Tuesday 23 Jan 2018
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Psalm 1: 2-3

Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

Blessings through afflictions

 For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone. - Lamentations 3:33

Talking about discipline, punishment and even judgment, this one area the sinful man dreads God , and one area where in our sinfulness we fail to understand the position of God, especially with regards to the full compliments of his nature and the  attributes that make him God. To the sinful man devoid of the knowledge of God, such sees this aspect of God's relationship with mankind from a very narrow perspective, one which portrays God as vindictive, mean and even cruel...one who stands by and takes possibly takes delight in the suffering of mankind. That i must say is not only an incomplete picture , but also a false one.

This verse Lamentations 3:33 stopped right me in my track, God does not willingly bring affliction to anyone, what does this mean?  By looking at the verse below a clearer picture emerges, one which helps to see through the mind of God even when he subjects the sinner to his wrath.

Romans 8:20 — 21 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

God does not willingly allow or permit a man to be afflicted and where such arises he permits it for perhaps a number of reasons which can be summed up thus;

  • To point man to his sins, to remind man of its consequences and most importantly to press it upon him to desist from the path of destruction through repentance.  For He does not delight in the death of sinners rather he delights in their repentance. Lamentations 3:39-42, Ezekiel 18:32.
  •  Secondly to serve as an instrument for discipline or training, an instrument of correction, building up for endurance and perseverance. He permits it as an instrument for the testing of faith to nurture and develop those he calls his children. Romans 5:3-4, Hebrew 12:7, 1Peter 3:6-7.

Note while both processes may sound harsh, the truth is both are not.

Romans 8:20 — 8:21 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

God does not permit affliction to come upon man in order to destroy him, rather the mercy of God ensures that, a man may come under the wrath of God's righteous judgment, but with a repentant heart such is delivered from destruction. This is one thing that delights God more greatly. Therefore when a man has the full picture of what moments of affliction can also deliver him into,  as well as the position of God in it all, such can comprehend why the scripture says not to see afflictions and trials as strange, rather to count it all joy when they arise.