The word afflicted means “suffering in difficult circumstances.” The phrase in trouble is a good translation. The Apostle Paul used this word to describe the circumstances he was in as he suffered for the Gospel’s sake (2 Timothy 2:9).
As God’s people going through life, we must often endure difficulties that are not the results of sin or the chastening of God.
What should we do when we find ourselves in such trying circumstances? We must not grumble and criticize the saints who are having an easier time of it, nor should we blame the Lord.
We should pray, asking God for the wisdom we need to understand the situation and use it to His glory.
Prayer can remove affliction, if that is God’s will But prayer can also give us the grace we need to endure troubles and use them to accomplish God’s perfect will. God can transform troubles into triumphs. “He giveth more grace” (James 4:6). Paul prayed that God might change his circumstances, but instead God gave Paul the grace he needed to turn his weakness into strength.
Our Lord prayed in Gethsemane that the cup might be removed, and it was not; yet the Father gave Him the strength He needed to go to the cross and die for our sins.
From the Book: “I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4, NASB).
Also: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; James 1:5; 5:9; Hebrews 5:8-9; 1 Peter 1:6-7.
Action assignment: If you have trials, ask God to show you if your difficulties are a result of sin or if they are solely from God. Any sin, of course, should be confessed to God.
WARREN W. WIERSBE