Psalm 119:71 “It is good for me that I was afflicted that I may learn your statutes.”
I’m reading a bible study on Elijah and this verse stood out to me as I read into God’s Word. Elijah was a prophet of God and is known for his great faith. He had the faith to stop the rain and then to call this drought to an end. He had the faith to call fire from heaven when he challenged all the prophets at Mount Carmel. He is called into the scene in 1 Kings 17. All we know about him at this point is where he is from and the he knows the Lord. He is a Tishbite from Tishbe in Gilead.
Where does his faith come from? He knows the Lord and his faith reflects this. I ask myself what trials he might have faced in his life that led to such a faith. This verse in Psalms 119:71 teaches me that in our affliction we gain knowledge of God’s mighty power. What we gain is far more precious that anything the world can offer. The Faith that grows within us will be our strength in coming trials for ourselves and others.
Abraham, I’m sure was troubled when God commanded him to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. In obedience he walked into this trial and God’s glory and provision was revealed before him when an angel stopped him and there in the thicket a ram was provided. God had promised Abraham that through Isaac He would make him the father of many nations. Certainly Abraham trusted God, so somehow Isaac would come out of alive. How? He surely did not know, but he trusted God. How much more was his faith strengthened when God provided this ram. It excites me to imagine this scene! Remember that Abraham is know as the father of faith.
When we walk through affliction, trials, and sufferings, it sets the stage for the God’s power to be revealed in our life. He may not take us out of the trial, but He will surely walk through it with us!
Remember Daniel when he was thrown into the lion’s den? God did not stop that from happening. Daniel was a man of God. He stood firm in his faith and God kept him safe through it all. Joseph went from trial to trial. First being sold to Potiphar, then thrown into prison. Through it all God was with him and prospered him in everything he did. He went from slave, to prisoner, to second in command in all of Egypt and saved all the surrounding people from a coming famine. Remember what he told his brothers, whom had sold him? Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” These trials and sufferings were in preparation for what was to come.
Going back to Elijah, whatever he went through to gain such a faith was to prepare him for what God was going to call him to do.
We have all gone through difficult times. Maybe you are in the middle of one right now. I encourage to lean in to God’s Word. Do not let these trials be in vain. Use it to strengthen your faith. Every time God walked with you and filled you with supernatural peace to get through your affliction, was a time to see His power. If He did it before, He will do it again now. Your trial is also preparation for you to be able to help someone else get through theirs. 2 Corinthians 1:4 “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
I pray the Lord strengthen you today as He refines you, in Jesus name!