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)
The Word of God, the Bible–Old and New Testaments. It is what we have of God. Actually we have more than the Word but I am just focusing on the Word of God right now.
We are so blessed these days to have devices to deliver to us the Word of God and other tools to help us understand the Word of God more clearly and more accurately. I use as many of them as I want to read and study the Word of God–laptop, Kindle, cell phone and more if I have them. Sometimes, however, I want to hold the Word of God.
Yes, in ancient times the Word was temporarily held in the minds of men and spoken to others. However, God’s design is that His Word be retained in written form. This insures His message as He gave it originally is retained.
I still love holding the Word of God in my hand and reading from the physical copy. I desired that today and it was satisfying. The written Word allows us to notate much more easily in my view and when I retrace I am reminded and I remember what I have been taught by Him in the past.
That is His Big objective — that we remember Him, His truth, His leading us through all of life. Our souls need Him–we need to remember His truths and His work in us. Thus we grow and mature and become more conformed in Christlikeness.
Read the Word of God today! Through the Word we are changed in the ways that pleases our Lord Jesus.