“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
Psalm 34:19 ESV
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous”. Even as a Christian we will continue to go through times of affliction. We will continue to go through times of hurt, both physical and emotional. We’ll continue to go through financial struggles. Struggles with our marriages. Struggles with family and/or friends.
“But the Lord delivers him out of them all.” At first glance it seems slightly contradictory does it not? Why? It’s because all we, as human beings, think about is this life. We usually don’t consider eternity when looking at life. We don’t look at life through an eternal perspective. We may go through any number of terminal illnesses, Cancer, Diabetes, Chronic heart failure, Depression… you name it and it’s out there to attack these bodies God created. Or, it could be some affliction that we have brought upon ourselves. No matter where it came from or how we got it, the Lord will deliver us out of them all!
Here’s the important thing to remember… Isaiah 55:8-9 states “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV
We are always trying to mentally and spiritually pull God down from His throne to help us when in fact we should be mentally and spiritually allowing Him to be raised up to Him. We also seem to always want for God to heal us of our afflictions right now. We think we know better than God what is good for us. We so quickly forget His ways are not our ways! We see in scripture that sometimes people would be healed of their affliction while still alive on this earth. But, others would be healed through the death of their earthly tent (earthly body). Paul is a great example of this. Three times he prayed for God to remove his “thorn in the flesh”. Three times he was denied. Was he ever healed? Absolutely he was. He was healed when his earthly body perished. I myself have been a Type 1 diabetic for 42 years now. I have prayed to be healed of it more than three times. But God for His purpose has not seen fit to heal me of it in this life. He has however, worked miracles in my life to sustain me for His purposes. Someday I will be healed.
Paul wrote the following to the church in Colossae: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”
Colossians 1:24-29 ESV
Maybe it would behoove us all to look at our afflictions from an eternal perspective rather than a “poor me” perspective.
It’s God prerogative to heal while walking this earth or heal through Him taking us home!The problem is too many of us love this life too much to have an eternal view.
2 Corinthians 5:1-10 ESV tells us the perspective Paul had even in his afflictions “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
One way or another, be of good courage! Healing will come and it will always be in God’s perfect timing, according to His perfect will!