Many times, people ask me what study bible I use and what commentaries I read. The reason is that they think I get ready-made sermons and articles from such resources. Most of the time, I reply I get them from hot furnace. Hard lessons of life are learnt in the school of affliction. Gold and silver are tested and refined by fire. Psalmist writes: “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” (Psalms 119:71)
Job learnt about God’s greatness and graciousness in his unexpected and unwarranted affliction. Joseph understood God’s Sovereign power and his plan to use him to preserve life for the future Nation of Israel and the coming Messiah amid his unjust affliction. In fact, God’s Word tested Joseph. (Psalms 105:19) The prodigal son learnt about his rebellion, disobedience and sinful indulgence and repented when confronted with hunger and starvation. Jeremiah learnt God’s grace never fails while lamenting for the destruction of Jerusalem.
1) Humility: Affliction makes a person humble and willing to listen. In the school of affliction, we learn about our inadequacies, vulnerability, and vanities; realities of life.
2) Teach-ability: People learn life lessons in sickness, affliction, loss, failures, defeats and grief. The attributes of God, Promises of God and intimate relationship with God become alive in such situations.
3) Sensitivity: Afflicted people become sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Also, they become sympathetic and empathetic to others who are afflicted.
4) Life application: During affliction, truths are applied or realized or learnt or discovered. Hence, teaching becomes relevant that touches the life of people. These lessons become authentic teachings that touches and transforms lives.
5) Plan and Purpose: In fact, affliction helps a person to make life-evaluation, sharpen vision, reorder priorities and re-purpose opportunities.
Am I afraid of affliction or subordinate them to learn our life lessons?