Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The Chief Good In All Our Troubles

DEUTERONONOMY 4:29-31 – But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the Lord your God and obey his voice. For the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them.”

.The context of today’s scripture is God’s people being warned about idolatry. They had been enslaved in the land of much idolatry, Egypt, and the Lord delivered them from their bondage and trouble. It was not without pain – But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day (Deuteronomy 4:20). Yet, the lesson learned for God’s people when He places them in the “furnace of affliction” is significant. It is in troubled times we intensify three things: our desire for the Lord; our seeking of the Lord; and our dependency on the Lord. Let’s dive a little deeper into these truths of God’s dealing with us through troubled times.

When life is relatively easy and life’s problems manageable, we tend to drift away from a diligent spiritual watch over our hearts and minds. Oh, we don’t willfully neglect the Lord. We just lose a sense of closeness with Him and dependency upon Him. And if we are not careful, the continuance in this condition may lead to spiritual complacency or even becoming backslidden. Yet, God loves us too much to not “turn the heat up” in our lives to awaken us to our danger. He will bring troubled and trying times into our lives for the purpose of drawing us back to Him. Just like He did with His people of old in today’s scriptures. And that leads to the second truth of God’s dealing with us through troubled times

God will not spare us any pain to ensure our hearts remain true to Him. It is important to see the intensity of His love for us demands an intensity of discipline upon us. The Lord knows how easily we spiritually drift; how prone we are to wander from Him, and He equally knows the worst thing to happen to His children is to drift and wander from Him. So, what does He do? Enter chastisement. Enter suffering. Enter pain. Enter affliction. In all those workings of the Lord, the chief good is to keep us dependent on Him, seeking Him, and realizing nothing is more important in life than our closeness to Him.

PRAYER: “Father, help me see Your Hand of painful discipline in my life is designed to draw me near to You.”

QUOTE: “Troubled times are to be drawing near to the Lord times. In suffering, we seek Him more earnestly.”

Because of Him,

Pastor Jim