08/27 Trusting God Through Affliction

Date: Monday August 27, 2012Today’s ChaptersLamentations 1-2Message Title: Trusting God Through Affliction
Hello My Friend,
Affliction, the cause of continued pain of the body or mind, as sickness, losses, calamity, adversity, persecution. No one wants to be afflicted, we all try to avoid it at all cost, but no matter how much we try to avoid it, no matter how much we try keep it from happening, it comes. Whether it is something that we have caused upon ourselves or others have brought upon us as a result of their sins, God allows affliction in our lives. We cannot escape affliction, but we can find comfort, and even lessen the blow of it through our faithfulness to God and trusting Him to bring it all to pass.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” – 1 Peter 5:8-10.
The Book of Lamentations is the twenty-fifth book of the Old Testament/Bible and contains five chapters. The timeline for these events took place approximately 588 BC. It was written by Jeremiah to the Jews who were captive in Babylon and the purpose of the book was to produce the repentance necessary for spiritual restoration. What we are to learn from the book is that God is faithful in both judgment and mercy. “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22,23.
The word lament means to feel deep grief and sorrow, after the destruction and sad state of Judah, Jeremiah laments over the once, glorious nation of God. “Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits. The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: for she hath seen that the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command that they should not enter into thy congregation. All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the soul: see, O LORD, and consider; for I am become vile. Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.” – Lamentations 1:3,10-12.
Jeremiah truly understands that all the destruction and affliction God’s people were facing was due to the sin that was in the nation. True Christians see all the destruction of their once godly nations and it grieves them because no matter how much they try there is nothing they can do to stop it. We all become afflicted by others sins, the only thing we can do to ease the pain for us is keep reminding ourselves that the affliction is only temporary. It’s not personal, it’s a reminder that all who are not saved face much more affliction than we ever will. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:17,18.
Jeremiah turns his grief over the state of Jerusalem and the church, he understands that God’s hand was in allowing the destruction to take place. Now, Jeremiah wonders if God remembers the covenant He made with Israel. “How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger! The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn feast. The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together. Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD.” – Lamentations 2:1,7-9.
Every once in a while, no matter how faithful we are to God, we stop and question God’s presence and why He even allowed something to happen when He promised to always be there to protect us. Often, God may step back a bit to allow us to think on these things, but He is always with us. And it’s perfectly fine to ask God what the purpose of it is or reason. Sometimes the only way we can draw closer to God is by grief and sorrow, and while He doesn’t want to see any of His people suffer, He knows that we won’t seek Him as much when things are going good. “Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” – James 4:9,10.
Today’s Prayer: God, I don’t know anyone who says, I love to feel pain and sorrow, and it simply does nothing for our morale either, but whatever You allow us to go through You have a reason for it. The only way we can truly be at peace and find comfort and even an end to the suffering is through You. God, so many people are suffering and just don’t know what to do, open their hearts, help them to see that You are right there to help them, if they just trust You. Great things always come to those who endure their affliction with You as they remain faithful to You and trust You. Give us your power, wisdom, and strength to remain faithful to You so that we can see You do great things in our lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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