Psalm 34:19 – “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
This verse gives us such comfort and promise, and is full of meaning. It seems that every Christian pedophile I’ve talked to believes that God is mad at them simply because they are attracted to minors. Not true! Remember what Psalm 22:24 says:
“For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from him; but when he cried to Him for help, He heard.”
God does not despise us because of our struggle, and he’s not abhorred by the subject matter; he doesn’t hide his face. On the contrary, he hears you when you cry out to him! Even Jesus connected with the “sinners” of his day. It made the Pharisees indignant, but do you know what he told them? He said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” (Luke 5:31-32) That’s all of us!
Actually, our first verse (Psalm 34:19) says it’s normal for a righteous person to experience affliction. It says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous”. Also, Jesus said that we would experience trouble in the world.1 The word that is translated “affliction” means evil, misery, distress, or injury. I must say, I think pedophilia falls under that category.
But, you can be a pedophile and also a righteous person. The word that is translated “righteous” means just or lawful. That’s when you obey God about right and wrong, no matter what you feel. We can follow God’s steps and be righteous, even though we have this affliction of minor attraction.
“… but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Beautiful words of hope and freedom. God has a plan for you and me, and it’s to deliver us from pedophilia! The word translated “deliver” means to plunder or snatch away. God intends to plunder the devil and sin by snatching us from the grip of pedophilia. We won’t be slaves to our feelings. Instead, we belong to God, and Jesus is “able to save [us] to the uttermost.”2 How that happens is unique for each person (God treats us all as individuals). But, my thoughts are that it is usually a step by step process.
There’s a great analogy in the Bible: God freed the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, and led them on a journey to the good land he promised. There were many challenges along the way, and opportunities for them to grow. Even Jesus experienced this process of growth. He walked step by step in obedience to his Heavenly Father, and God said, “Out of Egypt I have called my Son.” This picture of leaving slavery and journeying toward promise applied to the Israelites, Jesus, and it applies to you and me as well.3
So, let’s journey with our Heavenly Father and follow him step by step! We don’t need to despair over our afflictions, for he will snatch us out of their grip. And, God has good things in mind for you and me. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
1 John 16:33; 2 Hebrews 7:25; 3 Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:15, Luke 4:18, Romans 6:17-18