There are about 43 different Hebrew and Greek words translated “affliction” The general idea is “grieve,” to lower,” “to make heavy,” “bruised,” and “evil.” James mentions the prophets as an example of affliction (Jas, 5: 10, cf. Jere. 20: 8; 11: 10, 21; 17:18).

Some false views regarding affliction is that some mistakenly believe all affliction is the result of the sufferer’s own sin. Jesus addressed and challenged this erroneous thinking. “Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, “Jesus asked, “because they suffered such things?” (Luke 13:2,3). And he, in answer, said to them, Are you of the opinion that these Galilaeans were worse than all other Galilaeans, because these things were done to them?” (vs. 3) I tell you, No. But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Of course, grievous times can be the result of one’s own sin (Ps. 107:17).

The righteous often suffer affliction; Moses suffered affliction with the people of God because of righteousness (Heb. 11: 25). Timothy was told, “endure afflictions…”(2 Tim. 3:12). Rest assured, however, God hears the cry of the afflicted (Job 34: 28; Ps. 25: 14-18; Ex. 3: 7).

When afflicted, turn to God. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn they statutes” (Ps. 119: 71). God’s word the obedient afflicted (Ps. 119: 49, 50). The afflicted must endure, however, and not “cast away confidence” (Heb. 10: 32, 35). God has no pleasure in those who draw back to perdition (vs. 39).

Love one, ease of life is a great enemy to spirituality, generally speaking. We love in such an atmosphere today; there is relatively little real interest in serving God on His terms. Remember, affliction can cause on to want to learn God’s Statutes of laws. (Ps. 119: 71).

D. M.