When life doesn’t go well for the righteous
As the verses of God’s help in times of trouble suggest, there are still troubles that the righteous face. We are still living on this earth. Evil still affects our daily lives. Sorrows come and threaten to shatter us. The world is not made perfect, yet. There is still suffering even for the righteous. The Old Testament is a good example if this. David and Elijah and especially Jeremiah, all had their share of suffering. And then of course there is the icon of the righteous man suffering, Job. None of these people, however terrible their suffering, were overcome. Some complained but none were defeated. God can always handle our honest complaints. Coming to Him in trials, even with complaint, is still a productive reaction. It shows you know where the answers lie. Where your help comes from. And the tempests always served to deepen our love and dependance on God. An eternal outcome to a momentary struggle.
Those who are firm in the love of God know that in every storm, God is unchanged. Also, no matter how we act toward God, His heart for His children is unchanged.
It reminds me of one of my favorite parts from my favorite story. An exceptionally bratty, selfish princess has been taken against her will by a woman known to the king and queen as the wise woman and to the princess as a scary old witch. The wise woman looks lovingly at the princess but the princess takes it for weakness and actually tries to ram into the woman. After this, the wise woman looks at her again, this time sternly. And the narrator says this…she did not realize that the stern look came from the same heart as the look of love. -I am paraphrasing because I do not have the book in front of me.
This is not to say that everything bad that happens is God disciplining you. Also, there is a real difference between discipline and punishment. He disciplines those He loves like a father disciplines a son. But as far as punishment the Bible says this, perfect love drives out all fear because fear has to do with punishment. In Christ we have no fear of punishment. In Christ we have perfect love.
Because you are in Christ, God always has the same heart toward you, whether rejoicing in your affection or disciplining you, or comforting you in times of trouble, it is all with the heart of the Father. Not the heart of a father, not the heart of your father, the heart of the Father. Even earthly fathers can understand this concept. A good father loves his children the same no matter what. Whether the kids are good or bad or in trouble or in need, the root of love is always at the heart of it all. No father does this perfectly but God is not a father like anyone else.
Think of His delight in His Son in whom He is well pleased. Remember when Jesus came to God before his death? He pleaded for the cup to pass. He was honest and poured out His heart to God, but at the end he determined to go through it. He fully trusted God and submitted to Him. Do you think the love of the Father was any less for His Son when He was on the cross? Seeing what the cross meant and accomplished for us, do you think His Love for us is any less when we are suffering? Jesus bore the trial and was victorious. He is the Son to whom God has given the earth as His inheritance. And this is the identity God has rebirthed you into. His Son is the righteousness He sees in you.
Maybe when you see yourself you see someone unworthy. But our unworthiness has always been understood and is why Jesus gives us His identity and life. You see your unworthiness, but God sees His Son. And He is before the throne of the Father, interceding. And that intercession is based on the Father’s heart and will. God considers us worthy of being his children. He also sees of as worthy to receive His Spirit. How intimate it is, that God’s own Spirit is given to us. How can we be separated from Him? Nothing on earth can separate us from the perfect love of our Father. Nothing can separate us from the righteousness of His Son on our behalf.
And with that I’ve skipped to New Testament righteousness. But they are, at the core, the same. Both rooted in faith in the Righteous One.
God be praised!
Tomorrow we get to talk more about God’s righteousness. ^_^
❤ Kara J