Quietness Under Afflictions
In 35 years of being a Christian, lots of things happen. Some good things happen, some bad things happen. But the lions share have been good. For the "Lord is merciful or gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindeness."(Psa.103:8) The Lord always is providing a great or plentiful quantity or supply. "He can do far more abundantly beyond all that we think or ask” (Eph. 3:20). When we seem to ask but for a few crumbs, He delivers a whole loaf!
But, sometimes those bad things happen, as we see them. Now all of you probably have had more of those things happen to you than I have. But we all are not immune from them. Psalm 34:19, Job 5:7, and Psalm 88:3, and others show the number of the troubles of the righteous. But over these last 35 years, if I have learned anything at all, it is if the Lord thinks what is best for me is to have two good knees, I will have good two good knees. And if the Lord thinks what is best for me is to have one good knee and one bad knee, I will have one good knee and one bad knee. Right now, I have one very bad knee.
We learn much from the Psalmist and Psalm 39:9 is another example of how to react to these troubles. We know through many trials and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). Through tears and sorrows, the One who is touched with the feelings of our infirmities has unknown, loving, everlasting purposes for us. Psalm 39:9 states, "I have become mute, I do not open my mouth, because it is You who have done it." What does that look like? Jesus in Isa. 53:7, "He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth.” Similarly in 1 Peter 2:23, "And while being reviled, He did not revile in return, while suffering, He uttered no threats." And how about Aaron in Lev. 10:2-3, after his sons had offered strange fire before the Lord, fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. In verse 3, Moses spoke to Aaron and at the end of the verse Aaron, therefore kept silent.
In Acts 4:28 God's purpose was predestined to occur in the life of Jesus, and why should it not be so in our lives as well? One of my favorite English Puritans is Thomas Brooks, he says, "Christian, it is mercy, it is rich mercy, that every affliction is not an execution, that every correction is not a damnation." And he also says, "If you would be silent, then hold fast this principle, that what God wills is best, when He wills sickness, sickness is better than health, when He wills want, want is better than wealth, when He wills reproach, reproach is better than honor, when He wills death, death is better than life. As God is wisdom itself, and so knows that which is best, so He is goodness Himself, and therefore cannot do anything but that which is best, therefore hold thy peace." Christian, He is always for you and never against you! (Rom.8:31)