It was good for me to be afflicted

so that I might learn your decrees. Psalm 119:71

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction. 2 Cor. 1:3-5

     Grace-full Father, though most schools are taking a C-virus break, the one remaining in full session right now is the “school of affliction.” And we praise, bless, and adore you for being our Teacher, Subject, and outcome. In this academy of sovereign-grace, teach us what you taught the Psalmist and the Apostle Paul.

With the Psalmist, may we learn the goodness of affliction. It’s not fun, easy, or pleasant. But Father, if suffering proves to be the best classroom in which we can learn your decrees then, indeed, it is good—very good.

For your decrees are your declaration of what has been, what is, and what will be forever. You never, ever “try to do something.” What you decree comes to pass. Hallelujah!

And like the Apostle Paul, may we come to know you as “Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” If growing in heart-satisfying, worship-fueling intimacy with you takes having life greatly disrupted, and us being overwhelmed, then affliction is incredibly good, indeed. For knowing you, and your Son, Jesus, is the essence of eternal life (John 17:3).

Father, as we savor your multiplied mercies and experience new depths of your comfort, we will become more compassionate, present, and caring of others. May this be in full evidence in these coming weeks and months—in our families, churches, and neighborhoods.

Lastly, Father, we are SO glad your greatest decree is that all who put their trust in Jesus are completely forgiven and declared righteous, fully known and greatly loved, citizens of heaven and heirs of the new earth. Because Jesus was afflicted, we are beloved. Because he was afflicted on the cross once-and-for-all, all our afflictions have an expiration date. Hallelujah! So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ great and gracious name.