By D’Ann Davis, Women’s Ministry Director
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.” – Psalm 34:19-20
Struggle is the human condition; no one is immune. We live in a world broken by the fall, and the creation groans awaiting redemption. As believers in Christ, we know that some struggles cannot be avoided. With this knowledge however, we still can find ourselves surprised when we are afflicted. We wonder if God is actually good, what we did to deserve it, or why things are so bad if we have tried so hard to be good. We think our obedience demands our ease, and we are perplexed when God is not compliant.
The Scriptures speak to a different reality for the believer. Psalm 34:19-20 tell us, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.” The Scriptures do tell us God blesses the righteous, but that is not synonymous with ease and affliction-free existence. The 2 verses leading into this couplet give us some context. Verses 17-18 read, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” We cannot completely avoid difficulty in life in a fallen world, but when we do face tribulation, we can trust and rest in the fact that God delivers us and helps us in our troubles. He is near to us. His nearness to us is our good (Psalm 73:28). God uses our worst seasons to draw us near to His heart and to conform us to His image. He does not waste our pain but uses it to go deeper with us in our hurt.
God uses our pain for His purposes and our ultimate good. He may allow us to be bruised, but He does not allow His children to be broken beyond repair. He allots only what we need and gives us no superfluous suffering. He is near. He keeps. He delivers. He saves. Our God knows our hearts and He sees our pain. He is just and loving and He redeems the lives of His servants (vs 22). Whatever bruising we are experiencing at the moment we can take heart in the fact that He is Healer and Savior by nature. In our pain let’s rest and trust in Him, believing He will meet us and bandage our wounds.
God thank You that You do not waste suffering, and that our suffering does not necessitate Your displeasure in us. Thank You that You are near to us and keep us. Thank You for saving us, for continuing to do so, and for the day when You will fully save us. Help us to surrender our pain and tribulations to You, that You might give us peace, rest, and trust. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.