Devotion - Tuesday, March 24 - Comfort in All Our Afflictions

“This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.” - Psalm 119:50

All of us experience afflictions of various sorts.  Our world is currently experiencing the affliction of a highly transmissible, deadly virus which has burdened health care systems and devastated economies.  Even aside from that, some of us are experiencing ongoing health issues, the delay or denial of justice, and relational brokenness caused by substance abuse.  These afflictions cause us hardship, sorrow, and daily trouble.  

Jesus is not unacquainted with affliction.  The prophet Isaiah described the “suffering servant” who would come to bear the sins of and justify many—Jesus—as “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3).  Jesus is also not unfamiliar with our afflictions.  He straightforwardly told His disciples, “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33).  However, He also provided them this encouragement: “But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  He explained that He had revealed God’s Word to them, and the truth of who He was, “that in me you may have peace” (John 16:33).  The writer of Hebrews explains: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15-16).  

While Jesus indeed was a “man of sorrows,” He identifies with us with in our afflictions.  He promises us hope and peace.  He is “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

Questions:
  1. In what ways was Jesus a “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”?
  2. What sort of life does God promise through faith in Jesus?
  3. How do we experience the truth that Jesus has “overcome the world”?