By Ron Bartanen
The psalmist prayed, “You have dealt well with Your servant, O LORD, according to Your word” (Psalm 119:65).
At first, taking the verse alone, we might think he was thankful that God had blessed him with an easy life—but not so. In verse 71 he wrote, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.”
It seems the psalmist had apparently gone through what has been called “the school of hard knocks.” While we seek to avoid the pains in life, we need to learn that if our heart seeks the Lord, we can learn from our painful experiences. When troubles come, we have the choice of facing them with bitterness or with assurance that “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). In the “school of hard knocks,” we must learn to seek comfort in God’s word, submitting our lives to Him and His will.
Are there afflictions and difficulties in your life that sometimes seem insurmountable? If so, have you learned to turn them over to the Lord? By faith, find comfort and strength in God’s word: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7). Do you seek strength in prayer and God’s word? Have you let the Lord be your Teacher in the “school of hard knocks?”
- Ronald Bartanen preaches for Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://arthurcoc.com/