I agree with the words of Hebrews 12:11, "For the moment all discipline is painful and never pleasant. But later it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness for all who are trained by it."
The chastening experiences of Psalm 39 seem painful for the writer. Even though the nature of his suffering is never fully revealed, the writer tries to guard his tongue to avoid the sin of rash and impulsive speech against God or people in general. 39:1
While worshiping God, he prays: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few hand breaths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath. Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather." 39:4-6
Suffering is a head-clearing experience. During and after tough times we tend to see things as they really are:
1. Life is short
2. Money does not provide ultimate security
3. When we die, we take nothing with us.
With eyes wide open, he says, "And not now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you." 39:7
The ultimate gift of suffering often results in unalloyed trust and dependence on God. May this be always true for each of us!
Precious Lord, our times are in your hands. We are here today and tomorrow we are gone. Help us to number our days so that we can live our lives with wisdom. Teach us how to use the troubles of our lives to see life more clearly and trust you more deeply. Amen