Psalm 34:19, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Usually when affliction strikes, our first instinct is to question God! But then we’re taking our eyes off of Him and placing them on ourselves. However, Christ shares in our sufferings and empathizes with us. He knows best the trials that test and strengthen our faith.

In turn, we share in others’ suffering, walking with them in times of darkness, carrying their burdens, and providing comfort forged only in affliction. Humbling ourselves under God’s authority, we can trust that God has a better vision for our lives than we can fathom. Suffering changes our perspective, causing us to run to Christ and cling to Him when we have nothing left.

Therefore, living for Christ, submitting to Him, pursuing godly lives, and seeking to serve others, is the hallmark of those touched by affliction. When we thank God, even when our situation is undesirable, we confirm and proclaim that God works all things together for good. We know that He is using these difficulties to conform us to Christ’s image. In doing so, God is preparing us for good works in the service of the King.