Affliction – Suffering… Can any good come from it?

Affliction – it’s never pleasant, always painful! And It comes in a great variety of forms… physical, emotional, social-relational, financial, etc. In fact, I’m hesitant to even bring it up the subject right now because many of my dear friends are experiencing it. I’ve experienced it – so have you.

But it was a part of my Bible reading this morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord” and He and I discussed it… So I decided to share just a bit about what “He” had to say on the subject…

He said it didn’t have to be negative – in fact, He had the power (depending on my response) to make it turn out positively in my life…

He reminded me of some of the “Bible greats” – Job, Joseph, David, Jeremiah, Stephen, Paul, John… even Jesus Himself!

Apostle Paul testified in affliction , “So we do not lose heart! Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day! For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison!” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)

James urged believers to, “Count it all joy, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. A let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing! … Blessed is the person who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:2-3, 12)

And, believe me, there are many others! In fact, right now I’m reading Psalm 119 and these verses are what provoked my conversation with the Lord on the subject of affliction…

“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word… It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold… I know, Lord, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. May your unfailing love by me comforting, according to your promise to your servant.” (verses 67, 71-72, 75-76)

Oh the positive value of affliction in our lives! Lord help us to trust you in our trials, listen for your voice in our suffering, and respond to you with obedience, love and faith! “You’re a “good, good Father! That’s who you are!”

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