Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Afflictions again!

Rime frost on teasel



Before I was afflicted I went astray but now I obey your word.

Psalm 119:67

Luke 15: 16-18  Job 5:17   Psalm 119:71   Hebrews 12:10-11
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This verse was also addressed on this blog earlier (01/24/2013)

 Everyone loves the good times, they want them to stick around forever.  Let the good times roll.  I can remember my time during active duty in the military was a time that I had grown much closer to God.  After my active duty I returned home.  Things were much easier.  There were not so many rules.  I didn't find a job for several weeks, but I wasn't terribly bothered by that.  After several weeks, I found a job, but it wasn't one that I had prepared for in college.

Most of my  friends from High School and college had moved on, or moved away.  I made new friends at work.  These friends were not like my previous friends, but they were fun.  Too much fun.  "Before I was afflicted I went astray."  By the grace of God I was nudged back onto the path of light.

I would love to say that I have never strayed or veered from the path again, but alas – it isn't so. Thankfully, reminders from God, suggestions from my wife, family and Christian friends have always been available. Affliction is not enjoyable. Living in times of prosperity, peace, plenty, and happy days without sorrow it is easy to stray. God know us. He know how, when and if  to afflict us. Staying in the Word is a way to keep us on track. Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path. Psalm 119:105

Staying on the path is not the only reason for affliction. Obeying the Word. Staying on the path is not a guarantee to a happy life without any affliction.  Sometimes God will allow afflictions to mold us.  God will use afflictions to prepare us for greater service to Him. God may use afflictions to glorify Him. Believers must have confidence in our Soverign God, in knowing all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28  Our attitude through affliction should be as Paul:  "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18

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It is a terrible truth that many of us go astray until we are afflicted; we conceive in our pride that "we shall not be moved, and in this stage we dislike and radically disagree with the sterner presentations of God in the Bible, and it is only by the sharp sword of affliction and the profound conviction of the meanness of our pride that we are brought to see God for ourselves and are ready to turn and obey His commands.
Oswald Chambers

The school of the cross is the school of light; it discovers the world’s vanity, baseness, and wickedness, and lets us see more of God’s mind. Out of dark affliction comes a spiritual light.

In times of affliction we commonly meet with the sweetest experiences of the love of God.

Did we heartily renounce the pleasures of this world, we should be very little troubled for our afflictions; that which renders an afflicted state so insupportable to many, is because they are too much addicted to the pleasures of this life; and so cannot endure that which makes a separation between them.
John Bunyan

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