Good affliction!

As you peruse my site, you’ll find that my theme verse has always been 2 Corinthians 1:9. This is a great verse detailing the reason for suffering and trials. With the right perspective, you’ll find it’s not about you. God afflicts in order to bring us in subjection to Him and His freedom! Sounds contradictory, right? But, that’s how the truth is. It seems like a contradiction until you see and know the whole picture. The world’s perspective is when things are going well, then I’m blessed. That may be true to a certain point. However, it’s easy to get lost and lose a great sense of humility when things are going consistently well. When we are consistently healthy (as far as we know), and consistently prosperous and experience consistent peace we then will have the tendency to become consistently callous toward our desperate need for our Creator whom we depend on every second even though there’s no acknowledgement. Even the atheist is in constant need as he/she consistently breathes and lives everyday, successfully moving from point A to point B while confident in their own stride. Yet, with the very breath they receive from on high, they consistently utter the words: “There is no god.”

David understood this clearly. As a chosen king, he was also one who failed greatly. Yet, the difference was made when he was given the “right perspective” and was broken enough to confess his failures as he compared himself, not to other men, but to the One who created and established him. Even through his exalted status, David recognized his desperate need for his Lord, so much that he appreciated being afflicted knowing that by undergoing such, he would be exhausted of his pride and become more intimate with his God and the Word. He states in Psalm 119:71:

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.

I’ve read over this Psalm numerous times, but after reading through it again years later, this verse just popped out at me as another great theme verse for my experience with prostate cancer. I don’t know about you, but I desperately need my God, and I feel like such an idiot whenever I don’t acknowledge Him myself and get really lazy and comfortable in my own ways. I keep remembering His providence in allowing me to be diagnosed early to have the cancer removed and then to have no recurrence in almost 6 years now. There have been many other men who have had to undergo further treatment with chemo and radiation, but I haven’t. Am I better off than they? Heck no! Am I more blessed? I would never claim that one. But, thanks to Him, I’m no fool as to not acknowledge Him and the fact that every single second that goes by is a gift to be still here and take care of my family. As a follower of Christ, I do believe as Paul stated that to die is gain and be immediately ushered in the presence of God only to remain forever with Him. But to live is a privilege and blessing as I can raise, nurture and teach my family under His headship and wisdom and, with my beautiful God-given wife, prepare my kids for this next generation.

So along with 2 Corinthians 1:9, I have also chosen Psalm 119:71 as my other theme verse for Broken To Serve. I hope this ministers to many brothers who are struggling with their own physical afflictions, especially that of testing positive for prostate cancer, and understand that cancer is beyond you and your experience. God, in His sovereignty, can and will use afflictions to bring us to a “healthy” relationship with Him in order to “heal our hearts” before healing our bodies. Contrary to what some may interpret, physical healing is not always a guarantee. The healing of the soul through the saving grace of Jesus the Christ is a promise kept!


1 thought on “Good affliction!

  1. Pingback: Symposium done. Now what? | broken to serve

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