"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word."Has suffering ever been a servant to halt your wandering heart and get you back on the path of life?
John Piper comments on this verse and gives five good reasons why God sends affliction to help us:
- Affliction takes the glibness of life away and makes us more serious so that our mindset is more in tune with the seriousness of God’s word.
- Affliction knocks worldly props from under us and forces us to rely more on God, which brings us more in tune with the aim of the word.
- Affliction makes us search the Scriptures with greater desperation for help, rather than treating it as marginal to life.
- Affliction brings us into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings so that we fellowship more closely with him and see the world more readily through his eyes.
- Affliction mortifies deceitful and distracting fleshly desires, and so brings us into a more spiritual frame which fits God’s word more.
And by the way, the above devotional (Thanks, Chuck B, for sending!) is one found on John Piper's daily devotional called Solid Joys. You can get it as an app, or have them sent to your email box. If you're looking for a good daily devotional, I'd highly recommend it!