our life. “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.” Whatever it was that God did, it got his attention and made him realize that he needed to get his life right with God.
We see the compliance.
“But now have I kept thy word…. That I might learn thy statutes.” He repented from going astray and made obedience to the Word of God his priority. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Obedience is a basic and simple means by which we demonstrate our love for the Lord. As we obey His Word, we grasp the fact that His commandments are not grievous. The hymn writer wrote, “Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.”
We see the contentment.
“It is good for me....” We must thank the Lord for whatever it is that He gives in our life, including afflictions and trials. The psalmist was expressing that the best thing that happened to him was the affliction God used to get him back in fellowship. It was good because he was back in the will of God. It was good because he had the joy of fellowship restored. It was good because he started to live for God again. His daily devotional life became a regularly scheduled event in his life. Do you see afflictions in your life as good?
Let us rejoice this morning that God is good. What might start out as appearing bad we later realize that God meant it for good. "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD." If you are struggling in your walk with God, remember that it is good when we are afflicted.
Have a corrected God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Mark 10-11