Psalm 44 verses 20-22 says this:
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God,
Or stretched out our hands to a foreign god,
21 Would not God search this out?
For He knows the secrets of the heart.
22 Yet for Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
These verses are something of an anomaly compared to what one finds so often in the Bible, that suffering and difficulties are related to sin and God’s correction and discipline. In this instance there is suffering in the midst of faithfulness and spiritual integrity.
It serves as a reminder that though in general blessing is associated with righteous living, there are times when we are doing all the right things and yet we still suffer opposition, persecution and difficulties. It reflects the cosmic battle we are in, the war that still rages against God and those who follow Him. It’s a reminder that all though the war we are in has been won, not every battle has been fought and settled. Though we have been saved from the penalty and power of sin, we have not yet been saved from its presence and therefore at times we feel its effect on us even if indirectly.
We’re told in the epistle of Peter (chapter 1 verses 6-7) that trials enhance and increase the genuineness of our faith, just as fire tests and increases the genuineness of gold. We must make suffering & difficulties unrelated to our sin, work for us, refining and strengthen our faith.
In the preceding verses, Peter tells us what our source of joy can be, at such times. He says, because of our new birth we have,
1) a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus (verse 3),
2) an incorruptible & undefiled inheritance (verse 4) and
3) we are kept and protected by the power of God through faith until the full revelation and experience of our salvation ( verse 5).
There is lots to be thankful for and rejoice in, even in hard times not brought on by our sin.