I Have Seen Affliction

Lamentations 3:1-3 ESV

“I am the man who has seen affliction
under the rod of his wrath;
he has driven and brought me
into darkness without any light;
surely against me he turns his hand
again and again the whole day long.”

[Read vv. 1-18, for the next section will begin with verse 19]

When God Judges

When God judges a nation, or when he judges his adulterous people within that nation, everyone suffers, even the godly and those living righteously.

For example, I believe America and other nations in the world and/or the adulterous church within America and/or in other nations, too, are now under God’s judgment, and that is why we are all going through what we are now going through, whether we are righteous or not.

Our nations are in turmoil. Our freedoms are being stripped away from us. We are coming under more and more government control. Civil unrest is all over the place. Deception abounds both on the left and on the right. And good is being portrayed as evil, and evil is being portrayed as good.

Jesus Christ, his gospel, and his messengers are all undergoing persecution. The gospel is being brought into disrepute, while a false gospel of men is being raised up as holy. Jesus’ teachings on repentance, obedience and submission are being rejected while teachings on freedom to sin, disobedience, and dishonor of God are being accepted as righteous.

So, those with sincere devotion to Jesus Christ who are following him in his truth and in his ways, who are still proclaiming the gospel as Jesus and his New Testament apostles taught it, are being discriminated against within local gatherings of the church which are united with the state church.

They are being told to “lighten up,” or to “stay in your own lane,” or to not say anything that will offend people, or to withhold the truth from people until they have known them at least two years and they have earned the right to speak truth to them.

They are being encouraged to forsake teachings on repentance, obedience and submission to Christ, for these are now being classified as “works-based salvation,” which we are to not engage in, but while they are pushing a gospel that gives permission to continue living in sin, without guilt, and that even teaches disobedience to and the dishonoring of God.

And we have the promise of the worst yet to come, both as prophesied in Scripture regarding these last days before the return of Christ, and as being promoted through our government leaders and news media who give the bleakest of predictions for our future as the people of this world.

Heart Cries

When we are going through difficult times such as these it may be difficult for us to comprehend why God is allowing all this evil to take place and why he is not coming to our rescue. We may even begin to question God’s sovereignty over our lives or his judgments in these matters.

We may even begin to doubt our own sanity or our own relationships with the Lord and to wonder if, perhaps, we are doing something wrong and that is why this evil has come upon us. Now we should examine our hearts, for we may be at fault, but not to the point of self-abasement.

We may even turn our distress over these situations into anger and resentment against God and we may feel that he is doing us wrong by allowing us to go through all these trials and by not rescuing us from it all. And so, we may blame him for our troubles.

And we may feel as though he is ignoring our pleas for mercy, for help, and for deliverance, as though he has abandoned us and has turned his back on us. And we may, thus, feel deserted and in despair, feeling hopeless, as though there is no way out of this mess.

And we may begin to see God as the enemy rather than to see Satan as our enemy, and to see God as our opposition who wishes us harm, rather than to see Satan as the one who is trying to take us out. We may even feel that God is standing back and that he is just laughing at us.

Lamentations 3:19-24 ESV

“Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I will hope in him.’”

Reason and Understanding

If and when we have worked through all those confusing emotions in prayer with our Lord, then we can come to a place of reason and of understanding, so that we now have hope. Sometimes we just have to work all those emotions out in prayer before we can come to that place of peace.

Then we can pray in submission to his purposes for our lives and in all humility, regardless of the outcome, believe that God truly has our welfare in mind. We can believe in his sovereignty over our lives, and trust that he truly knows best. And then we can surrender our lives to his will for us.

For, now we can see clearly that God’s love never fails us, and his mercies never come to an end. He is always there for us, day in and day out, no matter what we are going through. If he allows us to go through difficult times, they are for our good, to mature us in Christ and to make us holy.

For, our Lord is completely faithful in all that he does. So, we can trust him fully with our lives, and we can put our hope completely in him, for he will not fail us. He will not desert us. And he will not let us down. He will work all things in our lives for good for those of us who love him (obey him) and who have been called according to HIS purposes.

Believe Him

An Original Work / July 15, 2013

My heart cries: Lord, won’t You hear me
Seeking You for the answers
To my heartache and questions
I have concerning my life?
Speak, Lord, to me right now.

“Oh, dear one, why don’t you trust Me
With your life’s circumstances?
Give your all on the altar
In submission of your will
To My purpose for you.

“Surrender your life completely
To your Lord and your Savior.
He has all things planned for you
For His glory and honor.
He’ll work all things for good.

“Believe Him. He will fulfill all
Of His promises to you
For your life and your future.
Trust Him. Rest in His love.
He’ll give you peace from above.”

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