Psalm 119:107: “I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word!”
Ladies, what a paradox — the Christian life is a life of blessing, and it is also a life of affliction. Affliction comes in many forms. There is the impersonal suffering of disease and disaster, common to all humanity. There is the personal suffering of abuse and persecution, sometimes as a direct result of our faith. And then there is the call to sacrificial service, where we voluntarily set aside our comforts for the sake of others.
So how do we keep from being overwhelmed?
Stoic resignation is not the answer. The psalmist cries out to God, “give me life!” He holds God to the promises in his word, that this present affliction is not the end. He trusts God’s word, that obedience will bring blessing.
We see now what the psalmist saw only dimly: Jesus, the fulfillment of the Old Testament, the word-made-flesh, conquered death and bought us life. And in some mysterious way, our sufferings are counted with the sufferings of Christ, necessary for the church (Colossians 1:24).
Paul says, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-10). The power of God shines in our weakness, though we are but pots of clay. And so we look forward to the “eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,” where we will rejoice that all things have worked together for our good.