– George Macdonald
To Learn God’s Word
The psalmist understood a lot about afflictions and in fact, the word afflictions or afflict is found more in the Book of Psalms than in any other book in the Bible and the psalmist wrote that “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes” (Psalm 119:71). So afflictions can lead us to the Word of God for comfort and there we learn about God’s statues and why we should live by them.
To humble our Hearts
James wrote that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6), so if you have pride in your life, just as we all do, then God is opposed to you and I. However, if we humble ourselves, God will give us His grace. We can either voluntarily humble ourselves before God or God will have to do it for us and you can guess which is more painful, so why not voluntarily humble yourself, otherwise God may afflict you so that you will.
Run to His Shadow
The psalmist writes about that God “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler” (Psalm 91:4) but knowing our stubborn human nature, sometimes God must afflict us in order to make us run to Him for shelter under His wings. This may explain why the psalmist writes elsewhere to “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me” (Psalm 17:8-9).
George Macdonald has a great point in saying “Afflictions are but the shadows of God’s wings” so when we look at afflictions of life, remember that God may be trying to teach us more about His statutes; God may be trying to humble us so we’re not found in opposition to Him; and we should see afflictions as the shadow of God’s wings which is intended for us to run and hide under for the strongest of shelters.