Thursday, May 23, 2013

He Won't Rub Salt Into the Wound

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trails...
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
James 1:2, 5  (NKJ)
We face trials for various reasons.  Some trials are for the sake of discipline and are the consequences of our own doing; some trails aren't even about us, they are instruments God uses to minister to others; some are a result of living righteously before the Lord in a fallen world.
For now, let's look specifically at the trials which are of our own doing resulting in discipline from God.  According to Hebrews 12:3-11, since God loves and cares about us, He will bring correction to our lives.  When we confess our sin in repentance, He will forgive not even holding against us the character flaw which brought on the trial in the first place.  Where we lack in understanding He will enlighten us, helping us to learn and grow from the trial and its consequences. 
God miraculously saved me in March, 1970.  Unfortunately, in 1982, I walked away from my relationship with the Lord and lived a willfully sinful lifestyle for several years.  I'll spare you the details of how bad I was during that time; but I will share with you how Good God was when, like the Prodigal Son, I came to my senses and realized the sinfulness of my ways.  I desperately needed God to help me straighten out my life.  When I called out to God repenting and asking for His wisdom in putting my life back together, He joyfully ran to me.
I love that about the Lord...and without reproach...He won't rub salt into the wound.  He won't mock and taunt by saying, "You made your bed, now lie in it."  He won't rail and lecture, scolding us for our humanness.  In the footnotes of my NKJ Bible*, it states, "James 1:5 assures us that God gives without reminding us of our unworthiness."
What He will do is give us a bountiful amount of wisdom, teeming with understanding and humility.  His goodness will lead up to repentance which will then lead to a maturing in our spiritual walk with Him (see Romans 2:4).  Coming back to the Lord and facing the consequences of my sin wasn't "a walk in the park."  Even now there are residual effects that my family struggles with, sometimes on a daily basis.  But God has unconditionally forgiven me bringing me back into the fold and continually gives me wisdom to eternally walk out my salvation.
 Application of God's Word:

1.  Are you possibly facing a trial of your own doing resulting in discipline from God?

2.  It's never too late to repent...turn around and go the other way.  Right now is a good time to head  toward the Father.  I promise you, He will run to you with open arms.

3.  It's never about how bad we are but how Good He is.

4.  Maybe you didn't walk away from your relationship with God but there are issues in your life in which you need His forgiveness and/or wisdom.  He will generously bestow either one (or both) on you when you cry out to Him.  Ask Him now.

 *Jack Hayford's New Spirit Filled Life Bible  (NKJ)

Personal Matters:

We do face various trials for various reasons.  Today I chose to look at those trials which are a consequence of our own doing.  Even though it's been over twenty years since I've been "back in the fold" so to speak, I still don't take God's unconditional love, mercy, grace and forgiveness for granted.  I am completely dependent on Him and His wisdom in helping me walk out my salvation on a daily basis.

To be honest, I grew up in a rough environment and didn't receive a lot of outward expressions of love and acceptance.  When people talked to me about the Father's love I always saw it through glasses of abuse and disappointment.  When I came back to the Lord not only did my heavenly Father forgive me my trespasses but my husband did as well.  Through his unconditional love and forgiveness, I now have a deeper understanding of the Father's love for me.  My husband wrote me a letter a few months after "things came to light" about my past and I'll never forget one of the things he wrote..."I'm not going anywhere."  It was at that point I understood God's Love for me.  I was waiting for the "other shoe to drop" where I would be horribly punished for my wrong doing.  God did bring discipline to my life but not in the form of public punishment and humiliation which I felt I rightly deserved.  He brought people into my life who I could trust and could be held accountable to and who cared enough about me to speak truth into my life.

Not all trials are a consequence of our own doing.  Some reasons for facing trials are listed in the first paragraph.  However, if you do have "issues" which need God's forgiveness, grace and mercy there is no time like RIGHT NOW to run into His waiting arms.  I can't promise you it will be an easy road to travel but you won't regret it either.  Run!  He misses you and He's expecting you.  


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