Day 8-When Affliction Is Good

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. — Psalm 119:71

Testimony from the Daniel Fast–A few years ago, I experienced major problems with my skin when the eczema I’d dealt with since childhood became increasingly worse. I tried everything—topical creams, oral and topical steroids, anti-inflammatory medications, and even light therapy. Most days I walked around in a zombie-like state, exhausted from the itching and scratching that kept me awake at night. I was irritable, depressed, and didn’t feel like myself at all. I was so miserable in my own skin that I knew I’d have a breakdown if I didn’t experience some relief.

During this dark season, the Lord led me to Psalm 119:71, which says, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” I thought, “Good? There’s nothing good about this, Lord! I look and feel horrible. I’m tired of dealing with this problem, and I don’t understand how anything about it could be good.” However, instead of continuing the pity party, I began to meditate on other verses in that same chapter that reminded me of God’s goodness and faithfulness, which remain unchanged despite any trials he may allow into my life.

Slowly, my mind and heart were transformed as I viewed my situation from God’s perspective. I learned to lean on the Lord for strength.

I developed a passion for his Word. I prayed more often and with greater fervency. I realized that my skin problems weren’t a punishment from the Lord but a way to learn how to focus on him as my source of strength and comfort. He allowed me to experience those physical challenges not because he was upset with me but because he loved me. He redeemed that particular trial, painful as it was, by drawing me closer to him.

Are you going through a difficult time in your life that you don’t understand? Are you weary from the struggle, and do you wonder what God’s purpose might be? Good news: you don’t have to understand why it’s happening; you only need to trust him. The Lord is working this problem out for the good, even if you can’t see it right now, and he will use whatever it takes to transform you into the image of Christ. Embrace his precious promises, and ask him to give you a special verse that will strengthen your faith. Someday soon you’ll look back on this trial, reflect on all that God has done, and be able to say, “It was good for me to be afflicted.”

Prayer for Today

God, I know that there is purpose in the pain of affliction. Keep me from sinking into despair when trials come. I want to bring honor and glory to you, no matter what the circumstances are in my life.

Verses for additional study:

Psalm 119:68–76

Psalm 119:143

Psalm 145:17