ISAIAH 30:26 – Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the Lord binds up the brokenness of His people, and heals the wounds inflicted by His blow.
THEME OF THE DAY. YES, GOD “HURTS” HIS CHILDREN. Let’s get something out of the way. Don’t listen to any “Christian teaching” by a preacher, author, or anyone else claiming it is never God’s will for His people to suffer. There is much today in the prosperity gospel circles, which is no gospel, proclaiming this as truth. It is not. We don’t need to provide more Biblical support than the life of our Lord Jesus. We read in the book of Isaiah, “But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand” (Isaiah 53:10). May we honestly believe it is not God’s will for us to suffer when Jesus, His Son, was crushed out of His good pleasure? But here is a distinction. Yes, God “hurts” His children, sometimes deeply and for a long time. Yet, He never does it out of anger, displeasure, or punitively. All those displays of righteous indignation were placed on the Lord Jesus for us, once and for all. All the pain our Father sends into our lives is for good purposes because He is good. And remember, the Divine Hand that holds the smarting rod is a hand of love. Now, at least two purposes the Lord wants to accomplish in our lives by “hurting” us.
First, God “hurts” us to remove our pride. He did so with the Apostle Paul and will do so to us – “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Here is a solid truth about the Lord. He loves us so much and knows how destructive pride is to us and all our relationships that He will spare no amount of pain to get this ugly thing out of us. And that may include leaving burdens and circumstances in our lives to keep us humble before Him. Like He did the Apostle Paul.
Another purpose behind God “hurting us” is to remove our self-sufficiency. Ranking right up there with pride is the ugly sin of self-sufficiency. Why so? It robs God of His glory. It takes the attention off Him. It draws attention to ourselves and our so called “accomplishments.” So, to avoid living in the strength of self, the Lord will send circumstances and situations into our lives emptying us of self. Again, the Apostle Paul is our example – For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again (2 Corinthians 1:8-10).
So, if we want to be used for God, be prepared to be hurt by God. His love demands it. His commitment to us demands it. Submit to it and learn the lessons He wants to teach us through the pain.
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me when I doubt Your love during times of suffering and forget it is from You for my good.”
QUOTE: “When God sends pain and suffering into our lives, don’t pray for deliverance, but for spiritual development.”