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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Thoughts from the Past – IN Affliction

Here is a short thought that I first posted on my old blog, and then moved here in Sept. 2011.  It is edited.

March 26, 2006

IN Affliction

Psalm 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

Notice that the Psalmist here does not say he is comforted from his affliction, but rather in it. He is not looking for deliverance from affliction, but he has comfort in it from God's word.

People too often mistakenly think that we will "live happily ever after" as Christians. This false teaching has been around for a long time. It was promoted in the 1950s, and later, in various Christian songs (and maybe in preaching), and it is seen today in some of the "prosperity gospel" groups and "living your best life now" preachers. We are never promised "the good life" or a "happily ever after" in this present world.  In fact, we read in 2 Timothy 3:12, Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. And also, Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

What we do have is comfort in afflictions. We have the word of God which quickens us and gives us confidence that the Lord is in control. We have the promise that the God of all comfort will work all things together for good to them that love Him.

2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

This is our comfort IN affliction, not our escape from it. And, notice that God comforts us in our tribulations for the purpose that we may comfort others also. So, our affliction is not a waste of time. It inclines us be more cast upon the Lord, to look forward to the next life, and it also allows us to partake of His comfort which He wants us to minister to others. Thus, every saint who has been through the furnace of affliction has been entrusted with a ministry to pass on God's comfort to others.

No wonder Paul could say, In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

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