With Jesus in the School of Suffering
Psalm 119 is God’s curriculum in “The School of Suffering”, our Lord shares with us what He expects from each of us as we go through all the various painful forms of suffering, afflictions, trails, and troubles.
The longest chapter in the Bible is the summary of the entire Old Testament written by Ezra after he had copied all of the chapters of the Old Testament into what we would call Biblical Hebrew, in fact, the famous Dead Sea Scrolls would be copies of the scrolls that Ezra hand wrote as the founder of the Biblical Scribes.
When Ezra was inspired by God to write the 119th Psalm, God used him to give us the most complete explanation of how God uses suffering as a classroom to teach us lessons in His Great Faithfulness that can never be learned anywhere else.
Psalm 119:75- “I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right (You don’t ever change), and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.”
How God wants to use
Affliction in our lives Today
Whether or not we ever face an Islamic Jihadist deadly stare, we will face cancer, heart disease, job loss, and social strife. So God wants us to use the same principles that will keep us then, to keep us NOW! In short, we need to get a grip on a Biblical Theology of Suffering. One place to find that theology of suffering is in: Psalm 119.
The writer I believe God used for this longest Psalm was Ezra, and in seven verses he captures a complete set of principles God operates with when regulating the flow of hard times through our lives. If you turn there and jot these 7 down, it will help you prepare for hard times today and for all of your tomorrows, whatever may come.
First, look at the lesson plan for the entire course. In each of these seven verses is a lesson on how AFFLICTION is used by God, because it –
- PUSHES US INTO GOD’S WORD: Psalm 119:50 “This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life.”
- PULLS US BACK ONTO THE PATH: Psalm 119:67 “Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.”
- CHISELS GOD’S PLAN INTO OUR LIFE: Psalm 119:71 “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.”
- TEACHES US THAT GOD IS FAITHFUL: Psalm 119:75 “I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are right, And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.”
- KEEPS US FOCUSED ON OUR TEACHER: Psalm 119:92 “Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction.”
- FORCES US TO TEST HIS PROMISES: Psalm 119:107 “I am afflicted very much; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word.”
- BRINGS GOD TO OUR DOORSTEP: Psalm 119:153 “Consider my affliction and deliver me, For I do not forget Your law.”
Here are the godly benefits of suffering and enduring persecution and affliction by God’s grace.
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