“…..but in all the afflictions, all the evils that befall him, he can see love, and can enjoy the sweetness of love in his afflictions as well as in his mercies. The truth is that the afflictions of God’s people come from the same eternal love that Jesus Christ came from.” Burroughs p. 35
I keep falling for the idea that when we are seeking God and delighting ourselves in Him, that everything should be perfect in life. I should be getting everything I want, since after all, I am putting God first.
And then God allows something to happen that wakes me back up to the humbling truth that God has chosen an “poor and afflicted people” who trust in Him (Zepheniah 3:12).
It’s easy to think this way if our eyes are on the earth and on the here and now— If we are focusing on this life and what we want in this life and how we want to live in this life and world.
If we set out hearts on this life, we will miss the on-high calling. We will not be overcomers. We will be stuck in carnality, never fulfilling all that God has laid hold of our lives for.
There is a Divine calling in which God has sovereignly chosen those who will answer. The calling is for eternity, not time. The life we now live here in this world, is only for the opportunity to be trained for His purposes.
If we settle down in this life, we will never allow the Spirit of God to wean us from this world in our spirits, and when the day comes, we will be standing before God, and I don’t think we understand that by then, nothing in this life will matter anymore.
“MANY ARE THE AFFLICTIONS OF THE RIGHTEOUS”
Yes, the Bible says that. Many are the afflictions…… and why all the afflictions?
In our earthly minds, we can’t understand why God would allow such things for His children. We don’t comprehend that His ways are not our ways, and that His purposes are behind everything we encounter. He is training us. He is not allowing us to settle down in this life. If we had everything we wanted here in this world that we think would bring us true life and joy, what would we need Him for?
What I have to remember is that Jesus came to do the will of His Father in Heaven, and nothing could stop Him, not even death on a cross. He endured the suffering for the joy set before Him!
And if we are being conformed to His image—- why do we think that we will be excluded from this Way?
We won’t! Paul says that any who wish to live a godly life will be persecuted. He also said that those who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh (2 cor 4:11).
The closer we get to Jesus, the more the heat is turned up in our furnace which is trying and perfecting our faith.
Can’t we see that the afflictions are from love? God does not delight in afflictions. He gets no pleasure from this. He does this for our own good. To accomplish His Divine purposes. To train and prepare us for eternity with Himself!
Test your own afflictions—–
- are they creating in you a growing longing to be out of this world and with Jesus?
- Or are you stuck here, one foot in the world, longing for the things of this life, and only half way in heart towards Jesus?
That is a trying question. I pray God reveals to our hearts what is really in there– for we get surprised when these afflictions come and we can’t see that it is because we are hoping in a life here on earth instead of in Heaven.