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Affliction and Purpose

“He delivers the afflicted by their affliction”
Job 36:15 (ESV)

Our God who determines the way of all creation declares:

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
Matthew 10:29

There are no wasted efforts in His watch care over our lives. He is ever investing in and orchestrating our life events. The afflictions which come our way are pregnant with purpose and meaning. They are the means to deeper places of knowing, comprehending, and above all pleasing Him.

Knowing Him is always the precursor to pleasing Him. The more I understand His ways, and His movements in me, the more He can reveal Himself through me.

He whose name is the “man of sorrows” must lead me into the valleys of sorrow for me to partake and live in the “joy OF the Lord”. There are deep treasures to be gleaned in sorrow’s way. Brokenness is the temper of the heart from which His streams of grace flow. It is the broken vessel that allows the fragrance of His wonder to touch the lives of others.

Affliction is a means to God’s end. While many endure life’s afflictions, few readily embrace their significance. We fight, we resist, and we insulate ourselves from it. The One who knows the number of the hairs on our head knows our need for such deep valleys.

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all”
Psalm 34:18

The mysteries of grace are ever near the broken and afflicted.

“The secret of the Lord
is with them that fear him”
Psalm 25:14

Hidden within the crushing weights of oppression and sorrow are keys to treasures far beyond the horizons of men. These are revealed to those who find grace to respond to God IN the suffering. Those who truly fear the Lord know that HE is sovereign and above all things. The “fear of the Lord” is proportional to the depth of our knowing Him. Those who know Him little, fear Him little.

Many go through life without the ability to SEE Him in sorrows way; but “unto them that look for Him shall He appear” (Hebrews 9:28). There are graces in Christ that cannot be learned apart from sorrow’s path, and it is in “looking” for Him that He shall appear even in the darkness.

Related Article: Suffering and Enlargement

Brian Troxel

5 Comments

  • Amen! So much truth here that encourages and strengthens the soul. Thank you. Blessings today!

  • Tim Shey says:

    “Those who know Him little, fear Him little.” Absolutely positively amen.

    Look at Ananias and Saphira (Acts Chapter 5). Obviously, there was no real fear of God in them to lie to the Holy Ghost. Ananias and Sapphira did not know that the Lord is a consuming fire. But the rest of the people there knew the fear of the Lord because they knew the Presence of God: Acts 5:5: “And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.”

    Sometimes I think that most people think that the fear of the Lord is mere love and respect for the Lord. Fear of the Lord implies a holy dread and terror of an Almighty God: a proper and deeply reverent awe of the Lord. And I don’t think that the Lord will strike me dead with a lightning bolt because of some casual disobedience. Sometimes I want to take some people by the shoulders and shake them and ask, “Don’t you fear God?!”

    The closest I ever came to the holy fear, dread and terror of the Lord was back in 1990. I gave a testimony in front of the congregation I was attending and it was rejected (again–twice in six months) by the pastor. The Lord immediately told me to take the shoes off of my feet, shake the dust off of my shoes in front of the congregation and leave that church. I didn’t do it because I felt sorry for the pastor. I went to church there two more Sundays. My final Sunday at that church, I felt the dread and terror of the Lord so heavily that I was shaking in my shoes: my knees were literally knocking against each other. I don’t know how I survived that church meeting. I thought the Lord was going to kill me. Why? I was in absolute sin: I disobeyed the Lord by remaining in that church after He emphatically told me to leave. After that Sunday service, I left and never went back.

    Since that time, when the Lord tells me to do something, I jump and ask how high. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

    Exodus 4:24: “And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him.”

    • Brian Troxel says:

      “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead” Revelation 1:17

      If John the Apostle reacted to the seeing of Him in such a manner only those who are oblivious to His glory are they who know not the true “fear of the Lord”.

      So appreciate your testimony as the Word declares: “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” Job 28:28

      It is because of the false gospel of our day that sin and compromise are rampant in our land.

      Always deeply appreciate your comments and your heart!
      BT

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