It may feel very distant in your mind, but remember the mild weather we had all fall of 2017? At least one person told me, “We’ll pay for it this winter!” I don’t normally put much stock in that comment; last I heard weather was free and you can have all you want of it by simply stepping outside. Their prediction was worse than expected; we paid for it with a snowy winter and worse, a snowy spring! While I acknowledge they were right THIS TIME, I still don’t care to borrow from tomorrow’s clouds to obscure today’s sun.
For men are not cast off by the LORD forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men. Lamentations 3:31-33
That’s the attitude that gets us traction in this life! Dreary days and difficult circumstances may threaten and linger, but the love of our God is greater than all circumstances. As these verses show, compassion and love will win out over affliction and grief. The good news is, tough times are temporary.
The last sentence also interests me. We understand God to be all-powerful and His will is perfect. So how is it that if He is unwilling to bring difficulties that the happen to us all?
They happen because we are stubborn. We insist on going our way. We exercise the free will He has given us to defy Him and disobey. When we won’t learn the easy way, we have to learn the hard way. God resorts to hassle of experience when we purposely ignore the gentle leadings of the Spirit and the Word.
Godly parents vastly prefer it when their children “get it” and obey on their own. They dislike having to discipline, but don’t shrink from it either. Why should we expect any less from our Father in Heaven? The point of discipline is not to get revenge or exercise anger, but to train human beings to maturity in body, soul, and spirit. It is to promote self-control because self-control is always better than being controlled by others.
Good news awaits us at the end. Spiritual maturity is one of the most rewarding experiences of life. It occurs when we respond positively to the training in righteousness we have received. Then, like the dawn, afflictions vanish with the darkness they created and we know a sweet springtime in our soul.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24