Hindsight is 20/20, we council ourselves and others with this in order to keep pressing on through a difficult season. When will the pain end, the trial evaporate and the fear subside? Life is just hard and offers plenty of opportunities for trials that plumule our hearts and leave us bloody and fearful when the next hit will strike.
But God’s word offers a different perspective. According to Psalm 119:73-80, we can see that trials that we are faced will are actually intentionally used by the hands that created us in order for us to better know Him. Even more than that, these trials and afflictions in our life are not just for us but for others. The very afflictions brought into my life are the testimony I then have to offer someone so they will better know Him.
This stanza gives us the how-to of navigating our God-appointed afflictions in order to write the most beautiful testimonies for others to see. Psalm 119:75 promises that our afflictions have purpose, are we willing to allow the Lord to grow us through the affliction in order to write the testimony of who He is on our trial?
- We must hope in His Word. The hope, literally the waiting in, His Word will be the very thing others notice. She went through that grief, that loss, that illness, that pain but boy, did she find hope in His word.
Do you hope in His word? Do you let it be your go-to when you need to still your mind of fears or anxieties; trusting and resting on the fact that if He said it, it is good as done?
- We must let His great love for us be our comfort in the trial. It is easy to turn to a friend or a vice when we need to find comfort when all of life feels overwhelming. 2020 alone has reason to cause us to find new vices to cling to. But the word of God calls us to comfort in His word, remember His promises and think on who He is.
Where do you go for comfort? Do you try to numb the pain with wine, Netflix or social media scrolling? Or do you sit before the Lord, pour out your heart and remember the truth of HIs promises and the strength of His presence? I have taken to both at different times, and have found there isn’t enough wine, Netflix or scrolling to soothe my heart. It leaves me empty and wanting. Not bad to self soothe at times, as long as we are returning to the Source of real comfort in the end.
- We are to let His law be our delight. This word always stops me in my tracks. Delight. The place we take joy, what lights up our eyes and brings a smile to our face that is the object of our delight. If we can find our delight in the word of the Lord, we begin to find lightness of spirit right in the midst of trial and affliction.
What brings you delight? Holding a new baby, observing the unfurling of a flower, the ocean crashing on the shore. What if we received those moments of delight as being from the hand of God and thank Him, recognizing He is the Delighter of our soul?
- The psalmist is not only in affliction, but personally attacked by liars, as we have been. Sometimes trials are circumstantial and sometimes they are relational, pain caused by another person. Someone who should love us, or someone who has loved us. Someone who failed us. In this, the word of God reminds us we get to chose our response in verse 78, “as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.” It is our choice.
What is your “as for me”? How will you respond when the heat of the affliction get personal and the liars whether around you or in you come for you? Will you choose, will I choose, where to put our mind? Will it be on His word, meditating on Truth?
When we walk this way with the Lord through the afflictions that are inevitable, we will be able to see that hindsight is indeed 20/20, not because of the time passing but because of the One who holds time, trials and testimonies in His hand and does all things well. Thus our affliction becomes the testimony we can offer to others to point them to Know Him better.
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