Sunday, June 18, 2017

Psalms 34:19 -- On Afflictions and Deliverance

"Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all."
Psalms 34:19

A short but very interesting verse.  The first part tells us that righteous people have many afflictions.  This is absolutely true, and perhaps obvious, but I think important to point out.  Sometimes we talk ourselves into believing that good people have perfect lives, and nothing bad happens to them, and that's a dangerous belief.  If an obstacle comes and we're going through a bad or uncertain phase, that can cause us to become discouraged or overwhelmed--to think that bad things are happening to us *because* we are bad, or that the challenges we face are punishments from God, and *he* thinks we're slimy, and we have no chance.  And if we're doing well, it can cause us to believe that something is broken because we did everything right and something bad still happened, and we start blaming God for our problems because it certainly wasn't us.  Dangerous thinking, either way.

The truth is, as the verse says, that afflictions happen to everyone.  In Lehi's dream the mist of darkness came to everyone.  Life is a test, and just like any test, we have to take it whether we've been studying or not. :)  The cool thing about God though is that he keeps letting us retake the hard parts until we get them right. :)  Repentance is a miracle.

It seems to me that the true difference, in the end, between the wicked and the righteous will be just that the righteous kept trying to get better, and were persistent and patient enough to reach the point where they could be delivered, instead of giving up.  The Lord will deliver us and answer our prayers, and strengthen us, and eventually get us to that happy ending that awaits us all, if we keep learning and progressing.  Today, let's remember not to give up in the middle of the book thinking there is no hope.  There is *always* hope.  Afflictions will definitely come, but if we stick with it, and keep doing as God asks, we'll he will help us find the path to hope, and joy, and deliverance.

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