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Does God Delight In Your Suffering?-The Perfect Father

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clipart

Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28.

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give, Jesus said to the disciples. Matt 10:8.

As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one, Luke 4:40.

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick, Matt 14:14

Imagine a father who wants to teach his child to love him so he injects his child with diseases, surrounds the child with other kids who beat him up, tells him often how awful he is and needs to get it together,  floods his tree house and destroys what he loves when he doesn’t obey, and then says, “I did that so you could learn to be strong, a better person, and learn to love me.” You’d have that parent arrested. If you are under the train of thought that God enjoys watching you suffer, I hope this post opens your eyes to one of the most beautiful parts of His heart, compassion. Some of us were taught that God delights in our suffering or causes our suffering. If He was an earthy parent, He would have been in prison by now. He’s been blamed for natural disasters (acts of God they call them), putting sickness on people, and causing traumas in their lives. We call it God’s way of teaching us a lesson, refining our character, teaching us to be holy, and to fear Him. Well, if you read all of the Bible there are quite a few passages that contradict that train of thought.

1. Jesus came and healed the sick, delivered the demonized, fed the hungry & poor, raised the dead, brought justice, and told the disciples to do the same things they saw Him doing. If God wanted us to be sick to teach us to be holy, then it wouldn’t make sense that all throughout scripture God is healing people and telling us to heal the sick.

2. God often says, “Come Me and I will carry your burdens (Psalm 68:19) and I will give you rest.” If He was the One giving us burdens to teach us to be more like Him, why would He ask us to give Him our burdens? It doesn’t make sense. You don’t give someone something and then ask for it back.

3. There was no suffering in the garden of Eden before Adam and Eve sinned. They lived in paradise, in perfect communion with God. God called the condition of the world very good. See Genesis verses below.

God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good, Genesis 1: 29-31.

There is no mention of suffering until Genesis 3 when sin entered the picture. Suffering is the result of sin in the world. There were no natural disasters in the garden. No hurricanes, droughts, or earthquakes.

4.There will be no suffering in heaven. As there will be no sin in heaven.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away, Rev 21:4.

5. If God wanted to destroy the world, why did He send Jesus to save the world? Why would He commission us to share His love with those who don’t know Him? Why would He wish for none to perish, but all to come to know Him?

God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him, John 3:17.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance, 2 Peter 3:9.

I hope some of that background info at least lifted some of the thoughts that God is out to get you or anyone else in the world. Also it’s difficult to receive love from someone we believe wants to hurt us. Sin hurts us. Living in a sinful world hurts us. Living apart from God hurts us. Making poor choices hurts us. I believe that the reason we are told to delight in suffering in the Bible is because God has a solution for the problem (sin). He will also reward those who endure hardships for the gospel and His children for living committed to Him in this broken world. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted, Matt 5:4. God will use what was intended for evil to bless us, and He gives great rewards.

I also believe because of Adam and Eve’s sin and we are born not loving God, many people come to know Him in times of tragedy. Not that God causes those tragedies, but I’ve seen in my own life that He’s taken the opportunity to step in and say, “You are hurting, let Me help you. I love you. I will comfort you. I will be your friend. I will heal you.

We can easily blame God for the bad things the happen and miss the fact that evil exists because of the devil and sin. The devil hides behind the scenes telling people, “God did this. Why didn’t God stop this from happening to you? If God really loved you this never would have happened.” or “God is trying to make you holy through this cancer, loss, tragedy.” All those things lead us to believe that God is cruel, unkind, and unloving. It doesn’t draw us to God’s heart, it often pushes us away.

Jesus suffered for us, for our sins. And if we suffer for following Him, He promises a great reward. I believe it’s one of the reasons why Apostle Paul wanted to fellowship in suffering with Christ. When someone has suffered for you, you are more than willing to partake in their suffering. There is a blessing God places on people who suffer for His name. However, if you are sick in your body, your mind, your spirit, your finances, you’ve lost a child, parent, relationship, fill in the blank, God wants you to know that He does not delight in your suffering. It brings no glory to God to see us in pain or without. There’s a difference between suffering because you’re preaching the gospel, and suffering because of someone else’s sin or the results of sin in this world. If that were so (God delighted in your pain), He would not have sent Jesus to heal, deliver, restore, or the Holy Spirit to comfort. God bless you friends. Whatever your pain, God sees. God knows. God cares. You are deeply loved.

Love,

Erin

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2012 in From the Author, God's Heart, Uncategorized

 

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I AM (poem)

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clipart

(Love letter from God)

written by Erin Lamb, all rights reserved.

I am the first and I am the last. My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and My right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together, Isaiah 48:12b-13

I AM

the One who’s been in your yesterday and collected every single tear;

carrying you when you could not take a single step or even muster the strength to stand.

I’ve sailed on the sea of your tears and bottled each one.

I AM

the One who saw your depravity and decided I would exchange My life for yours.

I surrendered My rights, for you to have freedom, so your heart and Mine could collide.

I AM

the only One who knows you fully,

seeing you exactly as you are and how I intended you to be.

I look at you through the eyes of love; what matters to you, matters to Me.

I AM

the One who loved you first.

You will never outgrow your welcome, here in My embrace.

I AM

the One who plants flowers on your path, lights your day with sunlight,

and breathed life into your lungs.

I AM

here when you are happy, and I remain when you have lost peace.

I AM

the One who will never leave you nor forsake you.

My covenant I must keep, not out of a burden or pure obligation,

but out of love for you, the object of My affection.

I AM

rest for the torn, worn, abused, and fatigued;

the One who stands as your defense.

I will not leave you alone or defeated.

I AM

the One who has waited for you to see that only I can make you truly happy and complete.

My heart is longing to fill your sense of belonging,

as you have cried out on bended knee.

I AM

the Redeemer,

who takes all that has been lost and shattered, bringing restoration, hope,

renewing your sense of wonder.

I AM

the miracle worker.

Marvel at the works of My hands.

What is impossible with men, I can do with one word spoken from My lips.

I AM

the One who stands alone with the perfect key to your heart;

the only One who can make you whole.

You may look for another savior, but no other one you’ll find.

I AM

the Alpha and Omega;

the One who created and holds all time.

I AM

the bookends that hold your life together,

and with one whisper I can call you home.

There is no one who can stand above Me, I’m sovereign over all.

I AM

the One who created all life,

and I applaud My great work called you.

I made you for Myself, for My likeness to shine through you.

If only you could see what I see, who I made you to be.

If only you knew, in the depths of your heart, how much you mean to Me.

I AM

the One who loves you unconditionally.

My love is unlike what you’ve known.

It is not based on what you do or what you have to offer.

I love you with a love that is unbreakable, unmovable, and I will not fail you.

You may not understand My ways, but when you bask in My love

you’ll understand that I only want what’s best for you.

I AM

the One who comforts you.

In this life there will be pain, there will be loss, and sometimes your heart will ache.

I AM

the One who went ahead of you to prepare a place with no sorrow, and no pain.

A place where you and I could forever remain.

In Me there will be no more death, for I defeated it once and for all.

Take hold of My love, right here, and right now.

My love is a love that will not and cannot disappoint.

I AM

the ultimate Creator; you were made for My Glory.

All creation points to Me, and how marvelous are all My deeds.

So, My child, come.

Come to the One

who knows everything there is to know about love.

I AM

the One who can love you better than you can love yourself,

better than anyone else can.

I can see what you cannot see,

and I can make your dreams a reality.

I AM

the One to meet your deepest needs.

What your heart needs is more of Me; more of My love, more of My grace,

and more time where we meet face to face.

All other loves are simply substitutes that can not love you the way that I do.

I know you.

I see you.

Even with all that I see; I chose you, I choose you, and I want your heart to abide in Me.

There is a God sized void in all of us whether we recognize it or not. Something inside us that wants to be loved just the way we are. We long for a love that will not fail us or disappoint us. We long for security, comfort, hope, healing, justice, and unconditional love in a world that can be dark, bleak, and full of shadows. There is only One I know who does it perfectly; His name is Jesus. God knew we needed a Savior. Jesus is the only One who can save us. He is the only One who can complete us and make us whole. He sees us exactly the way we are and as the person we were created to be. We won’t find a better love. He is the only One who can do the impossible. My prayer is that God takes us so deep into the depths of His love, we are never the same.

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in From the Author, God's Heart, Poetry

 

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A Compassionate God

Today I took some time to simply thank God. Despite what life throws at us, God is there. His presence brings a peace that is unexplainable. I also spent time today meditating on one of my favorite promises from Him. He promises that He will never leave or forsake us. Not only does He promise to never abandon, He also states that He cares about our needs. He is a compassionate, loving Father. And He considers us valuable.

“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds?”
Luke 12:24

God’s heart overflows with love, compassion, and concern for us. His love and compassion yields His heart to meet our needs. What I need from Him so far this week is wisdom. I also need His comfort.

What is your need this week?

Is it for comfort? Come to Jesus. He is the world’s best comforter.

Is it for a listening ear? Come to Jesus. His ears and arms are wide open. 24/7 He is available for you.

Is it for encouragement? Come to Jesus. He is your biggest cheerleader.

Is it for a miracle? Come to Jesus. He is all powerful.

Is it for resources? Come to Jesus. He has unlimited resources.

Is it for friendship? Come to Jesus. He sticks closer than a brother.

You might be saying, “I’ve tried to cultivate a relationship with God and it seems like I’m talking to dead air.” Well, that’s where faith comes in. God hears you. Don’t let what you see or feel hinder your journey. Faith is not seeing and believing. Keep pressing in. He’s there.

Sometimes we miss Him because we look for answers and solutions to our problems outside of Him. The things and people that we cling to can never replace Him. The God shaped void inside us can only be filled by Him. He uses people to fulfill His purposes, but He never wants to be replaced by them.

Sometimes He doesn’t answer as quickly or the way we would like, but I promise He is love. I promise He cares.

So, I pray this week our hearts are overwhelmed by the truth that God sees, God cares, and has the ability to meet all our needs. No one does it better than Jesus. Carrying you in my thoughts and prayers.

Love,

Erin

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2012 in Devotions, From the Author

 

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