The Blessing of Affliction

“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Psalm 119:71-72

 

I’ve been reflecting on this verse a lot. Most of us don’t ask for suffering. But the dark and trying times of life have a way of finding us. Through the pain of chronic illness or the loss of a loved one or the strain of a difficult relationship, we are given trials in life. 1 Peter 4:12-13 reminds us not to be surprised at our fiery trial but to rejoice as we share Christ’s sufferings. The trials of this life wean us from the world and remind us of a better one to come.

 

We might be tempted to think our relief from suffering will come through a vacation in the sun or a fat checking account or a perfect marriage. But perhaps the sweetest gift of affliction is learning to lean all the more on Christ. The hard things of life drive me to His word and cause me to press in on His promises. They’re a ray of hope in the midst of a cloud covered sky. And in due time, I can look back on the desert seasons of life and say with the Psalmist, it is good for me that I was afflicted, because through those trials the promises of your word became more precious than gold