How often do we despise the discomforts and trials life brings us? I know I do all the time by feeling sorry for myself, shedding tears when I remember how easy life “used” to be, etc. Our afflictions are not by chance, they are not from malice, but God allows them because He loves us and, as a loving Father, He wants the best for us. In other words, there is always some good reason for our affliction … reasons that often include lessons to be learned.
Whether we realize it at the time or not, there is always something to be gained as a result of affliction. The reward, however, is directly related to the level of our willingness to participate in God’s purpose in whatever it is we are facing. God doesn’t waste an opportunity to refine us or perfect us; not that He is being mean or harsh, but He truly wants the very best for us. His presence in the midst of our challenges, in fact, is a reward in itself far greater than the adversity we face if we can maintain our focus.
“I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me” (Psalm 119:75).
Just what is affliction? It can be summed up in various kinds of suffering, burdens, difficulties, problems, hardships, pain, trouble, and misfortune … just a sampling of the examples of affliction.
While Psalm 119:75 is not normally a verse one would associate with it, some prayerful study will reveal the close correlation between submission and affliction. Submission means to accept whatever we are challenged with, to be obedient to it and allow it to have an impact on our lives. In this case the Psalmist was challenged with affliction, but, all through the experience of affliction, He declared that God was faithful and reaffirmed that whatever he was facing was, by God’s sovereign design, in his best interests.
How willing are we to submit to the ultimate purposes of God in our lives especially knowing His purposes include some affliction in one way or another. Regardless of how it comes to you, affliction is a very real part of life. Embrace the work God is doing through it – don’t despise it. There’s a personal message woven in it to mold you and make you into the image of God’s Son.
Learn the most from each season of trials or affliction; grow from it and count God as faithful through it!
He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us … what better time to be reassured of His promises than in the midst of affliction!
Father, grant me the grace to endure affliction and. help me to grow through it. Help me move closer to You in greater devotion and deeper commitment with a humble and submitted heart that is learning to find peace in the midst of affliction. Father, help me to remember that Your work in my life is always for my good, that You are for me and not against me and that Your goal is for me to find peace with You regardless of what state I find myself in. Lord, I love You and I submit my mind, my body, and my soul to your keeping. You know what’s best for me and I’m learning to trust You more and more each day. Father, I choose to praise You, to thank You, and to love You in the midst of my life’s problems. When I’m in the valley, You are there with me. When I’m on the mountaintop, You’re there with me. When I’m afflicted, You are there with me. When I am completely whole, You are there with me. You are more than I could ever hope to find in a trustworthy Friend … I love you, Lord! Amen!
“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9).
© Jan Ross
All Rights Reserved