Wednesday, November 30, 2005

When God Wounds

Lamentations 3: "12 The LORD bent his bow and aimed it squarely at me. 13 He shot his arrows deep into my heart. 14 My own people laugh at me. All day long they sing their mocking songs. 15 He has filled me with bitterness. He has given me a cup of deep sorrow to drink. 16 He has made me grind my teeth on gravel. He has rolled me in the dust. 17 Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is. 18 I cry out, "My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the LORD is lost!" 19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. 20 I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.

21 Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: 22 The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. 24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!" 25 The LORD is wonderfully good to those who wait for him and seek him. 26 So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD. 27 And it is good for the young to submit to the yoke of his discipline. 28 Let them sit alone in silence beneath the LORD's demands. 29 Let them lie face down in the dust; then at last there is hope for them. 30 Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them. Let them accept the insults of their enemies. 31 For the Lord does not abandon anyone forever. 32 Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion according to the greatness of his unfailing love. 33 For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow."

Hurricanes, Avian Flu, Crime, War, Terrorism, Cancer are sometimes given as afflictions under God's hand as discipline. Very few people want to see God this way. Not every victim is being punished because of their sin- any single event has hundreds of purposes- but we do suffer sometimes because of idolatry and sin. When God wounds... do not loosen your grip on the cross- cling to it even harder.

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