TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Psalm 119:67, 71, 75
BOTTOM LINE: Before I was Afflicted …!
QUESTION: Could it Be our Troubles are a GIFT from God?
let’s at least share the same definition of an AFFLICTION … Something that causes on-going pain or suffering. Webster actually says a cause of persistent pain or distress.
My guess is that MANY of us have had some season of our lives where we navigated an AFFLICTION of sorts.
- Loss of a Job un-expectantly, w/ a low or no reserves to sustain financially.
- Loss of a Child … I mean that pain might be one of the most difficult EVER!
- Abuse you experienced along the way that literally in some way or another, often brings a persistent Pain and even sometimes Suffering into almost every single day!
You name it … the list is REALLY long of possibilities here.
Psalm 119:67, 71, 75 …“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.
I know, Lord, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.”
We talked about this word a moment ago … all 3 verses uses this verb AFFLICTED here … which comes from the Noun Affliction … an old word that means a cause of persistent pain or distress.
- BEFORE our Struggles: STRAYING
- DURING our Struggles: LEARNING
- AFTER our Struggles: KNOWING
The Psalmist declares that he now KNOWS 3 Things as a Result of his AFFLICTIONS:
- Everything God says is Right!
- God is Faithful, even in our struggles.
- God is involved in EVERYTHING that we experience!
STAGES OF FAITH DURING AFFLICTION:
- Our Faith OBEYS! Now I keep Your Word he says.
- Our Faith AFFIRMS! It is GOOD for me to be AFFLICTED.
- Our Faith GLORIFIES! In faithfulness, You AFFLICTED Me!
5 Quick Suggestions of how we can Respond to the Struggles we Experience:
- Thank God for our Struggles!
- Look for the Fingerprint of God in our Life!
- Immerse Ourselves in His Word!
- Have FAITH in God!
- Share What We Learn!
This is that rhythm where we allow God to use Our Story for His Glory again! We become uniquely qualified to share w/ others walking the same journey … we can say Been there, done that, go the T-shirt, and that is so important!
Keep a journal … write down what God is doing … so we have it to look back upon too! This will not only help US … but we can break it out when we’re walking alongside a friend too!