What is affliction?
Affliction-a state of pain, distress, or grief, misery; a cause of mental or bodily pain, as sickness, loss, calamity, or persecution; mishap, trouble, tribulation, catastrophe, disaster; adversity, misfortune, trial; refer to an event or circumstance that is hard to bear
According to the definition, many would say that affliction is a bad thing. Well lets look at it from a different perspective.
Hebrews 11:23-25 talks about Moses choosing to suffer affliction with the Israelites instead of enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season. Can you choose whether or not you suffer affliction? I say no. You can choose how affliction affects you. Every one, whether they be a saint or sinner will suffer affliction. If you haven’t met affliction, I will say what my grandpa says, “Keep living.” If Moses would have stayed in Pharaoh’s house, he would have had a different type of affliction. When we choose to suffer affliction while living a godly life, we have a real source of strength to draw from, and afflictions aren’t so unbearable. One type of affliction is being tried in the fire. Maybe it’s the fire of persecution, family issues, financial hardship, temptation, etc.
Let me give you an illustration. When a potter makes a vessel, its shaped and decorated, then it is placed in the fire. It is only after firing, that the article is pottery. When it is taken out, the colors are shown and it’s polished (shiny), ready to be put to work. We are not ready to be put to work until we’ve been through some type of shaping and firing process. No one can tell a person how to do Algebra if they haven’t studied math past adding, subtracting, dividing, and multiplying. No one can tell a widow how to deal with the loss of her husband if they haven’t lost one. Experience births advice, counsel, encouragement, teachable moments, etc. One thing that you should take note of, is that the pottery is not in the fire forever.
When you are facing fiery trials and afflictions, remember as women of God, you are not alone. Look at Daniel chapter 3 verses 21-29. If you aren’t familiar with the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you may need to read the whole chapter. They were thrown into a fiery furnace because of the stand they took. They refused to bow down to the image King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. After they were thrown in, the king observed that there were 4 men walking around in the furnace when they threw 3 men in bound. After he observed this, he called Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego out. He didn’t say, “You four come out of there,” but he called them out by name. Therefore, we can take solace in the fact that the fourth person in the fire, the Son of God, stayed in. He knew that one day you and I would be tossed in fiery furnace situations and would need Him to walk with us.
I Peter 1:6-7 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Note: Gold, when placed in the fire doesn’t lose any thing but it’s impurities.
Hopefully at this point, your perspective is changing about afflictions. Here are some more scriptures to help you with this subject:
I Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
II Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
If we patiently endure in faith, blessings of comfort and hope will come into our lives, and we will be able to partake of that incomprehensible joy. Great eternal blessings come to those who endure affliction.
Prayer-God we thank you for your goodness, your grace, and your mercy. We thank you for our light afflictions, tests and trials. Your word says to give thanks in all things. We realize that the things we endure are for our making and are not meant to destroy us. We are grateful to know that Jesus is with us while we go through. Our friend that sticks closer than a brother or sister. We pray that you will continue to open our minds and change our perspectives about you, your word, and your will. We believe that you will answer our prayers. We thank you in advance. Amen.