Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. (Psalm 119:67)
God loves us enough to allow us to be afflicted. It has been said that God whispers to us in the good times of life, but He shouts to us in the hard times. I have found this to be so. Afflictions have a way of getting us focused on the things of God more than good fortune. It does not have to be, but it seems that in our human nature, we are lax when happy. I am more than sure that if we stay close to Christ in the good times of life that there will be less hard times. Nevertheless, the greatest growth comes through suffering. Look at verse 71, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes." It is good to suffer. It is not pleasant, but it is good. Therefore even in our suffering we can find joy, not necessarily happiness, but the joy of the Lord. When we stray from the Lord, again, He loves us enough to get our attention.