The Afflictions of the Righteous
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. ~Psalm 34:19
The Bible is a book of comfort. The first goal of the Word of God is demonstrated without any discussion that God is the Most High God and there is none like Him. The second goal is to show man that he is a fallen sinner and that God, in His marvelous grace and love, has provided the free gift of salvation to every man through the sacrificial death of Jesus. Without Christ, every sinner is condemned to a fiery condemnation in Hell. Once a sinner repents of his sin and accepts, by faith, that Jesus is his Savior, he begins the journey of faith. The Bible is our GPS (God’s Positioning System) to guide our every step. This morning, let us see how God guides our steps when we undergo times of difficulty.
There is the reality of afflictions.
Afflictions are the trials, troubles, and difficulties that we will face in this life. All of us have to deal with the reality of losses. These losses include the loss of a loved one, the loss of our health, the loss of our job, and many other losses. We have to deal with unexpected problems that we cannot control. Things come our way where all we can do is wait and pray for the best. I am thinking about a thirty-year-old wife and young mother who was unexpectedly diagnosed with a brain tumor. This affliction rearranged the goals and aspirations of her and her husband. Afflictions cause fear, pain, grief, and much anxiety. The psalmist said, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous.” They are real and there will be many.
There is the reason for afflictions.
Afflictions are God’s gifts to us. James said that we should count it all joy when we fall into diverse temptations. They are gifts that God has entrusted to us to teach us how to have faith in God! Testings are meant to bring out the best in us. The fiery trials that we go through are meant to burn away the dross of sin that we have. They are meant to help draw us closer to the Lord through prayer and the Word. We learn what it means to place our complete faith in the Lord for our needs. Afflictions are necessary to cause us to remember that God is in control of what we are going through.
There is the responsibility in afflictions.
We are to steward our afflictions to the glory of God. As one preacher has said, “Don’t waste your trial!” Being responsible in our affliction includes spending time in prayer. It includes waiting on the Lord. It means much confession of our sins and asking God for His mercies. It includes maintaining our service, soulwinning, and sacrifices to God even though we may not feel like it. It means being transparent in our relationships with others. It means letting others minister to us so that we might remember that we are not as self-sufficient as we think we are. It is being thankful for the next step and each new morning.
There is the release of our afflictions.
“The LORD delivereth him out of them all.” God always makes us a way out of our trials. It might not be the way that we would like it to be done, but it is God’s way and the best way. The idea of deliverance implies being content in God’s method of the deliverance. It implies that God is in control of our circumstance. God is bigger than our affliction! God strengthens us in our affliction. God shows us His perfect will in our affliction. God makes us a better Christian in our affliction.
Read Psalm 34 and contemplate why the Lord sends us afflictions, how He delivers us in our afflictions, and His perfection in our afflictions. Have faith in God in spite of the hurt and uncertainties. In the end, He will make a way.
Have a faith-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Chronicles 21-24