Thursday, March 30, 2006

There has been a lot of pain in my life as well as everyone else's life. So many times we cry out and ask God where the justice is. Why are we allowed to be treated in such horrible ways at times and yet those who bring affliction on us seem to thrive. It's a concept that we can't fully comprehend but I think a good portion of the answer is found in Exodus when God led His people out of Egypt. These people had gone through so much pain and suffering and I'm pretty certain it is more than most of us could even begin to imagine. Why? I think that God puts it pretty clearly in the end when the Egyptians drown in the Red Sea.... In Exodus 14:17, God says "...And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen." God has promised us that everything will work together for His glory. And His Glory I believe is partially us. These people had so much affliction on them and, as any of us would, they wanted to see the source of that affliction taken care of in one way or another. God felt for His people and as you read this story in Exodus, you see that God actually was hardening Pharaoh's heart. This doesnt really make logical sense.... If God really cares for us, why does he make those who bring affliction on us hate us even more? But, again, the answer lays in His glory. It's not our responsibility to harm those who harm us. It's not our place to judge. This is God's place... and I think He takes great Joy in not only removing our source of affliction but in completely destroying it. In this case, God was leading the Israelites in circles at times, it seemed.... and it seems like they were allowed to be put in bad situations and I'm sure this frustrated them. But in the end, it wasnt just a handful of their enemies that they watched drown... it was all of them. God completely wiped out every enemy they had right before their eyes. It wasn't the Isarelite's position to judge those people, but I'm pretty certain that they had some very big smiles on their face. God didnt just take their enemies away like they asked.... even tho it did bring some more pain, He gave His people more than what they were asking for.... He showed them His power and let them watch their advesaries be destroyed. If you could go back and talk to those people, I bet more than just a few would tell you it was worth it.

Isaiah 29:5
But your many enemies will become like fine dust, the ruthless hordes like blown chaff.

There are many references through both the Old and New Testaments where God tells us that He is not only going to deliver us from our enemies but we are going to see their destruction. The important thing is that God is going to take care of this. It is not our place to judge. If we do judge our enemies, then we become like Jonah who just didnt understand that God's forgiveness is available to all people. Jonah sat on a hill waiting for Ninevah to be destroyed. He took it into his own hands to judge those people but in reality, they repented and became better people. Every single one of our enemies is able to be redeemed. And instead of us being disappointed, we should rejoice! Not only did our enemies enter a position of not being our enemies any longer, but the Kingdom of God has grown. These are the matters that God holds in His hands.... They are not in ours at all! God will bring Glory to Himself.... and I believe that all of us will benefit from that. Maybe we will face lots of pain in our lives but we will also see our enemies either completely destroyed or we will see them join us in Heaven. I think this should be great comfort to anyone who is experiencing pain. God doesnt allow us to be given into our enemies hands unless we have something to gain.

God truly is an amazing God. He watches out for each one of us whether it seems like it or not. I am convinced that He is planning great things for each one of us, even as we go through these (seemingly) never-ending struggles. James said "Count it all Joy" when you face trials (James 1).... and maybe this is just part of what he meant by that.

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