“Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him from them all” is the verse I was led to read a few days ago. It is Psalm 34 verse 19. David wrote that psalm. This psalm is an expression of praise to God for His goodness. David is an expert at exalting the Lord and giving Him all the glory. In this psalm He recognizes that pain and suffering are part of life but God can set us free from them. Who is the righteous David is talking about? A translation of this verse calls the righteous “the people of God.” This verse is about you. It’s about what you, believer in Jesus, can expect in times of trouble. It’s about how you can expect trouble and trying times but they are not the end of your story. Your bad chapter has a good ending. God handles your story and He changes everything and makes things good again. The afflictions that take place in your life can be many. It’s not unusual and it’s not weird. It would be unusual to have a life with no problems and no difficulties. You were made the righteousness of God through Christ and Christ suffered a lot of opposition so you will as well. However, you will conquer the opposition. The afflictions will last for a season but they won’t stay. God has a deliverance system that doesn’t fail.
I was so shocked when I first realized that despite being a Christian and knowing Jesus, I was still having a lot of problems. I was a teenager. I didn’t understand how it all worked and I was under impression that with God’s protection nothing bad could ever happen to me. I can see how if that is what you are taught, it can be detrimental to your spiritual health. You can be thrown for a loop and decide that God is not as good as you thought He was. We get this idea that God will have us float on a bed of roses and nothing bad can touch us. It is far from being the truth and it is far from being what Jesus said. Right from the Old Testament we are warned that trials would be part of this life. Psalm 34 gives a good account of God’s goodness and the world’s harshness. It is brutal out there and we are in this world so we will experience the good, the bad and the ugly. The good news is that since we believe in God, we have the guarantee that He will get us out of our problems. It is something we need to hear and remember every day because problems arise every day. I am not trying to paint a pessimistic picture of our lives. I am not trying to create an ideology that stresses how bad things are or can be. The emphasis is on how God can set us free. We ought to focus on that part the most so that when bad things happen, our faith in God will be a reflex. We will not be taken aback but we will be taking it with faith and we will be praising Him because we will know He’s got it!
“Many are your afflictions, child of God, but the Lord delivers you from them all” is how you should approach life. Don’t ignore the problems. Don’t bury your head in the sand hoping for things to pass. Confront the problems head on. Confront them with God. Confront them with the One who delivers you from them all. Remind the Lord in prayer that He promised to help you and deliver you. The Lord loves to be reminded. It’s not that He forgets; He loves to hear that we trust Him and believe in Him. Hang in there. God is in there with you. Don’t let your circumstances bring you down but let your God take them down. Speak words of faith over your situation. Sing in harmony with the heart of God. Sing a song of hope and turn off the radio of doubt that tries to play in your head 24/7. Stay with God, stay with His Word. Cry to God. He will hear you and bless you. Don’t be surprised by the afflictions. You are sharing Christ’s suffering and you are also sharing His victory. This winter is not your permanent season. The Lord is with you all year long. Hold on to that truth. Hold on to His love. He will set you free!
Suggested reading: Proverbs 24:16; John 16:33; 1 Peter 4:12-13