“What do ye imagine against the Lord? He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.” (Nahum 1:9, emphasis mine)
But it did rise up the first time. How did you react? Did the shadows block the sun, leaving you without a clear picture of the Father’s face? Were you able through the fallout to limn aspects of God’s character and face and make up a coherent picture of, not just Him, but yourself as well? Good. Because you do know it’s He from whom we get a complete picture of ourselves, right? There’s no other way for a child of God to become, than looking at Him. And this is what the affliction is aimed at: you forgetting from whom you came.
“Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Thy word.” (Psalm 119:67)
The reason why the psalmist describes it thus is because God will use the very affliction meant for your downfall, to make you into who you’re already becoming by virtue of believing in and on Jesus. And when it says in the verse from Nahum about it not rising up the second time, you very well may feel it rear its head again in the future. All the thoughts that make up that time, the memories and feelings, will unveil and you’ll have a choice. Do I take advantage of the wisdom I learned when God brought me through the crises? Do I rely on that when I’m tempted to fall into the same trap that I, in my former ignorance, fell headlong? Because God is faithful to teach you what to do the next time. And this is why affliction will not rise up the second time: Now you’re ready to face it head on. The time before turned out to be the trial run and now you know you’re seaworthy. God can trust you with bigger and better things! Amazing.
“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes.” (Psalm 119:71)