Psalm 119:71

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.

Affliction is not naturally desirable. Our human nature flees from it, yet the command of the Lord, to consider it good. It is not that affliction for its own sake is our calling, but rather, we are to seek the results of affliction that grow us in the increase of our faith. Christ commands us to “take up our cross and follow him” daily. This imagery cannot be any clearer. Taking up our cross and following Him means going to our death.

This death is not necessarily physical death, though such ultimate sacrifice may in certain situations be the call, but rather death to the self. To follow Christ genuinely will invariably involve dying to self and results in the termination of the natural man in us. This distinguishes us Christ-followers from the world in that, as the Psalmist states, we can rejoice in affliction. We can call it good. For as we near our destruction, our own insufficiency becomes much more apparent to us. Our faith in God grows out of this visible necessity; and God who is trustworthy will prove such faith in Him to be well-placed.

Dear Lord, help us to have the heart of this psalmist, to consider everything that you bring to us as good and may our eyes and our minds see You more and learn your statutes as You walk us through. Put to death our human nature, and grow us in our faith.

– Andrew Brown