Posted by: bellissimanh | April 20, 2009

Memory Monday – Faithful Affliction

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Back on Track – It feels so good to be able to sit and type out my verses this week. I know there is no one holding my feet to the fire, so to speak, and that it probably isn’t a huge letdown for any of you if I neglect my memorization from time to time… but can I just tell you how happy it makes my heart when I follow through and LEARN them?

I suppose it’s because it’s a promise I’ve made not so much to anyone else, or even myself, as to the Lord. I’m amazed at what He has accomplished in my life through this journey of memorization, and in awe of the way He has enabled my brain to remember all of these precious words, which are life to me.

Here’s something else I love… more and more often, I will run across a verse somewhere – whether it’s on a website, or one the kids are working on, or something a friend posts on her blog — and the words will jump off the page at me. Because they escape my lips multiple times each week, these verses have become like old familiar friends to me…. and I smile when I bump into them through the week just as you would someone who has become part of you. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt that way about scripture before. Maybe I’ve just never thought of it like that. I don’t know. Do you have passages that you feel that way about? Or am I just weird? (I’m entirely aware of that possibility!)

I’m also excited that Jonalie has joined me in this. She’s been memorizing from 2 Timothy, and doing a great job! If you see her post in the comments section, please be sure to send some encouragement her way… and Jonalie, I thank you! It’s so much more fun comparing notes with you than it would be if I were to just work on my own. 🙂

Ok… I’m going to start with verse 65, which is the 9th stanza for anyone counting… and I am, but only as a tribute to the Lord’s faithfulness to push me on in this. 🙂

You have dealt well with Your servant, O Lord, according to Your word. Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe Your commandments. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. You are good and do good; teach me Your statutes.

The proud have forged a lie against me, but I will keep Your precepts with my whole heart. Their heart is as fat as grease, but I delight in Your law. It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes. The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver.

Your hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn Your commandments. Those who fear You will be glad when they see me, for I have hoped in Your word. I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to Your word to Your servant. (Psalm 119:65-76)

The most powerful statement in this weeks section (that last bit) is this: “I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right, that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.” Memorizing this Psalm has really cemented for me the idea of faithful affliction. So often we blame all of our issues on the devil, don’t we? Yet often, the trials we experience are not just allowed by God, but they are ordained by Him… they are meant to teach us something (whether about ourselves, or about our Lord), or to grow us and make us look more like Christ, and sometimes *gasp* they are the result of our own poor choices, and our loving Father is allowing us to live out the consequences.

Think of a parent who exercises no discipline over his son. He gives them whatever they want, and ends up with a spoiled brat. When the child makes a mess, daddy rushes in to clean it up and make it seem as though it never happened. What kind of adult is that child going to become? No. A loving father knows how to lovingly guide his boy (or girl) and uses all kinds of methods to teach them responsibility, concern for others, actions and consequences, and a whole host of other things that will be necessary for life. Sometimes it involves a lecture (ever been to the spiritual woodshed?). Sometimes it means getting put in a time-out for a bit. Sometimes it means living out the very serious results of our own foolish behaviors. Sometimes it means affliction.

With each passing day, I am more and more grateful for the affliction. I love that He loves me enough to discipline me… and that He loves me enough to embrace me and smooth His holy fingers across my tear-stained cheeks when the lessons are learned and I return to Him, repentant and sorrowful over my sin. And that His merciful kindness is my comfort… always.

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Responses

  1. Great post.. As always. 🙂 I have been thinking along the same lines today. About choices we make..

  2. I’m trying to keep reviewing II timothy 1 and 2… it seems I get stuck in all the same places!! But I continue to review… and will keep reviewing.

    I’m pausing after chapter 2 because, In THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST (by John Piper) – there were quite a few days that he talked from Romans 8… and I want to pause to memorize that great chapter. Then I’ll come back to II Tim.

    So…

    Romans 8:1, 2

    There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

    For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

    Now, to live these!! I’ve wanted to grab hold of and really apply what God has been teaching me through the book, and through His word.

    And thank YOU Heather, for doing this!! I have been wanting to memorize for awhile, and it really helps a lot to know that on Monday – it’s time to post!!


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