He Does Not Afflict Willingly
He Does Not Afflict Willingly
We all have experienced what we call “bad things”. They just happen. We don’t know why. They seem devastating — and we might even wonder if God knows or cares about what we are experiencing. It is good for all Christians to become acquainted with all the “bad things” God’s children have experienced down through the ages. Knowing about all the “bad things” that have happened to God’s children — and how God carried them through to victory — will strengthen us to live better lives of faith, hope, and love.
In Lamentations 3:32-33, Jeremiah proclaims his experiences,
For if He causes grief,
Then He will have compassion
According to His abundant lovingkindness.
For He does not afflict willingly
Or grieve the sons of men.
Jeremiah experienced so many griefs and hardships. He also experienced God’s “abundant lovingkindness”. God always has a good purpose behind every affliction, so we can trust Him to do good in the end — a good that is far beyond our imagination.
That’s how it was for Mary, the mother of Jesus. When baby Jesus was presented to the Lord, Simeon blessed them and said in Luke 2:34-35,
Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed — and a sword will pierce even your own soul — to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.
That prophecy came true. Jesus was defiantly “opposed” by the religious leaders. Consequently, “many in Israel” fell in their unbelief — and many rose to a joyous faith of forgiveness in Jesus. When the religious leaders succeeded in having Jesus crucified, Mary’s heart and soul felt pierced with “a sword”.
For every “fall and rise of many in Israel” the “thoughts from many hearts” were “revealed”. Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection showed who believed God’s prophecies were fulfilled — and who did not. God did not “willingly” “afflict” Mary. But, the affliction was necessary to bring the knowledge of our sure salvation through faith in Jesus.
As we entrust our whole lives to our LORD, we say, “Hallelujah! LORD, thank You for carrying us through our afflictions.”
A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and GOD of gods.
Pray for our country.
The LORD made this day, let us rejoice and be glad in Him.
The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.