It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. –Psalm 119:71
Was David crazy? How on earth are we supposed to rejoice in suffering? What good could there possibly be in being afflicted? I’ll tell you. God is forced to bring affliction into our lives for different reasons. There are sometimes that we become afflicted as a result of our transgressions (2 Samuel 12:11). There are other times that God allows us to face affliction in order to bring us to our knees and begin to rely on him instead of ourselves (2 Corinthians 1:9). Yet, there are times that God brings affliction upon us to test and humble us and to see what is in our hearts (Deuteronomy 8:2). And still there are times that we are afflicted so that we might learn God’s decrees (Psalm 119:71).
What is your affliction? What is it that you are facing? There is a purpose behind it, and only through communication with God will it be made known to you. Our human nature tells us to get upset and throw pity parties whenever we are faced with trials of any kind, but God is telling you today through David to rejoice even in your afflictions. If you sinned against God and are being disciplined, rejoice! Because it means that God cares about you and wants to ensure that you do not fall back into the same sin. If his purpose is so that you may rely on him, rejoice! Because this only means that he wants to take your yoke upon himself. If it is to test you, rejoice! Because it means he is bringing a great blessing your way. And if it is to teach you his decrees, rejoice! Because it means he is revealing himself to you.
Whatever the case may be, as long as you are in Christ, or being called to come into a relationship with him, it is good for you to be afflicted, and you need to learn how to enjoy it and grow from it. I know the thought of rejoicing in affliction may seem unnatural and insensible to you, but I urge you today by the mercies of God Almighty to always seek God’s purpose behind your pain. No matter how bad your situation may be, never ever forget that with God, there is always something better around the corner. When in doubt, be patient and in Isaiah’s words, “You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes you.”
Stay blessed and spread the word.