Psalm 119:71 “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”
“Preacher, why must I suffer so much in life?” This is the question that many have asked their Pastor. I don’t understand why God allows affliction, but I do know that God loves me; therefore, God must have allowed my affliction for good. God is a God of love, and God would never allow anything in my life if it were not for good. The psalmist understood this truth when he says, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted…”
The psalmist understood that affliction is God’s precursor to blessing, but blessings will not come without affliction. Think with me if you would. Job would have never been blessed twice as much without affliction. Joseph would have never become second in command which allowed him to preserve his family during the famine without affliction. The book of Revelation would have never been penned without John’s affliction. Jacob would have never been blessed without the affliction of his limp. Paul would have never fully understood God’s grace without affliction. Salvation would not have been provided without Christ’s affliction. Most, if not all, of the blessings we enjoy in life have come because of affliction. Let me point out several observations of affliction’s blessing.
First, affliction has a way of making the Scriptures come alive. The psalmist said that it was affliction that allowed him to “learn thy statutes.” In other words, the statutes of God would have been a mystery had he not gone through affliction. You will find that God’s Word will be more real to you while you go through affliction than it ever will while walking in times of peace. The lessons and promises of God’s Word make sense once you go through affliction. You will never fully understand why God puts certain things in the Scriptures without affliction.
Second, affliction is not bad, but a way for me to become a better tool for God. If you learn God’s Word through affliction, that means that God is making you a better tool for His use through your affliction. My friend, affliction has a way of revealing your weaknesses to you, and the Scriptures are the mirror God uses to reveal those weaknesses. Gold is not refined without a fire, and your life is not made a better tool for God without affliction. If affliction makes me a better tool for God to use, then affliction is a good thing to endure.
Third, you don’t have to understand or agree with affliction for affliction to be good. Good is not determined by your judgment, but it is determined by God’s omnipotence. Just because you disagree with what God is doing in your life does not mean that God is wrong. God knows your tomorrow; therefore, He has to prepare you for what He is going to do through you, and He cannot prepare you for the greater use without affliction. Stop trying to understand your affliction and simply trust God who promises that all things work together for good to those who love Him.
Fourth, not to learn affliction’s lessons are to waste your time in affliction. If you don't learn what God is trying to teach you in affliction, you are wasting affliction and will likely have to endure it again until you learn its lesson. Affliction is the greatest Bible teacher you will ever have. Complaining will cause you to miss the lessons it is trying to teach you. You learn affliction’s lessons by trusting God and going forward.