You have dealt well with your servant,
O Lord, according to your word.
Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
for I believe in your commandments.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I keep your word.
You are good and do good;
teach me your statutes.
The insolent smear me with lies,
but with my whole heart I keep your precepts;
their heart is unfeeling like fat,
but I delight in your law.
It is good for me that I was afflicted,
that I might learn your statutes.
The law of your mouth is better to me
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,
because I have hoped in your word.
I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
Let your steadfast love comfort me
according to your promise to your servant.
Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;
for your law is my delight.
Let the insolent be put to shame,
because they have wronged me with falsehood;
as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.
Let those who fear you turn to me,
that they may know your testimonies.
May my heart be blameless in your statutes,
that I may not be put to shame!
My soul longs for your salvation;
I hope in your word.”Psalm 119: 65-81
Share this PostWeek0Day0
Have you ever played the game Would You Rather? This is a simple question-and-answer game where one person describes two scenarios and the other person must decide which scenario they would rather experience. Typically, these are not pleasant scenarios. Let’s practice. Would you rather be stuck in so much snow that you couldn’t leave your house for three months? Or, would you rather be stuck on a desert island without any form of communication? My answer would be–neither! Given the choice of experiencing a difficult time, I think we all would choose to opt out.
We despise hardships. We all know that we will encounter various afflictions and troubles in our lifetime, but we certainly do not look forward to them. In fact, we will go out of our way to ease whatever burden may be coming. The world tells you that you should always be happy. If you are not giddy all the time, something is wrong.
The psalmist begs for God to teach him His statues. He wants to be spiritually strengthened and knowledgeable of God’s will. We can relate to the psalmist’s desires. We feel pressured by other Christians to grow in our faith. Others tell stories of experiences and “God moments” that drove them deeper in their faith. Although we cannot rely on external means, such as experience, to bring us closer to God, we sure want a deeper faith.
We live in a broken and sinful world where we will always encounter heartache and disappointments. The devil attacks wherever the Gospel is in hopes to diminish its power. Lutheran school teachers, and church workers in general, experience many afflictions in this world. The devil attacks them with temptations and trials.
The psalmist teaches us that the devil has no power over our faith in Christ. When he tries to destroy our faith, we are driven into despair and seek comfort. True comfort is only found in the resurrection and joy of Christ. The Gospel pulls us out of despair and brings us closer to Christ. Jesus endured suffering so that we can live in His glorious kingdom forever.
Afflictions hurt. The world will disappoint us and cause us to cry out in despair. We cry out to God as He answers our cries through Christ. We know of Christ’s mercy after experiencing afflictions. Finally, we look forward to the promised day when He will wipe every tear.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.