20 May 2012

Devotion: How God Can Use Your Affliction to Bring You Closer to Him

Devotion: How God Can Use Your Affliction to Bring You Closer to Him
This devotion is an interesting look at God using your affliction.  So often we blame God for our health problems.
“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold” (Psalm 119:71-72).

From my journal during a recent health battle I wrote the following. . .

The nausea and back pain are getting worse. All I want to do is sit by my fireplace, put some heat on my back and open the Word. I love how the Word instantly calms my anxiousness and restores my inner peace. Why is it then that I only seem to read my Bible and pray when I’m sick, tired, or frustrated?

But God doesn't send the problem so much as He allows it to happen in order to use it for a good purpose. Romans 8:28 says just that, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (NKJV)  

The  Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible written by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown and published in 1871 say this about Rom. 8:28, 

This working of all things for good is done quite naturally to "them that love God," because such souls, persuaded that He who gave His own Son for them cannot but mean them well in all His procedure, learn thus to take in good part whatever He sends them, however trying to flesh and blood: and to them who are the called, according to "His purpose," all things do in the same intelligible way "work together for good"; for, even when "He hath His way in the whirlwind," they see "His chariot paved with love" ( Solomon 3:10 ). And knowing that it is in pursuance of an eternal "purpose" of love that they have been "called into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ" ( 1 Corinthians 1:9 ), they naturally say within themselves, "It cannot be that He 'of whom, and through whom, and to whom are all things,' should suffer that purpose to be thwarted by anything really adverse to us, or that He should not make all things, dark as well as light, crooked as well as straight, to co-operate to the furtherance and final completion of His high design."  Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary Rom. 8:28
Matthew Henry, in Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Concise), says,
That is good for the saints which does their souls good. Every providence tends to the spiritual good of those that love God; in breaking them off from sin, bringing them nearer to God, weaning them from the world, and fitting them for heaven. When the saints act out of character, corrections will be employed to bring them back again.  Matthew Henry Commentary Rom. 8:28
God causes even the things that are negative in our lives to work in some way, whether spiritually or physically, to work for us some kind of good. That may be to show us the error of our sinful ways, or draw us closer to Him, or to  gently correct us much in the way a loving parent shows their child loving correction.

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