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The Scriptorium

Comfort along the Way

God is sufficient for our afflictions. Psalm 119.50, 51

Psalm 119.49-56 (2)

Pray Psalm 119.53, 54.
Indignation has taken hold of me
Because of the wicked, who forsake Your law.
Your statutes have been my songs
In the house of my pilgrimage.

Sing Psalm 119.53, 54.
(Wycliff: All for Jesus)
Indignation grips me, Savior, for those who forsake Your Word.
All Your statutes, all Your favor, I will sing with joy, O Lord!.

Read Psalm 119.49-56; meditate on verses 50, 51.

1. What “affliction” was the psalmist experiencing?

2. Where did he turn for “comfort” and to stay on the Lord’s pathway?

All those who desire to live godly lives in the Word of God will suffer persecution. All. Not some (2 Tim. 3.12). That persecution may be as harsh as torture and death. More likely, it will be some sort of daily affliction which seeks to diminish your faith and divert you from the pathway of the Lord.

The psalmist regarded it a matter of “affliction” that the “proud” held him in “great derision.” They mocked his trust in the Lord, scorned him for his puritanical ethics, and chided and challenged him to join them in their folly. But he turned to the Law of God for revival and for the full and abundant life of God (v. 50). The Word of God gave him life by the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn. 6.63). Thus he resisted the temptations of those who mocked him, took comfort in the Lord, and persevered in God’s pathway (v. 51).

The psalmist shows us two important lessons: First, expect temptations and afflictions, which all have as their aim to undermine your faith and interrupt your journey in the Lord. Count on it: they’re out there. Second, be ready in the Word and with the Word to obey the Word in the face of every temptation. You’ll need to have the Word of God hidden in your heart so that you can call on it in your time of temptation (Ps. 119.9-11). And you’ll need the power of the Spirit to help you obey the Word and keep to the pathway of everlasting life.

Don’t let the naysayers, finger-pointers, and proud mockers get you down. Keep your eyes on the pathway and reach out your hands to the Lord for mercy and grace to help in your time of need (Heb. 4.16). He will give you the encouragement, instruction, and power you need to continue in Him.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
God gives us encouragement, instruction, and power to continue walking on His path through the Word of God. In this Word we find guidance and comfort to deal with those in our life who are afflicting us. And sometimes, as Jesus said, “a man’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Matt. 10.36; Mic. 7.6).

Okay. We have been given instruction on how to deal with that affliction.
If it is our parents: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you” (Ex. 20.12).
If it is our spouse: “You shall not commit adultery” (Ex. 20.14)
If it is anyone else: “You shall not murder” (Ex. 20.13).

No doubt, a lot of these are interchangeable.

And the all-constraining words about our attitude of love for all those out there who afflict us: “Love suffers long and is kind…love does not behave rudely…is not provoked…thinks no evil…bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Cor. 13.4-8). Throws a right disappointing wet blanket on our anger.

In our affliction, in suffering derision, unkindness, betrayal, hatred, and anything else that causes us pain, God is with us. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10.13).

He has given us the way to cope—what we are to do and what we are not to do. And He has given us the strength to bear it. “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12.9).

Your Word has given me life and Your Law has given me the way to live my life (Ps. 119.50, 51); and our Personal Mission Field is where all this excitement happens. Every day. Continually. Through the ups and downs. Comfort and control through Christ for the journey.

For reflection
1. Why should we as Christians expect others to harass or persecute us? How should we respond when they do?

2. God comforts us in our afflictions. How does He do that? How do we experience that comfort?

3. How can believers encourage one another to bear up under afflictions of various kinds?

The word of God speaks comfort in affliction. If, through grace, it makes us holy, there is enough in it to make us easy, in all conditions. Let us be certain we have the Divine law for what we believe, and then let not scoffers prevail upon us to decline from it. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.49-56

Pray Psalm 119.50, 51.
Pray to know the Presence of the Lord and the guidance of His Word as you work your Personal Mission Field today.

Sing Psalm 119.50, 51.
(Wycliff: All for Jesus)
This my comfort in affliction, this my comfort in all strife:
that Your Word is my redemption, giving me eternal life!

Though the proud deride and taunt me, I will trust Your faithful Word.
Let Your judgments from of old be all my comfort, holy Lord.

T. M. and Susie Moore

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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