It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.
By David Wilkerson
The Hebrew word for affliction here means, "browbeaten, troubled, abased, chastened, defiled, hurt, humbled, weakened, depressed." When you put this meaning into the verse, suddenly it reads: "It's good that I went through all these troubles — because in the process God was engraving His laws and ways in my heart."
Now, it's true the Lord allows trials to come our way to test us. But that is not His primary purpose in allowing them. Rather, our troubles and afflictions are to teach us to walk rightly before Him. The Bible tells us: "Many are the afflictions of the righteous..." (Psalm 34:19). And, according to the Psalmist, the point of all our afflictions is for us to learn from them.
Let me share with you some of the lessons I've learned through afflictions:
- You cannot deliver yourself out of any affliction—because that is God’s work!
- Afflictions come upon us to drive us to the Lord.
- Afflictions get much worse just before deliverance comes.
- You are being afflicted because God is working on a jewel.
God's purpose is to refine us — to make us into precious jewels that will adorn His holy city coming down from heaven. We are to be clear-eyed, transparent in our living, with no dark part — no confidence in the flesh — but only bright, holy rays.
So, let's read our theme verse again: "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes" (Psalm 119:71). Can you rejoice with me at these words now? Hallelujah!