Learning From Affliction (by Brent Kimball)

We are preaching through 1 Thessalonians at LifePoint Church. It is a great book study and I believe the entire church family is being enriched by it. Recently the text was the 3rd chapter. At the same time that we were working through this text I was reading through Psalm 119. There are some strong parallels between the two passages concerning afflictions.

In 1 Thessalonians we read how Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica in order to “establish and exhort” the believers in their faith[1]. He did this because they were experiencing severe trials and he didn’t want them to be “moved by these afflictions.”[2] This carries the idea of being shaken so as to be unsettled.

Have you ever been shaken by afflictions so that your faith was unsettled? I have and it wasn’t fun. I know why Paul was concerned about this for these believers. Afflictions can be defined in diverse ways. In the Bible the term is used of the calamities of war, of want, distress of childbirth, depression, and persecution. It includes anything that causes pressure, misery, anguish, burden, persecution, tribulation, or trouble.[3] Are you experiencing any of these?

Clearly, based on the Apostle’s intent in sending Timothy, people can remain unshaken by their afflictions. God uses many means by which he establishes and exhorts his people so that they remain unmoved in their trust of him. His primary means of keeping his people solid during affliction is his WORD, to which Psalm 119 bears witness. Seven times the author references an affliction that he went through and how God’s Word stabilized him.[4]

The Psalmist, David, knew that God, in his faithfulness, had afflicted him. The affliction was severe, to the extent that he felt like he could have perished. He wanted deliverance from the affliction yet he knew that it was good for him. He confessed that prior to the affliction he strayed but that by the affliction he had learned to keep the Word of God in obedience. Through the affliction he delighted in God’s Word and it had been his source of comfort, strength, and perspective. The Word of God had given him life.

Delight in the Word of God, and whatever afflictions you are encountering in your life, may you not be moved!

Pastor Brent Kimball

__________________________

[1] 1 Thess. 3:1-2
[2] 1 Thess. 3:3
[3] Vines Expository Dictionary & Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
[4] Psalm 119:49, 67, 71, 75, 92, 107, 153

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3 Responses to Learning From Affliction (by Brent Kimball)

  1. Jessie says:

    A great reminder that God’s word is alive and active. It changes us and allows us to be stable and strong in the hardest of times!

  2. Brent Sorlien says:

    To see someone undergo great afflictions, yet have their faith remain strong is one of the greatest testimonies ever! Thanks for making the connection between these 2 passages.

  3. Brent Kimball says:

    A solid “amen” to you Jessie and Rev. Sorlien.

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