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Afflicted in Christ
10/27 Reading Portions: 2 Kings 8; 1 Timothy 5; Daniel 12; Psalm 119:49-72
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. Psalm 119:67
We recognize this verse must be practically applied to our lives because Jesus is the perfect, sinless Son of God; the Lord Jesus never went astray. The question one may ask, however, is how in the world do we see Jesus in this verse?
Our affliction comes as a result of our salvation in Christ. Because Jesus was “smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isa 53:4), by our trusting in His perfect, substitutionary atonement for salvation, we have been redeemed by God through Christ’s sacrifice. Sadly, the “salvation message” in much of American preaching today forsakes telling the hearer that Christians are promised tribulation in the world (John 16:33), persecution from the world (2 Tim 3:12), and hatred by the world (John 15:18). Although they certainly cannot be compared to the afflictions the Lord Jesus suffered before and during His crucifixion, afflictions are what God uses in our lives to keep us trusting in Christ and hoping for the “eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor 4:17). The afflictions we receive in this lifetime are those things which keep us in God’s Word, keep us abiding in Christ, and keep us clinging to Christ for protection and provision.
Before we were afflicted by the truth of the gospel, we strayed far from God and His glory (Rom 3:23). Since the gospel has afflicted us unto bitter sorrow for sins we’ve committed against a holy God, the affliction of the gospel has worked repentance in us unto salvation (2 Cor 7:10), according to God’s Word. The entire Bible, the volume of the scroll, was written about Jesus and God’s Word fulfilled in Him because He delighted in God’s will (Psa 40:7-8). Because of that, God’s Word is also about us— but only inasmuch as we are in Christ Jesus. It is also about the judgment of the godless, unbelieving world— only in as much as they have rejected Christ.
Afflictions we will suffer now
For they work in us good;
They keep us in God’s truth— and how!
Praising Christ as we should.
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