Previously: perfect lovingkindness
I need to remind myself, when I am in the middle of pain, loss, and trials, that suffering never lasts forever. One day, the suffering that I am currently enduring will be behind me. “This too will pass,” my wise Grandma used to say. Keep my eyes focused ahead, and keep walking with the One who is working to bring me out of it in a way that will cause blessing to multiply to me and to increase to those around me. ♥
Previously: blessed be the name of the Lord
We have to have it settled in our hearts, that God is God, He is King and Ruler, may His will be done on earth as it is heaven; that He is good, faithful and merciful, abounding in lovingkindness, and all His judgments are just. He is the benevolent Sovereign of the universe. Tragic and evil things happen every day. How can God witness the suffering of the innocent? I don’t believe He could, unless He had perfect confidence in His ability to bind up the brokenhearted and heal all wounds. Unless He had perfect confidence in His just justice, which will not let the wicked go with impunity. In other words, we have to accept what the Scripture says about Him, as true. Then we can find peace in our own hearts and allow His compassion for suffering to work through us to find a way to alleviate it.
Continued: waters gone by
Previously: go about doing good
Loss hurts. Suffering hurts. No one is immune from it. How can we keep our head on straight and our hearts free from bitterness? Take our cue from Job, who, like many of us, did not earn his suffering, but on a single day, lost all his flocks and herds, and all his children, to violence and natural disasters:
Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. Job 1:20-22
He worshiped. He worshiped the One who alone is worthy of worship and praise despite loss, suffering, and trials. ♥
Continued: perfect lovingkindness
Matthew 25:35-36, 40
Previously: man’s choice, and God’s choice
Even though the rejection of God’s will and God’s best was man’s choice, God was not content to stand aside and watch him suffer without doing something about it. He stepped into history at the right time, and paid the penalty of rejection for man. He is going to step into history again, at the right time, to end the suffering and death once and for all. We are very close to that time.
In the mean time, He loved us. He taught us to love one another. He taught us that wherever we see the effects of the curse of suffering and death (which has impacted nature as well, Rom 8:20-21), to go, alleviate the suffering, do good, deliver from evil, bless others, heal the sick, and right the wrong. He filled us with His love, and empowered us by His Spirit, to do just that. It is what Pentecost, which we just celebrated, is all about. Be filled with His Word and His Spirit, out of that Word and that Spirit, LOVE. ♥
Continued: blessed be the name of the Lord
The most common question asked after a tragedy such as the Oklahoma tornado, is how can a loving God allow such tragedy? The implication is that since such tragedy occurred, God must not be loving. God’s original plan for mankind was a perfect life of ease and bliss in the Garden. God gave mankind the free choice to accept or reject that plan. But He did warn that suffering and death would follow a rejection.
That suffering and death is not God’s will for man. His will was and is the perfect ease and bliss.
That suffering and death is not God’s punishment for man rejecting His plan. It is just the reality of life outside of God’s best. However, even though the rejection, the suffering and death, was man’s choice, God was not content to stand aside and watch him suffer without doing something about it …
Continued in go about doing good
My brother had a malignant tumor, for which he underwent two surgeries. He has not wanted to endure another surgery, so he has been treating the cancer by keeping his body toxin- free, and it appears to have been working for him so far.
We use cancer as a metaphor for anything toxic or poisonous that establishes itself and then slowly grows until it has swallowed up life with death. “Generation after generation, their arrogance grew like a cancer …” (My Quarrel with Hersh Rasseyner, Chaim Grade, Jewish American Literature: A Norton Anthology.) Toxic thoughts and attitudes are that way. Bitterness, unforgiveness, self- pity, despair, defensiveness … they can begin with a thought as a seed, and grow like a cancer until what issues from the heart is not life, any longer, but death.
The cure for the heart is the same as the body: flee from that which is toxic, and think on such things as these instead. ♥