What does the Bible say about affliction?
Regarding this topic the words from Scripture I always remember are “many are the afflictions of the righteous.” Sometimes we might question God and ask, “Lord what did I do wrong? Did I sin?” Scripture makes it clear that even though a believer has been faithful and has been living in holiness, He can still go through trials.
Rather than looking at it as a curse we should see it as a blessing. It helps our faith grow. It builds our endurance. Many times afflictions result in a testimony.
It gives God an opportunity to glorify Himself. We always have to look at the upside. There are times when a Christian suffers affliction because of backsliding.
God allows this to bring us back on the right path. Just like a father disciplines his children, God does the same thing out of love as well because He doesn’t want anyone to go astray.
Affliction should never bring someone into despair. It doesn’t last. Use it to your benefit. Use it to pray more. Use it to study the Bible more. Use it to fast. Use it to help, encourage, and inspire other believers. Here are some inspirational affliction Scriptures.
Christian quotes about affliction
“Afflictions make the heart more deep, more experimental, more knowing and profound, and so, more able to hold, to contain, and beat more.” John Bunyan
“The winter prepares the earth for the spring, so do afflictions sanctified prepare the soul for glory.” Richard Sibbes
“The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.” Charles Spurgeon
“A believer may pass through much affliction, and yet secure very little blessing from it all. Abiding in Christ is the secret of securing all that the Father meant the chastisement to bring us.” Andrew Murray
What can we learn about affliction in the Bible?
1. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 In every way we’re troubled but not crushed, frustrated but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed.
2. Psalm 34:19-20 Many are the afflictions of the righteous one, and Lord Jehovah delivers him from all of them. And he will keep all his bones that not one of them will be broken.
3. 2 Corinthians 1:6-7 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
Stand firm in affliction
4. 2 Corinthians 6:4-6 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.
Expect to experience affliction
Not only should we stand firm in affliction, but we should also expect it on our walk of faith.
5. Acts 14:21-22 After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.
6. Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
Affliction leads to repentance
7. Psalm 25:16-18 Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses. Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.
Rejoice in affliction
8. Romans 12:12 2 Be happy in your confidence, be patient in trouble, and pray continually.
Rest assured that God is faithful in affliction
9. 1 Corinthians 10:13 No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.
Affliction builds character, endurance, and faith
10. James 1:2-4 My brothers and sisters, be very happy when you are tested in different ways. You know that such testing of your faith produces endurance. Endure until your testing is over. Then you will be mature and complete, and you won’t need anything.
11. 1 Peter 1:6-7 You greatly rejoice in this, even though you have to suffer various kinds of trials for a little while, so that your genuine faith, which is more valuable than gold that perishes when tested by fire, may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus, the Messiah, is revealed.
12. Hebrews 12:10-11 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
God uses affliction to discipline us because He loves us.
13. Hebrews 12:5-6 You have forgotten the encouragement that is addressed to you as sons: “My son, do not think lightly of the Lord’s discipline or give up when you are corrected by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he punishes every son he accepts.”
14. Psalm 119:67-68 I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word. You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees.
All things work together for good
15. Genesis 50:19-20 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
16. Exodus 1:11-12 So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labor. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses as supply centers for the king. But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became.
17. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
God’s love in our affliction
18. Romans 8:35-39 Who will separate us from the Messiah’s love? Can trouble, distress, persecution, hunger, nakedness, danger, or a violent death do this? As it is written, “For your sake we are being put to death all day long.
We are thought of as sheep headed for slaughter.” In all these things we are triumphantly victorious due to the one who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor anything above, nor anything below, nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God that is ours in union with the Messiah Jesus, our Lord.
19. 2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
20. Isaiah 40:31 but those who keep waiting for the Lord will renew their strength. Then they’ll soar on wings like eagles; they’ll run and not grow weary; they’ll walk and not grow tired.
Examples of affliction in the Bible
21. Genesis 16:11 And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the LORD has heard your cry of distress.”
22. Job 1:21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
23. John 11:3-4 So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”
24. 1 Kings 8:38-39 and when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel–being aware of the afflictions of their own hearts, and spreading out their hands toward this temple then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know every human heart).
25. Revelation 2:9 I know your afflictions and your poverty–yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
Isaiah 41:13 For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.