“It was good that I had to suffer in order to learn your laws” (Psalm 119:71).
This is a verse you learn about the hard way, or you never learn it at all.
We learn very little from success, but failure is a wonderful teacher. Ask anyone who’s ever gone bankrupt . . . or anyone who has gone through the agony of divorce . . . or watched their children struggle . . . or experienced the pain of losing a job . . . or watched a loved one die slowly. In the dark moments of life, when time slows down to a crawl, when we sit in the waiting room while the minutes become hours, it is then that we begin to learn what life is all about.
When the psalmist declares “it is good,” he means pain taught him something he couldn’t learn any other way. C. S. Lewis remarked that God whispers to us in our pleasure but shouts to us in our pain. Many of God’s children can testify to that truth. It is a great advance in the spiritual life to thank God for your hard times.
Suffering purifies the heart, clears the mind, and refines our affections. God uses everything and wastes nothing, and that includes our tears.
Lord Jesus, teach me to trust you even when I don’t understand. Amen.
December 2, 2016
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