This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your word has revived me.
Psalm 119: 50
Afflictions come in many forms: physical, mental, emotional, financial, relational, etc. Affliction is basically defined as something that causes pain or suffering. An illness, a traumatic event, a bad past with creditors, a horrible divorce, all these things could cause pain or suffering of some sort. Sometimes it is brought on by the sufferer and sometimes bad things happen to good people. Whatever the case is, there are different ways we react to these afflictions.
For the afflictions we bring upon ourselves, we rightfully would choose to make things right on our own. A bad divorce could cause someone to look in the mirror and make necessary changes to improve him/herself, or play the blame game and fight it out in court making a messy situation even messier. Many relationships could either suffer greatly or be mended. A bad past with creditors could cause one to either get a few jobs and pay off bad credit, or just suffer with the bad credit score and hope for the best.
For afflictions that seem to just come upon us, such as, a bad accident that causes surgery which causes a possible unexpected life change, many would rely upon the doctors and lawyers to do their jobs and in time everything would end up fine, expecting their life to go back to normal eventually.
For those suffering any type of affliction, it is always good to take on a godly perspective. The bible has much to say about afflictions and how we are to respond. The way we respond to afflictions will show others our character and we can then either bring glory to God or look in the mirror ourselves and do some internal changes of our own.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 34: 19
First, we should realize, once we become a Christian, we signed up for a life of possible afflictions. If anyone came to Christ expecting an easy path to heaven, they were misled for sure. Most of these afflictions are brought upon us by our enemy, the devil, who comes to, “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10: 10). But, with the proper perspective, we can rest and know that the Lord will deliver us from them all, praise God!
Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I keep Your word.
Psalm 119: 67
Second, we need to realize there is a humbling affect to some of our afflictions. Think about any affliction you are currently going through at this time. Is it the result of purposeful disobedience to God’s known will in your life? If so, endure it! Don’t run away from it. This psalmist was in the process of patient endurance rather than hasty arrogance. When we bring upon our own affliction it may be best that we learn humility at that time rather than have to learn it later on.
There is an appointed time for everything, and there is a time for every event under heaven.
Eccl 3: 1
One thing human nature likes to teach us is, if we are ever put in a position of suffering, do everything to get out of it. We don’t like pain and suffering. We don’t like when others can do something that we can’t do because of the affliction we suffer. We ask God to get us out of a situation and if He doesn’t answer we try on our own to get out of it. But there is an appointed time. God does know when we suffer, whether its for doing wrong or just for obeying God’s will.
What if, at the end of your affliction, there would be many salvations. Imagine your entire family of non Christians would come to Christ after watching you endure your affliction to the end? What if, you enduring to the end caused many to come to Christ even after your death? There is no limitations on how God uses obedience. His will can be done through obedience.
So here is the tie in. David says in the earlier verse that he finds comfort in his affliction, through God’s word, which revives him! The trick is to be walking in God’s words. By knowing God’s words before the affliction, and I’m sure during as well, David was comforted. To be revived means to be brought back to life. When you know God’s word, I mean, when you and God’s word are companions, you can live through your affliction with the same comfort that David speaks of here.
Please don’t run away from your afflictions! Be comforted by God’s words and be blessed!