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Preparing for Affliction

"Unless thy law had been my delights,
I should then have perished in mine affliction."
(Psalm 119:92)
Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

In his first epistle, the apostle Peter reminds us to "think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you" (4:12). Verses like this make it especially clear that walking with God does not exempt anyone from hardship, and that it rains "on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. 5:45). In fact, 2 Timothy 3:12 reveals that a unique type of persecution will be encountered by "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus."

According to his own testimony, the single most important ingredient to the Psalmist's (likely David) survival of affliction was the Word of God, wherein he delighted greatly and meditated constantly (Ps. 119:47; 1:2). Because of this, he avoided the tragedy of "perishing in his affliction" and learned to thrive spiritually even while walking "through the valley of the shadow of death" (Ps. 23:4).

  • The Word gave hope (Ps. 119:49). One definition of hope is "the feeling that . . . events will turn out for the best." Of course for the Christian, such hope is far more than a feeling; it is a sure promise of God "that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28). Through the Psalmist's affliction, he found hope in the promises of God.
  • The Word gave wisdom (Ps. 119:98-100). Oftentimes seasons of hardship are also seasons of decision, and any decision based solely on human ideals and philosophies is likely to be a mistake. Through the wisdom of God revealed in Scripture, the Psalmist's steps were "ordered by the Lord" (Ps. 37:23).
  • The Word gave joy (Ps. 119:14). Perhaps the greatest temptation faced by the believer during times of trial is to become discouraged and "despair even of life" (2 Cor. 1:8). The Psalmist's joy, however, was not dependent upon external circumstances, but upon the eternally unchanging Word of God hidden in his heart (Ps. 119:11).

Even in my own experience, the darkest times of life have frequently been illuminated by a specific passage of Scripture that served as "a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Ps. 119:105). It makes sense, then, to prepare for these inevitable battles by immersing ourselves in the Word of God even during the good times, and to proclaim joyfully, "I will never forget thy precepts" (Ps. 119:93).

4 thoughts on “Preparing for Affliction”

  • Jim Woychuk

    This is great advice! Thanks for this hearty reminder!

    Reply
  • Ed Boynton

    Dakota, I have read and appreciated your blogs in the past. Thank you for them.

    I have memorized Psalm 119.
    Three times in your blog you referred to DAVID as the author of Psalm 119.
    I am unfamiliar with anything that tells us that David wrote that particular Psalm.
    Do you know something about this that I don't?
    If so, would you please share it with me?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Dakota Lynch

      Hi Ed,

      Thanks for commenting. What a treasure to have memorized all of Psalm 119! Like many, this is one of my favorite Psalms and I quote from it often.

      You raise a good point about the authorship of this Psalm, in that it was technically written anonymously. Of course its overall tone seems Davidic in many ways (and is strikingly similar to Psalm 19), but in view of your comment I've revised my post to instead reference "the Psalmist."

      Have a blessed day and keep in touch!

      Reply
  • Ed Boynton

    Thank you for your response, Dakota.

    I sincerely hope that what I said did not come across as being nit-picky!

    I just think that it is very important that we not be presumptuous.

    It would be wonderful to know who wrote each of the Psalms.
    But, evidently, God did not think we needed to know, in every case,
    otherwise it seems, He would have told us.

    One of the articles of our faith is that God has provided everything we need,
    in order to walk in obedience and godliness.
    That, alone, is an amazing concept !

    Keep on encouraging others.

    Ed

    Reply
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