AFFLICTION, GOD’S FAITHFULNESS, AND THE CHRISTIAN by Pastor Scott Henry

• June 2, 2017

“I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are right, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to Your word to Your servant.” (Psalm 119:75-76)

 

Scripture teaches that God is always faithful to His children, even in their loneliest moments of trial and affliction.  No matter how dark the clouds of suffering the believer knows, by true faith, that God will always be faithful to him.  The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  The plain and clear teaching of Scripture is that the Lord is faithful to His people in every trial and affliction no matter what it may be.  But so often the truth of God’s faithfulness is not recognized until we look back to the time of our trial — it’s then we realize that God was indeed faithful.  But so often, to our shame, we must confess that we were filled with doubt and fear the moment the trial appeared in our life.  But looking back over our life we must also confess that the Lord was and ever remains faithful.  “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).

 

However, there’s more to the truth of affliction than just that God is faithful to us.  Notice the words of our text: Psalm 119:75, 76: “I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are right, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.  Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to Your word to Your servant.”  Our text teaches that God sends the affliction.  Trials, suffering, and affliction do not happen by chance.  Rather, God is sovereign over every affliction that comes to us in this life.  That means God rules over them, sends them, and He is the author of our afflictions.  God uses trials for His own good purpose in us.  The psalmist says: “I know, O Lord that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.”

 

Behind the immediate cause of our trial, sorrow or affliction, whether it is cancer or paralysis, our text teaches that we must see the hand of God controlling all things.  Behind the sudden, heart-breaking loss (what man calls an accident) is the all-wise and all-ruling hand of God.  Scripture clearly teaches us that there are no accidents, no luck, no chance occurrences, coincidences, or untimely deaths in God’s universe.  Everything is happening according to God’s perfect plan for His glory and the good of His church.  Scripture teaches that there are no independent powers outside of God’s control.  Isaiah 45:7: “I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.”  Therefore, it’s unbiblical to say when affliction or suffering comes upon us that the Lord had nothing to do with it.  It’s unbiblical to say that God has no control over the evil things that come upon us.  Job said, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10).  Not only does God control all afflictions, the Bible assures us that God does this to His children out of His faithfulness.  

 

Therefore, every affliction God sends is under His control and must be viewed by the believer as an exercise of God’s faithfulness toward us.  As a parent is faithful to his child in discipline, so God is faithful to His children and demonstrates His faithfulness in afflicting us.  God’s purpose in our affliction may be to wean us away from the things of this world, to keep us from an evil way, or perhaps He is teaching us that we must simply trust His mercies and abandon our sinful self-reliance.  Even Jesus, “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Heb. 5:8).

 

Is this how you understand your trials and afflictions?  Do you view them through the truth of Scripture as coming to you by God’s good and perfect will, or do you murmur, complain and question the ways of God?  Go back and re-read our text and take comfort in knowing that God sends afflictions and trials out of His faithfulness to us.  “I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are right, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.”  Now take comfort that God always afflicts His blood-bought children out of faithfulness for the sake of Christ’s satisfaction — the One who merited God’s blessings for His redeemed, even the blessing of sanctifying, Christ-conforming affliction.

Category: Scott Henry

Comments (0)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

There are no comments yet. Why not be the first to speak your mind.

Comments are closed.