Psalm 119:49-50 – Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
58I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.
There have been times in my life when the only thing I had to cling to was God’s promises. Those promises got me through some of my darkest days. I remember specifically one occasion where my heart was breaking. I cried out to Him in my distress. I was driving down the road, tears pouring from my eyes, as I was listening to a Christian radio station. The song playing had evoked such emotion of a recent loss. At the end of the song, the DJ started reading scripture. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Those words were like a soothing balm to my heart. There are verses I draw from to give me courage when I need it. They give me hope when I have none. His word assures me of his presence. I am not alone.
67Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.
Affliction is not something I would ask God for in my quiet time—or any other time for that matter. Yet, so much of my journey with Him has been learning how to live my life as He calls us to live rather than how I did it on my own. He has used those trials to teach me. God’s decrees are there to protect us not inhibit us. It took me awhile to understand that. My sinful nature wanted to do what I wanted to do and out of it came a lot of pain for many people. Nevertheless, God redeems those years even as we live through the repercussions of our sin. His word has given me direction.
71It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
By studying the Bible, I am in the process of learning how to truly live and find joy in any circumstance. For instance, when I was unemployed for over a year, I learned trust. When my mother was very ill and in the hospital so much, I learned patience. When everything in my life seemed out of control, I learned to surrender. When no one else was there to listen to me, I learned to pray. Those times were not fun by any means, but I can look back and see how He used them to teach me. They deepened my faith.
Lord, you know there are times I forget what you’ve told me but you are always gracious to remind me. I remember a song with the lyrics, “your loving kindness is better than life”. Thank you for always being there for me, for loving me as you do, and for teaching me how to have a better life. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.