It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. Psalm 119:71
I wrestled with today’s Psalm passage for quite a while before finally deciding to write a daily devotion encompassing the deeper meaning of its perplexing words. I must be honest with you, I didn’t want to write about it but in this particular stanza of Psalm 119 (verses 65-72) nothing else seemed to stand out. I just had to write about it! The words reminded me of something Oswald Chambers wrote in his devotional book, My Utmost For His Highest, “Why shouldn’t we experience heartbreak? Through those doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son.”
In today’s passage, the Psalmist declares that it was good for him to be afflicted. Why did he proclaim this fact? Because in the goodness of his affliction he learned God’s decrees. In other words, he read, studied, meditated, and probably memorized the Scriptures because of his affliction. Now this begs the question: did God cause his affliction?
As I apply this passage to my predicament, the same question arises. Did God cause my heartbreaking affliction of Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease? My answer is I don’t believe He did. Did God know it was going to happen? Yes, He most certainly did! He knows everything about me since the time I was knitted in the womb. Could He have prevented it? Sure He could have but for some reason He didn’t.
Am I bitter? Absolutely not! Like the Psalmist declared in today’s passage, there is good in my affliction. Because of it, I have read more Scripture, studied more Scripture, meditated on more Scripture, and written on more Scripture than I ever would have done if I was not living with Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. You see, I believe what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, “God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” There is absolute good in every situation if you love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. All you need do is seek the Lord and discover the good!
Perhaps you may think these thoughts are a bit too hard to handle. I must admit they are difficult to digest but God works in mysterious ways. As Isaiah wrote, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
If you are struggling today because of some seriously significant situation or affliction in your life, don’t allow it to pull you away from the Lord. Instead, allow it to pull you into His presence and force you deeper into His Holy Word. There you will find a spiritual purpose for your struggles, a deeper understanding of God’s good in your particular predicament, and a firmer fellowship with His Son. Then perhaps like the Psalmist did in today’s precious passage, you too can declare, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.”