"A Hard Answer"
Presently, God determines and allows challenges to come our way as the administration of His loving devotion and wisdom in our lives.
"He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him" (Proverbs 13:24).
"Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now have I kept Thy Word" (Psalm 113:67).
No born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ would consistently walk with our Heavenly Father apart from difficulty. Our flesh is too prone to distraction and pride, even as the Apostle Paul was given a thorn in the flesh "lest I should be exalted above measure" (II Corinthians 12:7). The Lord loves us enough to hurt us when and as necessary, or to allow enemies a lengthened, but measured leash that grants them opportunity to damage without destroying us (see the Book of Job). The love of God permeates such hardship no less than it graces the blessings of the pleasant gifts He provides. It doesn't feel like it, of course, and the Lord's rod of either determined or allowed pain calls us to the challenging remembrance and affirmation of His perfect way in our lives. "Thou hast showed Thy people hard things" (Psalm 60:3).
There are times in life when we may inadvertently plead with God to stop loving us. Our grieved plea for deliverance from necessary "hard things" is understandable because of our limited capacity to see and interpret our Lord's love. Our Father, however, cannot respond to our pleas without deviating from His very nature and being. This He will not do. "I am the Lord. I change not" (Malachi 3:6). We long for the bestowal of efficient grace whereby "this poor man cried and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all His troubles" (Psalm 34:6). As with Paul, however, sometimes the wisdom of love decrees a lingering thorn and sufficient grace whereby we endure and even spiritually thrive as we trust God. In our bewilderment, we will ask a grieving "Why?" as did the Psalmist quite frequently, and even more significantly, as did the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary (Matthew 27:46). The answer will always be the same. And it will always to us be a hard answer in the midst of "hard things." The answer will be love, the love that must always act according to the best interests and welfare of its recipient. Our Father will not stop loving us. And we must not stop trusting Him when He will not and cannot deviate from His devotion and perfectly applied wisdom...
"Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth."
"Thou He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."
Weekly Memory Verse
For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
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