Day 14 – When Affliction is Good

This morning, while reading Psalm 119, I came across a verse – my verse – one that God gave me during a time when I desperately needed to hear from Him.

A few years ago, I experienced major problems with my skin. The eczema that I’d dealt with since childhood became increasingly worse. I tried everything – countless topical creams, oral and topical steroids, anti-inflammatory medications, and even light therapy. Most days I walked around in a zombie-like state from the itching and scratching that kept me awake at night. I was irritable, depressed, and sleep deprived. I didn’t feel like myself at all. I was literally so miserable in my own skin that I knew if I didn’t experience some relief, I would have a complete breakdown. It was during this dark season in my life that the Lord led me to Psalm 119:71: “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.”

When I read it, I thought, “Good? There’s nothing good about this, Lord! I look and feel horrible! I’m tired of dealing with this problem! I don’t understand!” However, instead of continuing to have a pity party for myself, I began meditating on verses such as: “You are good, and what you do is good (Psalm 119:58),” and “I know, O LORD, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me. May your unfailing love be my comfort (119:75-76a).”

Slowly my mind and heart began to change as I viewed my situation from God’s perspective. I learned to lean on the Lord for strength. I developed a passion for His Word. I prayed more often and with greater fervency. I realized that the Lord wasn’t punishing me by giving me skin problems, but He was allowing me to experience them because He loved me. In faithfulness He used that particular trial, as painful as it was, to draw me closer to Jesus.

Are you going through a difficult time in your life that you don’t understand? Are you weary from the struggle and wonder what God’s purpose is?

Good news: You don’t have to understand. You only need to trust. The Lord is working your problem for good, even if you can’t see it right now, and He will use whatever it takes to shape you into the image of Christ. Embrace His precious promises, and ask Him to give you a special verse that will strengthen your faith. Someday soon you’ll look back on this trial, reflect on all that God has done, and you will be able to say along with me, “It was good for me to be afflicted.”

Comments

  1. It must have been the Spirit that led me to this post today. It is day 14 of my fast and feeling very discouraged. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and I am having a serious flare up. God have me that verse in Psalm 119 several years ago when I was first diagnosed bed ridden unable to even walk. He does use this disease every day of my life but I confess it isn’t always a picnic. This post was God’s way of encouraging me. Thanks.

  2. Arlene, thank you for your comment. I’m thankful that God used that post to give you encouragement and hope. I pray that the Lord gives you strength in your spirit and your body as you seek Him during your fast. Remember, the joy of the Lord is your strength! 🙂