Tuesday, November 12, 2013

After the Disaster

Got safety?

Almost daily we hear of incredible tragedies in the world.  The typhoon in the Philippines is the latest overwhelming news story.  Nothing like that has ever happened to me and my family.  For that I am extremely grateful, and a little saddened, that, having not experienced such loss, I cannot fully understand the depth of another person’s suffering.
Throughout Scripture God’s special people, the Jews, have experienced incredible hardship and persecution.  Much of their suffering was at God’s hand; captivities, conquered by evil despots, plagues, wanderings, persecution, holocaust! 
Whoa!  How could a loving father treat his children like that?  Well, Scripture is quick to point out two realities about God’s children and suffering:

 Obedience brings God’s favor

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.   Psalms 37:4 (NLT)
Too many of us read the second part of that verse as if it stands alone; we want our heart’s desires.  But the full verse makes it clear that when the desires of your heart are in line with God’s heart, then there is no limit to what He will do for you.  Obedience comes first….otherwise, the second reality happens….

Disobedience brings God’s correction. 

Throughout the Scriptures God makes the case over and over again that a genuinely loving Father is one who corrects bad behavior:

Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the LORD your God disciplines you for your own good.    Deuteronomy 8:5 (NLT)

Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.  Proverbs 13:24 (NLT)

For the LORD disciplines those he loves,and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”   As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?    Hebrews 12:6-7 (NLT)
I correct and punish everyone I love. So make up your minds to turn away from your sins.   Revelation 3:19 (CEV)
In Nehemiah’s prayer he acknowledged that even in the midst of harsh judgment, God’s people are not totally destroyed – and that because of God’s great mercy and grace.


There is a saying I’ve come to appreciate – You’re either going through tough times, have just come through tough times, or, hold on… tough time’s a-coming.

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