In my devotional times this week I have been looking at Psalm 119. There is so much in the Psalm to look into. Today I wanted to understand better the term “affliction.” I have heard that term all my life and our teaching on Sunday pointed to a very high value of affliction. So I went looking for some further explanation. I came upon this illustrations of the verses from Psalm 119 and the value of affliction to our lives, our souls even.
As we read the Psalm, we find the comfort and the value in what God in doing within us as well as in our circumstances. Psalm 119:50–“This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.”
I also see the goodness of God. Look what He brings to all of us who trust and seek Him. “You have dealt well…” well is the Hebrew “tove” and means “good.” Verse 68 “You are good and do you…” God is good and because He is good, we can trust Him. When He sends affliction we can know that it is for our good.
Here is the tough part, verse 71, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statues.” Believers in Jesus seek to understand and see the “good” that comes from our affliction. By faith, we can go through affliction, learn and see the goodness of God in them and our good and benefit as an product of affliction.
Solitude and silence are the most radical of the spiritual disciplines because they most directly attack the sources of human misery and wrongdoing. To be in solitude is to choose to do nothing. For extensive periods of time. All accomplishment is given up. Silence is required to complete solitude, for until we enter quietness, the world still lays hold of us. When we go into solitude and silence we stop making demands on God. It is enough that God is God and we are his. We learn we have a soul, that God is here, that this world is “my Father’s world.
– Dallas Willard (from the intro to Invitation to Solitude & Silence by Ruth Haley Barton)
Mother Teresa “God does not call us all to great things, but calls us to do small things with great love.”
In the garden of our Savior no flower grows unseen His kindness rains like water on every humble seed No simple act of mercy escapes His watchful eye For there is One who loves me His hand is over mine
In the kingdom of the heavens no suffering is unknown Each tear that falls is holy, each breaking heart a throne There is a song of beauty in every weeping eye For there is One who loves me His heart, it breaks with mine
O the deeds forgotten, O the works unseen Every drink of water flowing graciously Every tender mercy You’re making glorious This You have asked of us: Do little things with great love Little things with great love
At the table of our Savior, no mouth will go unfed And His children in the shadows stream in and raise their heads O give us ears to hear them, and give us eyes that see For there is One who loves them. I am His hands and feet.