This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your word has revived me.
Believers often find themselves reading the Psalms in the midst of great distress. It is because the Psalms often speak of great affliction and God’s provision for His children.
Look upon my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.
I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness, because You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul,
If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction.
Paul describes the encouragement the believer receives by contrasting our temporary abode with our eternal hope.
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16–18
The implication of these verses is that as a follower of Christ our inner man is being renewed day by day. As a result, we are increasingly focused on things that are eternal, things that we have not yet experienced. It is the word of God that provides such encouragement.
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
“The worldling clutches his money-bag, and says, “this is my comfort”; the spendthrift points to his gaiety and shouts, “this is my comfort”; the drunkard lifts his glass and sings, “this is my comfort”; but the man whose hope comes from God feels the life-giving power of the word of the Lord, and he testifies, ‘this is my comfort.’” 1
How do we respond to affliction? We can try to run and hide. We can grumble and complain. We can get depressed. We can question God’s goodness. Or we can turn to God’s word and find the greatest of all comforts!
“Those comforts in God’s word, and reasons from thence, are wonderful in variety. There is comfort from the liberty of a Christian, that he hath free access to the throne of grace; comfort from the prerogatives of a Christian, that he is the child of God, that he is justified, that he is the heir of heaven, and such like; comforts from the promises of grace, of the presence of God, of assistance by his presence.”—Richard Sibbes.2
To be revived is not simply to endure, it is to have life. It is important to understand that even in the midst of the greatest affliction God accomplishes His eternal purposes.
I am exceedingly afflicted; revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.
1 Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 111-119 (Vol. 5, p. 240). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.
2 Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 111-119 (Vol. 5, p. 245). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.