Bible Order: Jeremiah 7:30–10:25
Chronological Order: Jeremiah 26-29
New Testament Only: Romans 5
Many Are The Afflictions Of The Righteous
God has told us that if we obey Him and walk in His ways we will be blessed and that if we don’t obey Him and don’t walk in His ways we will be cursed. From this we get the mistaken idea that if we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior only good things will happen to us and bad things will never occur. We grab hold of this idea for all we are worth, which is why we are so devastated when something bad happens to us or to someone we know to be a “good person”. “I’m a good person! I’ve haven’t done anything REALLY bad! I’ve done more good than bad! How can God allow this bad thing to happen to me?”
This is one of those cases where we take a promise of God and manipulate it to mean what we want it to mean rather than accepting it for what it is. Let me ask you something. Which is more important, this life or eternity? Which is God more concerned with? In case you weren’t sure, eternity is the answer to both questions. God’s plan for you is eternity. Now, let me ask you something else. Have you been perfect all your life? No? That’s the standard for eternity you know. You have not always obeyed God, have you? You have not always walked in His ways, have you? I’m afraid you have not been a “good person” by God’s standard; and it is his standard, and His alone, that matters. Eternity is available for perfect people.
There was only one of those, however, and His name is Jesus. The blessing God is most intent on giving you is eternity. He came down here to earth to offer it to you. If you confess your sins and accept His sacrifice you can invite Him to come and live in your heart where He will prepare you for eternity. Bad things can and will happen. Jesus is our example in all things. He was perfect. Did He have only blessings in His life? No. Our lives are better when we walk in God’s ways and they are usually miserable when we don’t, but life on this planet is not the goal. Eternity is the goal and it is there where God’s greatest blessings lay.
Look at what David wrote:
Psalm 34:19-22 ESV
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.”
Did you hear that? Many are the afflictions of the righteous. That was certainly the case for Jesus. The good news is that Jesus will deliver us out of them all; none who have taken refuge in Him will be condemned. I think it is time we stopped chasing after paltry little blessings on this earth and started looking forward to the blessings we have in eternity. This life is not what it is all about. Eternity is what it is all about. Our prayers and our hopes need to be focused on eternity. Accept that afflictions will be yours for a time and know that the Lord will deliver you out of them all.
Have a blessed day!
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!
(Originally posted 6/19/10)