Monday, March 28, 2011

God's Hand in Our Affliction (Psalm 119)

Psalm 119 is one of my all-time favorite psalms, but I had never noticed how frequently it addresses the issue of affliction until I read this blog post by Justin Taylor.

A few observations from Psalm 119:

God’s painful discipline of his children always has a redemptive purpose and is done in faithful love. 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. 71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. 75 I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.

God’s life-giving promise is a comfort in time of affliction. 50 This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.

God’s word sustains us through affliction. 92 If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.

God can deliver us from affliction, and we can cry out for life. 153 Look on my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget your law. 107 I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word!

When Erin and I are discouraged by issues related to her health, it is both comforting and convicting to be reminded of these truths from God's Word. It is a comfort to know that the affliction of Erin's cancer is not out of God's control or designed to harm her, but in God's control and designed for our good. But it is also convicting because too often we lack the hope that God's Word can sustain us in affliction because our natural inclination is to believe that the only solution to our affliction is to be free from affliction. And too often we lack the faith that will cause us to cry out to God in prayer because our natural inclination is to bring out thoughts and complaints to those we can see. As Erin prepares for another chemotherapy treatment tomorrow (Tuesday, March 29th), please pray that God would be changing our hearts, causing them to be more consistent and bold in trusting in these comforting and convicting promises from God's Word.