Joyous Affliction

I’m currently in the book of Psalms for my study. Oh, what a book. I want to share an entire chapter from this book that resonated for me today.

I will extol the Lord at all times;
    his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
    let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
    let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
    for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
    and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
    not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;
    the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
    no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned. Psalms 34

A few days ago, I sent a message to my friends, asking if anyone else was experiencing this season as the most difficult, most wonderful time of their life. Difficult and wonderful. Two things that would seemingly be at opposing ends of the spectrum. I seem to be experiencing them concurrently; at the same time.

This is new to me. An effect of living in the kingdom perhaps. To experience emotions that contradict each other, at the same time. My old man couldn’t see past my hurt, pain, affliction, tests, trials. But today I experience the ups and the downs together. Hurt and excited; sorrow and hope; fatigue and rest.

Is it me or does the kingdom have an underlying sustaining power that seems to contradict what we are experiencing in the natural realm?

It doesn’t matter what I’m going through. To know that I am going through it with God. To see how purposeful he is. There’s nothing like it. It’s what gets me through my troubles. It gives them a purpose.

18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all; Psalms 34

I can endure a lot under these circumstances. Even in my affliction, my face shines radiantly with the glory of the Lord for He is with me.

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1

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