James 5:1 (KJV) Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Affliction Required

Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
Psalm 119:67

That sounds a little like a principle a child might learn from its parent, doesn't it? Well, guess what? God is our Father, and we are His children ... pretty much like the parent/child relationship here in these three dimensions of earth (ok, four dimensions).

The point is discipline and teaching - character development.

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

'Good for me' doesn't necessarily mean 'fun.' But it's absolutely necessary in spiritual development and maturation. He wants us to learn obedience and holiness to bring us in line with His Word in order that we may attain the "peaceable fruit of righteousness" (Hebrews 12:11).

How deep is your desire to really know God? I mean, how much do you want to become well acquainted with everything about Him and how He thinks? To become His intimate friend? The psalmist was desperate to know God: "...the law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver" (Psalm 119:72). Can we say that?

If you set aside (commit) a specific time every day to spend in God's Word - let's say 30 minutes - and let absolutely nothing interfere with that time, I can guarantee that you will have questions ... become interested ... become passionate ... about knowing God.

In response to your passion He will begin to reveal Himself to you. You will experience affliction, and just when you are at the depths of your suffering, that bright light of insight will flash across your soul. You will smile, knowing that you have learned more about God. Your faith will grow, as will your affliction. You will reach the point where you can smile during the affliction, because your trust in Him is total. The process will continue, as He molds and whittles away. Your relationship will be more intimate than any other.

Ah! But Lord! If I could only see you! You will ... and sooner than you may think. Meanwhile, you will be able to say, with the psalmist:

"Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Lord,
according unto thy word."

Psalm 119:65

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