“I know, O Lord, that Your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness You have afflicted me.” -Psalm 119:75
God faithfully afflicts those He loves. This seems counter-cultural in our world of comfort and ease, especially in the West. But to be brought low and dependent, for our spiritual vision to be sharpened, we generally need experiential training on the ground. The psalmist sees goodness in all the Lord’s dealings. How can he not trust the One with all wisdom? The God who made him and loves him best? How can we not trust in our Father who gave up His only Son to make a way for creatures like us to come to Him in peace? Jesus suffered the greatest affliction on the cross, paying the believer’s sin debt as the Father poured out His just wrath, forsaking His Son until it was finished. His ways are surely righteous and good even when we do not fully understand why we must endure a particular sorrow.
The Lord also disciplines those He loves. His rod and staff guide us to His pleasant pasture. Earthly fathers who love their children discipline them for training- to be respectful under authority, to know the difference from right and wrong, to be humble, and learn how to treat others. If these are the standards a father uses for his children, how much more loving and gracious are the ways of our Heavenly Father? All He does is for His glory and our eternal good.
When you are afflicted, rest in this truth- God is conforming you to look like Jesus. This is our sanctification. We are being refined to practice what our position in Christ already is. He is faithful to complete this work no matter what it takes.
“being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 1:6
Grace upon grace,
Grow deeper: Psalm 23; Hebrews 12:3-15