“You are good, and you do what is good; teach me your statutes. The arrogant have smeared me with lies, but I obey your precepts with all my heart. Their hearts are hard and insensitive, but I delight in your instruction. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn your statutes. Instruction from your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.”
Psalms 119:68-72 CSB
Affliction is often the Petri dish in which knowledge of God’s Word grows into obedience to it. On the other side of every hardship we should be able to look back and see clearly that this was an occasion for faith to grow – to turn knowledge into action. In this way, we will find that it has been good to suffer in Christ. For this instruction, that grows into faithfulness through trial, “is better than thousands of gold or silver pieces.” Perhaps our hearts are too often set on earthly treasures: money, success, acclaim, stuff. What if the desire of our hearts was fixed purely on knowing and obeying God’s Word? How then would we look at the afflictions we endure?
We gladly endure many hardships to gain the objects of our affection. And eventually holding those objects in our hands, we look back and say without reservation, “it was worth it.” The psalmist is no exception. Only, the object of his greatest desire – for which he has suffered many things – is knowledge of and obedience to God’s Word.
Through what would you gladly suffer for such a prize?
Grace and Peace,