3 Realities About Afflictions

“Afflictions are but the shadows of God’s wings.”

– George Macdonald

It Was Good!

No one I know would come up to me and say, “Hey, I was afflicted the other day, and it was good!” No, we try to avoid such things, but the Psalms9ist sees the good in affliction, saying, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes” (Psalm 119:71). He thought it was good to be afflicted because during his affliction, he apparently stayed in Scripture, and in fact, he learned more of God’s statutes in his affliction, so the result was positive, even if it didn’t feel like it at the time.

They Humble Us

I don’t have to try to convince you that being afflicted can really humbled you. Sometimes the word affliction is used synonymous with fasting, and when the saints in the Bible met challenges they couldn’t overcome, they fasted. Today, people still fast on occasions, but of course diabetics (and everyone else) should check with their doctors first, but when for example, you’ve lost a loved one, you are afflicted in your soul and you might not even feel like eating, but affliction keeps us humble and we know God’s grace flows downhill, to the lowly, meek, and humble.

Only Shadows

If we look at afflictions as being used by God, our perspective on affliction will change. We can see that all things, good and bad, are going to work out for our best (Rom 8:28), and it won’t compare with the glory that’s coming (Rom 8:18), so you can truly say, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4). Besides, a shadow is not as bad as what is casting the shadow, is it? I would rather get hit with the shadow of a bus than an actual bus.


We know that afflictions are good for at, even though they don’t feel like it; we know that they humble us, which is God because God gives His grace to the humble (James 4:6); and these afflictions are only temporary, although that may not help at the time, but truly afflictions are all working together for our good. We have God’s promise on that.