Journal Entry ~ 02/19/19
18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. - Psalm 34:18-19
Many are the afflictions of the righteous. In other words, the righteous will experience many afflictions. We need to understand the more we grow in righteousness, the greater the number of trials we must expect to endure. Sadly, this is in direct opposition to what many may believe or teach about God.
Some Christians falsely believe that the more our faith in God grows, the easier our lives will become. I just need to be better or pray harder and God will fix all the things wrong with my life. That's not the way it works. You see, if that was the case - if God was our genie in a bottle and just gave us everything we wanted -we would only grow in selfishness. We would only be focused on what we want for us and what would make our lives easier, but we would not grow in compassion for others. He can’t grow our compassion for others by answering our prayers the way we want Him to. The world already has enough selfishness - what the world needs is more love, more hope, and more comfort. Oh, that the world would be filled with great comforters! THAT'S His plan. That was always the plan.
God created us to be relational beings who would be there to comfort and encourage one another. He created a beautiful world where people cared more deeply for others than they did for themselves, but sin broke this world. Just think about what happens when someone is your life is going through a trial - you may take a moment or two out of your life to encourage that person, you may even take enough time to make them a meal or clean their house, but then you’re right back to your priorities, your agenda, your schedule.
God breaks us because He is trying to lead us back to the place where we care more for others than we care for ourselves. How does he tenderize our hearts? How does He fill the world with great comforters? By putting us in the very suffering that others in our lives experience - all so that we understand what kind of comfort others need.
He chastens those He loves, just as a father disciplines a child. So, many will be the afflictions of the righteous. If we are enduring trials in our life, if we have heartache and sorrow, then we can count on these things - He will be near to us, He will save our souls from being crushed, He will deliver us from our afflictions, but He will be doing it by growing our compassion for others.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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