Afflictions’ Purpose

Meditating on Psalm 119: 57-80.

Before I was afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word. (Ps. 119: 67)

In the passages of Psalm 119: 57-80, the psalmist acknowledges that his afflictions are from the Lord and they were sent to remind him he’s gone astray from the Lord’s statutes. Almost always, God sends afflictions to His people to draw them back to Him. I base my observations both from my own experience and from the many testimonies I’ve heard.

God will send all sorts of “calamities” to break us, strip us off, send us to our knees, with the purpose of calling our attention. He may do it to an individual, to a family, to a community, or to a whole country. He doesn’t do it merely to punish, but in His great faithfulness and mercy, He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9, emphasis mine).

Today, my mind is particularly focused on the latest calamity that has ravaged our land, claimed over a hundred lives, and ruined properties and important landmarks. Calamity after calamity, our nation and people are battered and afflicted. Before they can even completely scrub off the hardened brown clay from off the flooded floors, posts, and walls; before the evacuees can even settle back to their damaged homes; before the communities can even start restoring devastated properties, and grief-stricken families begin to heal – another tragedy strikes.

I mourn for my country. Month after month, a catastrophe breaks out, whether force majeure – alluvion, super typhoon, earthquake, landslide, drought – or man-made – sea tragedies, corruption in government, rebellion, war – these are all designed by the soveriegn God (except for corruption, rebellion, or other immoral acts) to bring the people to repentance. To turn them away from their idolatry and immorality to worship and serve the one true living God.

If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chro. 7:13-14)

God is speaking loud and clear, but do the people hear?

God’s judgments are just and it is in His faithfulness that He does these things, with the utmost intent to reconcile the people to Him.

I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right,
And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
76 Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort,
According to Your word to Your servant.
77 Let Your tender mercies come to me, that I may live… (vv. 75-77)

And whatever happens, He alone can comfort us in our sorrow; He alone can liberate us from our afflictions, and restore us, as an individual, a family, a community, or a nation.

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Comments

  1. Joanie Qualls says:

    “Jesus said, in the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” . And ” the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I am come that you may have life, and that more abundantly.” JESUS said. I do not believe HE does what HE says the thief, devil, this world does, I am always thankful RINA that JESUS! HOLY SPIRIT! FATHER GOD! HE is with me, there for me, “my strength ” a very present help in the time of trouble”. I understand HIM relating to us as a parent relates to their child. I would never bring disaster on my child of any kind, to teach them, or punish them , knowingly. Yes, a spanking in the younger years, and corrections. I would be and am there for them, and help them, teach them as they go thru it, to be also ” more than a conqueror in Christ JESUS.” And to KNOW HIM as in Philippians. As I need HIM to be for me many times in my 74 years of life on this earth so far. Bless you, dear Rina in Every way! IN HIM AND ALL HE IS. HUGS TO YOU And SHALOM.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Joanie, I know that God is a merciful God, but He is also just and holy. He cannot stand sin. I can’t be 100% sure where these calamities are coming from, whether from God or His enemy. But, I based my conclusions on my own experience and many others’ testimonies, that personal calamities such as sicknesses, diseases, heartbreaking problems, addictions, etc. had brought them to repentance and to God’s salvation. There is what we call “the wrath of God”. He said so Himself that He kills and makes alive. He’s sovereign!

      But through Jesus Christ our Savior, He wants to reconcile the world to Him. And I believe He’s using all these calamities, natural or otherwise, to call their attention. He wants to give them life but they refuse to repent and continue to rebel.

  2. Although my husband has only been back to the Philippines once, he is always so sad when news comes of the devastating storms, etc. He is in the SF Bay Area as his family experiences a small storm, the failing of his father’s health. His dad is a cultural catholic and has never been open to hearing about a relationship with Jesus. But I love his family and the care they have for one another. His dad cannot dress himself without help. In this time of his dependence, we are praying he sees Jesus in the hands that care for him. My husband, the baby of the family, Angelito, is a messenger of hope to them, an ambassador of that reconciliation we all so desperately need.

    • RinaPeru says:

      “…we are praying he sees Jesus in the hands that care for him” ~ this is beautiful, Alyssa. I pray, too, that God’s salvation will come to your husband’s family and that they will receive the Lord Jesus as their Lord, Savior and King.

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