Earthly affliction brings about spiritual growth
By: Leslie B. Williamson
Each of us can testify that we have had some trying times in our lives. Some have had more experiences than others, but there is not one person that has not held on to the horns of the altar with white knuckles. We have all had wet pillows and questions asking WHY? “Why” being the first thing we ask God when troubles come.
King David had a slew of issues and problems. After his affair with Bathsheba, their baby died. Then, his daughter Tamar was raped by her half-brother Amnon. Next, David’s son Absalom killed his brother Amnon for raping their sister. Then Absalom tries to usurp the throne from his father King David which caused him to flee from Jerusalem. The list goes on and on but David never turned his back on God. David wrote many of the Psalms while he went through some of these storms as he kept his focus on Father God.
Psalm 119:67 says, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I know your commands”. The writer knew that his “afflictions” were not manufactured to take him out. They were to cause him to see the importance of obedience and keeping God’s word. Then David goes on to say in verse 71 that, “It was good for me that I was afflicted, so that I could learn your ways.” In other words, the “affliction” was meant to bring about correction so that we wouldn’t miss redemption.
In retrospect, King David gave praise to God because he had gone through pressing times. Had he not, he would not have appreciated the correction needed in his life. Instead of walking around crying, “Lord, why me?”, David saw the purpose for the affliction and thanked God for sparing him and teaching him the way in which he should live.
In Psalm 94 it even says, “Blessed is the man whom Thou chasteneth O Lord and teacheth him out of Thy law.” God chastens whom He loves! As hard as it is and as paradox it may seem, let praises flow from your lips when you are met with trials and opposition. God is a present help in the time of your troubles. He is right there with you, not looking down from the heavens with a scowl on His face. He is with you! And while He is with you, He is guiding you and teaching you His ways. In your trial, He is causing you to grow spiritually. Just like a farmer puts manure on his crops to fertilize and enrich his produce, so do we have to have life events to enrich our lives to its full potential.
You may say today, “How can I get over this trial”? The answer is to “submit” to God and His will for your life. You may never understand all the details, but as the elders use to say, “We will understand it better by and by.” Many things in my life that occurred that I didn’t understand became a revelation and the Holy Spirit matured me. I was able to see how the Most High orchestrated a masterpiece from a train wreck. When you are His, you can trust the events in your life to make you grow and bloom and be the example here in the earth of God’s greatness in you!
God won’t leave you hanging in your mess. He’s right there and won’t budge even though sometimes it feels like He’s not there. I am reminded of the movie about Helen Keller who was blind. She acquired a teacher who taught her how to deal effectively with her blindness. At times, Helen would frantically wave her hands while running around the room, trying to find her teacher. She couldn’t see nor sense her, but her teacher was right there with her in the room. She was waiting for Helen to calm down, listen and “hear’ her (breathing).