As Training

I’m so encouraged and challenged by Psalm 119:71 where the priest writes, “It was good for me that I was afflicted that I might learn your word.”

Can I imagine ever stating this? 

I think about a different perspective on difficult times. I see affliction as learning, as training. It helps. I think of Psalm 18:34 and David’s thankful heart because God trains his hands for the battle to come. So great is this training that his arms could “bend a bow of bronze.”

All morning, I think about the method of such training. We think of a godly life of ease and comfort, but really, it’s training and growth and instruction. And how else does strength grow except through trial and affliction? 

Athletes know this. 

So I think about learning, about growing, and about strength. Could I, one day–maybe even this day–say, “It is good for me that I was afflicted that I might learn God’s statutes?” Could I ever say, like the writer of Psalm 119:75 that affliction can represent God’s faithfulness? 

What a strange and upside down way to see our lives! 

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