When life imposes burdens that we have no choice but to bear, the choice we retain is the manner in which they are borne.
It is good for a man to bear
The yoke in his youth.
Let him sit alone and keep silent,
Because God has laid it on him …
~ Lamentations 3:27-28 (NKJV)
The world asks how a good God could allow so much suffering. The short answer is that God allows free will, free will leads to bad decisions which invite sin and death, and it is sin and death which bring suffering.
Faith in Jesus Christ and the salvation purchased with His blood sets us free from sin's eternal penalty. The Holy Spirit teaches us to walk in liberty from the power of sin. But we obtain no free pass from the suffering which exists in a sinful world.
God could allow His own to endure a lesser degree of suffering, might lay upon His children lighter burdens. God's most faithful servants receive no such exemption.
Paul and Elijah visited the place where they despaired of life. Job and Jeremiah came to curse the days of their births.
Jeremiah had called his people to repent, lest God pour out His wrath upon them. When they refused, Jeremiah shared in their punishment and suffered along with them.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the LORD.
~ Lamentations 3:26
Perhaps—perhaps—God allowed Jeremiah to suffer so that he would set an example of faith in God's goodness, of belief in God's purposes. Jeremiah's ability to praise the Lord and curse his own life in the same breath (Jeremiah 20:13-14) is proof that it can be done.
We may be proven in our defining moments,
but we are made in our quiet ones.
~ Billy Coffey
All praise to Your good and holy name, Lord God Almighty. In the place of abundance, in the place of drought, may we ever believe in Your purposes and plan.
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Copyright 2012, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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