Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word.
As much as we don’t like the struggles of life, there can be wonderful blessings that only come to us through the experience of suffering. The psalmist acknowledges the benefit he received through the afflictions of life. God used them to redirect his attention to the word of God. The result is the psalmist’s obedience.
The writer to the Hebrews explains that God’s hand of discipline is essential in the life of every child of God.
Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Many Christians are quick to quote Romans 8:28 when they find themselves in the overwhelming circumstances of life.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
We must keep in mind that verse 29 explains what God means. The circumstances of life that God sovereignly takes us through are intended to conform us to the image of His Son.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren…
Let’s be honest, if God is going to conform us to the image of His Son, He will have to take us through the refining fire!
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Peter 1:6–7
May we say with the psalmist:
I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.