Self-Inflicted Adversity

Read | Psalm 119:65-72

The difficulties we face originate from one of three sources. Some are sent to us by the Lord to test our faith, others are the result of Satan‘s attacks, and still others are due to our own sinful choices.

As you consider these three causes, which type is the hardest for you to bear? I think most of us would say the last one, because we have nobody to blame but ourselves and it seems as if no good can possibly result. After all, the Word of God says that we will reap what we have sown (Gal. 6:7), so we see nothing ahead except a painful harvest.

What this kind of thinking fails to take into account is the Lord’s redemptive abilities. Although He never promises to remove all the consequences of sin, He can use our failures to teach us to fear Him, hate evil, and walk in obedience. The difficult lessons we learn can also become our protection from sin in the future. Having suffered the pain of going our own way, we’re more likely not to take that path again.

God’s arrows of affliction are sharp and painful so He can get our attention. He won’t let His beloved children get away with sin because He knows it robs us of blessings, opportunities, and even character refinement.

As painful as your situation may be, thank your heavenly Father that He cares enough to send out His loving discipline. Now it’s up to you. How will you respond to His warning? When we learn from experience, the scars of sin can lead us to restoration and a renewed intimacy with God.

Dr. Charles Stanley

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