Learning Through Affliction

Psalm 119:71
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

All our lives it seems we strive to avoid trouble.  Nobody wishes for bad things to happen.  We’ll keep our mouth shut to try to avoid conflict.  We’ll avoid people and places so that we don’t get into some kind of trouble.  We dread getting sick or hurt in some way.  But sometimes we get ourselves into trouble by making wrong or poor decisions.  Sometimes our best intentions go astray or circumstances out of our control bring trouble our way.  And sometimes God brings things into our lives for His own purposes.

Sometimes it takes a trial or hardship of some kind for us to realize our weakness and God’s strength.  Sometimes affliction is the only thing that will make us look past the end of ourselves and realize we need God and we have to depend on Him.  Sometimes a difficulty in our life will show us the error of our ways and that His way is best.  And sometimes some desperate and difficult situation comes into our lives so that we will search His Word and turn to Him for all the answers we seek and the help we need.

Because really, we don’t learn these lessons as well when everything is easy.  We can’t learn to trust God completely if we never need to.  We can’t learn all that He will be to us if we never look for Him to be those things.  We won’t learn those lessons as well until we experience them for ourselves.  And truthfully, though we don’t like affliction and struggle, anything that draws us closer to God is worth it in the end.  Ultimately, we may find ourselves grateful for hardships that taught us needed lessons, helped us to gain wisdom and understanding, and showed us more clearly the heart of God and the truth of His ways.

So let us face our trials with grace and faith in our loving God.  He really does want what is best for us.  He can work through all kinds of circumstances to mold us and build us into who He wants us to be.  And the lessons we learn in those kinds of moments will help us with the next trial and the one after that.  So let’s take what we’ve learned from God’s Word to heart and apply it in our lives as we draw ever closer to Him.

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