As I recently read through Psalm 119, I noticed a lot about afflictions and God's Word, so I decided to hone in on those verses. In doing so, I discovered that there are two definitions for the words of "affliction" used.
The first is from the Hebrew word, 'oniy, meaning, "depression, misery."
This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. (Ps 119:50)
Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. (Ps 119:92)
Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law. (Ps 119:153)
This affliction is not brought on by our sin, necessarily, but is when we get low in spirits in daily living. The beauty is that, in these situations, we can turn to Christ and His Word for comfort and deliverance, knowing that focusing on Him will keep us from perishing in these afflictions.
The second definition for "affliction" is slightly different. It is from the Hebrew word, 'anah, and gives the impression of browbeating, depression.
Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. (Ps 119:67)
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. (Ps 119:71)
I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. (Ps 119:75)
I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word. (Ps 119:107)
This type of affliction lends the idea of affliction as punishment (directly linked to our wandering from God). Affliction like this, from God, is used to get our attention so that we can better keep God's Word. The answer is not found in soothing ourselves with promises from God's Word, but in checking our obedience to the Scripture (because God's promises are usually contingent on our obedience).
When I feel myself in affliction, I need to do a quick evaluation: is this affliction because of my disobedience to God? or is this affliction just part of life? God's Word has the answer to both afflictions, but I need to search my heart and be sure I'm applying His Word correctly to my life.
What is something that you have noticed from God's Word recently?