Devotion for January 2, 2014
Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously? Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins. But thou, O Lord, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter. How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts arekm consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end. (Jeremiah 12:1–4 KJV)
I have definitely felt this way. I have wondered (mostly in times when I am struggling) why I’m having a hard time while I’m innocent and the guilty are prospering. A few things come to mind in response:
– The question assumes that I’m entirely innocent. Which of course I am not.
– The question assumes that God is not doing anything, or has done everything he is going to do about the situation. God knows our hearts and their heart as well. It may look like He is doing nothing to us, but it just looks that way.
– The question doesn’t take into account God’s mercy and grace. Have you ever noticed that you want mercy and grace for you and justice for those who hurt you and do wrong to you? I’m thankful for God’s mercy and His timing.
– The question doesn’t take into account that what may be difficult may be God’s biggest blessing to us. Think about Romans 8 that talks about all kinds of difficulty. Paul sums up the issue by saying:
“All things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose. For whom he did foreknow, He did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son.”
It also reminds me of the lyrics in this song:
What if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know your near?
What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?
My responsibility is mine own heart. God will take care of executing grace, mercy and judgment. I would be terrible at doing that. He is perfect at doing that.
Heavenly Father, Please help me to take responsibility for my own life, to be thankful for everything that happens to me good and bad, and to help me pray for those of us who struggle with evil. I love you Lord. Amen.