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The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17 NIV
Sometimes I wonder after a long period of illness if God was punishing me for something I had unknowingly done wrong. But other times, I think that maybe I did nothing wrong, and the hardships I experienced were ways of teaching me wisdom and appreciation for good health, a good job, and a supportive family.
The Lord delights in us. He wants to see us happy and successful. He wants us to live a righteous life according to His purpose. We sometimes don’t understand why bad things happen, but we can have faith that one day He will reveal everything to us. Amen.
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. – 2 Corinthians 12:7-8
How often do we pray for the same thing three times, only to have it persist? Sometimes God puts thorns in our lives for a reason, so we will learn something from having them present.
Thorns protect roses, so thorns, although pointy and hurtful, serve a purpose.
Sometimes we have to experience a little discomfort to learn to be more grateful for what we have.
To truly rely on God and stop worrying, we have to trust that everything in our lives is there for a reason. Amen.
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. – Psalms 73:23-24 NIV
Sometimes when we are walking in a parking lot, my toddler refuses to hold my hand. I let him walk on his own, but I stay close by.
The Lord teaches us. He sometimes lets us experience difficulties because He knows we will learn more about forgiveness after someone has wronged us than if we had not experienced the hardship at all.
We make things harder on ourselves when we refuse to hold the Lord by His hand. He offers protection and safety as well as comfort. We sometimes have to learn our lessons the hard way. We can always put our trust in the Lord. Amen.
Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. – Luke 6:37 NKJV
Sometimes we can be a harsh judge of other people who we believe have wronged us in the past. We replay what they did in our minds and condemn them for what they did wrong.
Forgiveness does not make what they did right, but forgiveness is a prescription for healing. Jesus teaches us to forgive, and whenever we remember those old wrongs and start to feel angry and resentful all over again, we can remind ourselves that forgiveness heals us and allows us to become more like Jesus.
God sometimes allows difficult situations to enter into our lives to teach us. Whenever we feel angry, we can remind ourselves to forgive 70×7. Amen.
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of His inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. – Micah 7:18
When someone we worked hard for in the past hurts our feelings, it’s tempting to stay angry and hold a grudge against that person.
God expects us to show mercy the way He would show mercy to us. He pardons our sins, and we can be thankful for the mercy He shows us. Isn’t it also good to mirror His character and let go of anger and resentment?
Forgiveness helps us heal. We may not forget the lesson we learned as a result of whatever happened, but we can thank God for allowing that lesson to come into our lives. When we practice mercy and forgiveness, we become a little more like Him. Amen.