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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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The Perfect Father’s Discipline

The Perfect Father’s Discipline

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clipart

Written by Erin Lamb, all rights reserved.

God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love, ~Psalm 145:8.

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.

Dear friends, nothing raises more arguments than the subject of how God disciplines His children. Some cling to the Old Testament examples of God striking people dead while others believe that God is okay with whatever we do. Let’s allow the pendulum to swing to truth and dissect a perfect parent’s discipline.

1. The Perfect Father protects. God is holy (has no fault; He is perfection) .God hates sin. Why? Sin is falling short of His standard. He is spotless, and sin is pollution. Sin also separates us (His children) from the best life possible. Sin is like cancer, it multiplies and destroys its host. Think of it this way, we keep poisons away from children. We tell them no when they try to get to them. We do these things out of love. We know more than they know that what they are after leads to death. The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, ~Romans 6:23. Adam and Eve didn’t die physically when they sinned but they did die a spiritual death. We too suffer when we choose our way above God’s way. He is always right. So…

The Perfect Father points His children away from things that will harm them, especially sin. He doesn’t say no because He hates us or wants to spoil the party. He knows that sin will lead to our destruction. God is love, life, peace, hope, and joy.

2. God disciplines primarily through words, not killing people. If you pick up a Bible and read it, you will notice God spoke to people either directly or through someone else to warn them of their behavior. He asks questions. Why did you do this? If He was out to kill every person who didn’t do what He said, then we would all be in trouble. Adam was the first sinner. He directly disobeyed God. Adam lived.  Abraham lied on several occasions and he lived. He became a great father of faith. David committed adultery and had someone killed to have their wife. David lived and was called a man after God’s own heart. God never condones bad behavior. He does however give us a chance to repent (change our ways), and He is generous with forgiveness. See 2 Peter 3:9.

4. God knows our hearts and weaknesses. Some of us do the wrong thing and have no idea we are falling short. There are some of us who willingly do the wrong thing. God knows whether we understand or we don’t understand. For example a parent would have a different response to a 2-year-old who destroys something in the house and a teenager. Either way, God is patient with us. If He weren’t, I certainly would not be typing to you.

5. God is not out to get you. There are so many people who have an unhealthy fear of God. It is true that we reverence Him as God. However, He is not sitting in the heavens looking down for someone to pick on. He is not cruel or blood-thirsty. God is love. More than anything He wants a relationship with His children, to protect them from harm, and to bless His offspring. Jesus came not to destroy the world, but to save it so we could all be reconciled to the Father (John 3:17).

6. The Perfect Father gives freedom. God gives us many chances to choose the right path before He allows us to be turned over to our own desires. He pursues our best interests right up until the point we say, “I don’t need or want you.” I have seen people self-destruct not because of what God was doing, but because of their own poor choices.  Even still, if they turn around and want Him, He runs with arms wide open (think..prodigal son story-Luke 15:11-25)

Lastly, just like the photo in this post, God is looking at you with the eyes of love. He is saying, “This is my child and I want nothing more than to be in this moment with you. I am so glad I made you.”  God is a loving, patient, and caring Father. My prayer is any ideas of Him you have that contradict that truth are uprooted. He does not want to harm you, but to give you an amazing life. You are deeply loved.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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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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