Good to suffer


Some things we have to learn the hard way. In the midst of the squeeze, we don’t appreciate the lesson. Afterwards, we recognize it was good to have gone through it, because only in that way would we have learned the lesson.

It was good for me to suffer, so that I might learn your statutes.
Psalm 119.71 NET

How can we know when we’re being punished or disciplined by God, in order to correct us?

  • God can use the consequences of our errors as punishment.
  • The rigors of life ought to teach us that this life is fleeting and that we should prepare for eternity.
  • God’s discipline may come through an experienced brother or through the actions of the congregation.
  • The simple reading of the Bible may bring us corrective truths.
  • The author of this psalm sees the opposition of enemies as a means of God’s discipline, vv. 69-70.

It seems that almost every moment of life can be used by the Lord as a disciplinary act, if we are attentive to his hand. This doesn’t mean that he causes each act or event. It does mean that he is powerful to make everything contribute toward our good and toward our maturity. (Read Romans 8.28.)

Heavenly Father, may I be always aware of the touch of your hand in my life, even when it moves to correct.

Hold this thought: Always ask what God wants to teach in this experience.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

7 thoughts on “Good to suffer

  1. Very good article, Randy. But I am not sure it answers the original question. I think the answer to the original question is that God has given us the ability to discern right from wrong based upon His word. And when we come to Him in obedient, saving faith we also are given His Spirit to guide us in our lives. We KNOW whether or not what we have done is right or wrong, and so, therefore, we will be able to know that what we are experiencing is the result of God because what we have done has grieved His Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).

    1. Thanks, David. The question had to do with how we can recognize the means by which God disciplines us, not whether we can know between right or wrong. The Word is, as you say, all sufficient for that purpose. I appreciate your comment.

  2. Someone asked (as people often do) me a while back about a natural disaster, “Do you think God is trying to tell us something?” As I pondered that question (again), I came to the conclusion that God is always trying to tell me something.

What do you think?