"Blessing and Buffeting"
Regarding pain, our Heavenly Father is both compassionate and committed.
"We have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities… The Lord is gracious and full of compassion" (Hebrews 4:15; Psalm 111:4).
"I know, o Lord, that Thy judgments are right, and that Thou in Thy faithfulness hath afflicted me" (Psalm 119:175).
God takes no pleasure in administering or allowing suffering in our lives. Our tears fall from His cheeks as well as our own. "The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy" (James 5:11). However, perfect devotion to our best interests guides our Father's working in our lives, as opposed to the mere sentimentality that many people define as love. In our present existence, His hand must sometimes be hard against us - or rather for us. As the Psalmist acknowledged, God's faithfulness leads Him to afflict us (or allow others to do so). We require pain as well as pleasure in order to know the Lord Jesus in both salvation and the life we subsequently live after trusting Him. "Before I was afflicted, I went astray. But now I have kept Thy word" (Psalm 119:67). This includes the emotional, physical, and spiritual discomfort that illuminates our constitution and condition in the terms of need that prepare to seek God and His provision. "I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh upon me. Thou art my help and my deliverer" (Psalm 40:17).
The Lord cares enough to administer, allow, and alleviate pain. Moreover, perfect compassion and wisdom guides His heart and hand in all. The day will come when God gladly banishes all our enemies and lays down His rod of correction forevermore. "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain" (Revelation 21:4). This is not that day. Presently we require challenge and hardship, as allowed or administered by the Father devoted to incomparable gift of conforming us to the image of the Lord Jesus (Romans 8:28-29). This is hard truth to all. We must understand and embrace it, however, if we are to faithfully walk with our Lord in both blessing and buffeting. "His way is perfect," whether in pleasure or pain (II Samuel 22:31. And His love graces us no less in the latter than in the former.
"Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth."
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you, but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."
(I Peter 4:12-13)
Weekly Memory Verse
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.
(I Peter 4:14)