I wanted to go to bed early tonight but, I read something I was compelled to write about:
Jeremiah 9:7 Thereofre this is what the Lord Almighty says: “See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my people?”
This pertains to “Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places”. Those who were “circumcised only in the flesh”.
People who are angry and are going through hardship often ask, “If your God is such a powerful God, then why does He let bad things happen?”
And you know what, I think, based on the Scripture I just read, it’s not that He lets bad things happen. It’s that we have free will and we are very hardheaded. If you read back a few verses prior to the aforementioned, God has been blessing His people over and over again, giving them second chances, because He is a God who likes to exercise kindness, justice and righteousness. But we humans are just so darned hardheaded and we keep on insisting on doing things our way. And you know, since we have free will and all, if we insist on going down a path that God has told us repeatedly to stay away from, then, we eventually head straight for disaster.
I can relate to this because I’ve made the same mistake in my career over and over again. God gave me about three huge opportunities and I kept making the same mistake. So he kept refining and testing me, until finally, I got it right. Today, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. In an ideal work environment, with the perfect load, and the room to grow and learn.
Let’s take something that maybe more people can relate to. Let’s talk about global warming and all the disasters that are happening because of it. I don’t believe that God brought on all these terrible disasters to wreak havoc and cause despair and anguish over those who were affected. But we’ve received more than a few warnings about how we need to treat our Earth. Many of us ignored the call to become better inhabitants of this planet, until we’ve disobeyed to a point of no return. We’ve damaged our planet so much that we’re finally (and lethally) feeling the effects. God didn’t want us to suffer. But we were so stubborn, selfish and stupid (for using our free will irresponsibly) that it’s come back to bite us in the a**.
So in a nutshell, I just felt compelled to write what I took away from Jeremiah 9 tonight. God doesn’t spite us, or punish us happily. We suffer at our own doing. We use our free will unwisely, and precisely because we have that – free will – we suffer the consequences. And let’s face it. If these bad things don’t ever happen, will we ever learn? We certainly won’t. After all, we only start to repent when we’ve suffered a debilitating blow.