Before I Was Afflicted

Resentment: bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly, a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury.

Do I feel resentment toward God for allowing bad things to happen to me? He could have stopped it, arranged for life to work out differently, to be free of pain and trouble. Do I hold this against Him? Does it impact my love for Him, my ability to trust Him?

My afflictions have a purpose: “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” (Ps 119:67) The harm I’ve felt, and the troubles I’ve endured have been good for me: “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” (Ps 119:67) Confessing, “I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me,” (Ps 119:75is to agree that God is sovereign, justgood and faithful.

My alternative is to believe that I know better than God, that my perspective is better than His, that He’s shortsighted, selfish, unjust. I cannot rejoice in the Lord from here. It’s the old man.

How can I know what I would have been like without pain? What do I base my presumption on? My tendency towards pride and selfishness requires God to break me. (He 12:6-28) Which of the fathers of our faith lived lives of ease and pleasure? I have nothing.

In suffering the enemy tempts us to bitterness and resentment, so we should be careful in watching over each other, praying for each other lest anyone fail of God’s grace (He 12:15), reminding each other to prayerfully and joyfully confess: “Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word.” (Ps 119: 65

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5 thoughts on “Before I Was Afflicted”

  1. I think resentment comes, in part, by comparing our earthly lives with others, what we enjoy vs what they enjoy. This is an unwise comparison since God often gives His enemies lives of ease and convenience as He reserves them unto the Day of judgement to be punished. This is the theme of Psalm 73. If we aren’t chastised by God then we’re not His. (He 12:8)

  2. I appreciate your perspective on this, Brother and agree with you. I think that one of the most difficult facts of life to accept is that we must suffer in this life. If we are living righteously, Scripture says that we “shall” suffer persecution. Once we come into agreement with the Word on this, it will bring Peace.

  3. Resentment cannot abide in a humble heart, one that deserves Hell but has the free gift of eternal life. The sin of thanklessness, leaving off to be thankful, leads to bitterness and resentment. It’s a lie.

  4. I walked a mile with Pleasure;
    She chattered all the way.
    But left me none the wiser,
    For all she had to say.

    I walked a mile with Sorrow,
    and ne’er a word said she.
    But oh, the things I learned from her,
    When Sorrow walked with me.

    — Robert Browning Hamilton

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