Bible Mike Wonders

Important Words To Remember | April 15, 2010

For Those Who Suffer or Love Those Who Suffer

The Lord is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him. For He understands how weak we are; He knows we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows and we are gone – as though we had never been here. Psalm 103:13-16 NLT

Boy! That is kind of a bleak picture isn’t it? It would seem so, but this is why you need to keep reading when the message seems particularly hard or the answer you are looking for does not seem to offer the help that you want. I read this section of Psalm 103 at night, alone and feeling unwell. As I prayed for an answer to the matters troubling me, God kept sending me here to Psalm 103. As I contemplated the words I was struck by the wonder of God’s love. The first verses talk about how God has forgiven David’s sins and ransomed him from death. David is filled with the same wonder I felt. ”He has not punished us for all our sins nor has He dealt with us as we deserve.” When we finally slow down in our reading, we are embraced and filled with hope and a covenant that God is making with each of us as an individual parent. The question is whether we will do our minor part to win the major blessing for our children and our children’s children.

But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear Him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to His covenant, of those who obey His commandments! The Lord has made the heavens His throne; from there he rules over everything. Praise the Lord, you angels of His, you mighty creatures who carry out His plans, listening for each of His commands. Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels who serve Him and do His will. Praise the Lord, everything He has created everywhere in His kingdom. As for me, I too will praise the Lord. Psalm 103:17-22

God has given a father’s promise that fathers immediately understand. God’s promises don’t very often fit in packaging or a framework that we easily understand until many years of walking in light and dark and in good and ill weather. God speaks in terms of generations, of thousands of years. He sent the Jews into captivity for seventy years, but made it sound like a gift because it was. Jeremiah was force to prophesy the terrible things that would happen to the Jewish people and end these terrible sayings with words of great plans or designs God had in store for these people. None of the people listening were going to survive the seventy years of starvations, slavery and cannibalism to see those designs begin to come to pass. Many of us have the words of the promise written on a wall or picture in our home, but we conveniently leave out the part that is hard to hear, but absolutely necessary to experience if the rest is to come to pass.

The Lord Almighty, the God of Israel says, ‘do not let the prophets and mediums who are there in Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams because they prophesy lies in my name. I have not sent them,’ says the Lord. ‘The truth is that you will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Imagine the heaviness of Jeremiah’s heart as he had to say the things of trial and suffering that the Jew must face in the next seventy years, but the wise Jews put their hope on a promise. They put their faith in God’s statement that He had an extremely intricate design that man could not understand, but which carried the promise of generations of hope. God did exactly the same thing through David as the great king humbled himself to worship and praise the God who had preserved him. His salvation extends to the children’s children. There are many better-educated men than I who will tell you that the promise in Psalm 138 applies to a single event involving David. I respectfully disagree and with Jeremiah and David announce that my God is bigger than that. The love of the Lord endures forever!!!

As David praised God, the Holy Spirit spoke through him as He had done before and would again. God understands our suffering. He recognizes we are but gnats whose life spans are less than God’s blink. Praise God like His angels praise Him. Stand before Him like His armies of angels stand before Him. Serve Him and do His will. Obey His commandments, a task made easier now by the presence of the Holy Spirit in those who have given Him their allegiance. Serve Him. Do His Will as servant to warrior King. Your life, your goods, your very soul is His to command. He has promised that if you do that which is required of you if you have truly given your allegiance to Him as Old Testament obeisance required, then the promise of God’s blessing on your children and your children’s children is absolute. David knew that and that is why he rejoiced. We know it in our hearts and it is supported in the scripture. God is consistent and unchanging though men will continue to try to change His words and His promises in perversions of the truth.

There is no promise of riches or perfect health. I am living proof that terrible illnesses are contracted just by living in this world. My faith is greater now than it has ever been in my lifetime, but I have a debillitating illness. My illness is not caused by a failure of my faith. It is caused by living in a sin infected world that is a thriving greenhouse of disease. I praise God for the opportunity to get to know Him better and to better understand doing His will. The world is at fault for many things and everything in the world not produced to praise God is sin according to the scriptures.

One thing is certainly true if you suffer and you pray about it with the Lord, you can’t help giving praise to God for all the good He is doing in your life and you can’t stop telling everyone else about all the good stuff God does. It operates on the same principle of all that God has created. If you touch something hot, it burns you. It you stand in the rain, you will get wet. If you pray about hardship or suffering, God will give you much to rejoice about. It may not be what you expect. In fact, it usually isn’t, but your heart will be filled with a gladness and thanksgiving. You will be drawn closer to God and He will put His hand on your children and your children’s children.

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to Him, yes, sing His praises. Tell everyone about His miracles. Exult in His Holy Name; O, worshippers of the Lord, rejoice. Search for the Lord and for His strength, and keep on searching. Think of the wonderful works He has done, the miracles and the judgments He has handed down, O children of Abraham, God’s servant, O descendants of Jacob God’s chosen one. He is the Lord our God. Psalm 105:1-7 NLT

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