8 You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?
9 Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.
10 In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise,
11 in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?
1. There is no promise that we will not be afflicted. Rather, we should expect affliction (1 Pet. 1:7). A great pain in affliction lies with the loss of expectation.
An illustration might help: Imagine a doctor informs you of cancer when you are young and recently married. The news devastates you. Later, when the cancer goes into remission – after you have lost your hair an your body is frail- you are overjoyed. Yet that final state of baldness and weakness would have left you down a year earlier.
Realizing that affliction can and will come should spare us the loss of expectation, which is a chief pain in any trouble.
God permits such trials to teach us to not trust in this world: It has been cursed. Our ultimate hope is God himself. Our rest is secure in the age to come.
2. Our affliction does not leave us without hope: I know that God is for me.
Memorize vv 9-11.
Write down at least five ways in which you can see the Lord’s care and provision in the midst of trial. Has God made a promise for this trial? Has God given comfort directly or indirectly? 2 Cor. 1:3-11.
Write a prayer of petition and thanksgiving for God’s help and promise to help.
3. Realize how little any trial can bring: What is the most any enemy can do? What can the State do? Kill my body? And then what? I will be present with the Lord.
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.
5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.
7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
4. Additional homework:
Read through Psalm 56 twice per day for one week.
Pray through the Psalm on each occasion.
Keep a journal of how God has provided help and wisdom.
Find one other person whom you can encourage.