Now we have the third issue against us if we go negative against God. The first issue was in verses 7-8, where we are to seek our wisdom and understanding from God. The second issue is in verses 9-10, where are to demonstrate in our lives our understanding of Gods provisions, and actually share our wealth with others – God first and in other areas of the Bible, in charitable causes.
Now the third issue, which deals with suffering, verses 11-12. Suffering comes in all forms. Sometimes it is due to our own bad decisions. We get lazy in our responsibilities and things do not get done. Spouse get upset with us, family gets upset with us, neighbors get upset with us, fellow workers get upset with us, the boss gets upset with us, the stockholders get upset with us, and so forth. And it is all because we are lazy, we procrastinate and do not do something which we should have done.
If we do not study Bible doctrine, if we choose to study our Bible and only use those things which we agree with, that is we are selective about what we want to comply with or what we will ignore, then we have God to contend with.
Most of us have enough problems which we bring on ourselves by bad decisions. When God gets into the picture, then the hurt becomes more than real. If we refuse to learn Bible doctrine, God may place us in some incapacitation to give us time to read and learn. If we refuse to give of our excesses, then God may take it away from us placing us in a much more difficult position, perhaps in the position where we desperately need to receive from the generosity of others, and if they do not give, then we could get angry because of their selfishness. But then we may have acted just like them before our punishment began.
God often places us in the opposite role. If we had wealth and refused to give, God could very well take our wealth and try to teach us to depend on Him, and to observe others who are wealthy and refuse to give to us.
God is very much smarter than any of us. We should realize this from the study to date, in all that God has created and designed. God is able to do and accomplish anything. Too many of us study our Bible and reach a barrier. A barrier that requires a leap of faith in order to get over. That is probably the toughest barrier when there is not some kind of disaster issue falling all over us.
In a disaster, you are totally helpless. The storm is swirling around you, the passenger plane is falling out of the sky, the creditors are at the door, the cancer is spreading rapidly through your body. These are easy tests where your first call to God is ‘HELP’. You have no choice. But when there is not immediate pressure, then the test is more subtle and more difficult. You have to make that leap of faith and rely on God in a different manner, and that manner is your daily life style, your daily attitude.
If we get lazy and ignore God. If we do not study our Bible, if we get to comfortable and get greedy, then discipline is on the horizon and God is at its helm bearing down on us for our disobedience, for our selfishness. Do not get angry or disenchanted at God when you get into trouble for your own failure. If things are not going well in your life, then search for the reason. Perhaps it is you. We cannot change others, but we can change ourselves and that change needs to begin in our spiritual life first, and with advancement others weaknesses in your character will become apparent to you as you objectively evaluate yourself. Which improves your ability to confess your sins to God on a more regular basis, and to stay in fellowship more often.
As a child of God we are in His family, and God as our Father, disciplines His own. He doesn’t discipline the neighbors kids, those are the people who are not in His family, unbelievers. They are in effect separated from God, and rely on the jungle rules of this world. Better to get away from the neighbors and get adopted into Gods family.
God delights in us all as believers, even more so when we advance to maturity, and even more so when we properly apply His doctrine to our lives. God gives each of us, as adult sons, the family ring, bearing the insignia of the family seal, the divine seal. This is access to a divine bank account of blessings. By remaining in fellowship, by studying and advancing in our spiritual lives, by complying with His wishes, by being generous with the excesses which we have, by getting serious about that doctrine we learn, and recognizing the tremendous power it holds for us, then your life will change, and change for the better. This is the ultimate position to be in, in your relationship with God. You focus on your own life, and stop worrying about whether others are getting away with things. Your jealousy ceases, your judging of others ceases, your attitude changes entirely.
Now a personal note. The boy that was trapped under the car four days ago, in which I was involved in getting him out, was in pretty bad shape at the time. His head was folded into his chest and there was not a prayer of hope expected for him. Flown to the hospital via Life Flight helicopter and hooked up to everything that would make a Borg uncomfortable ( if you watch Star Trek stuff), today he shocked everyone when they took him off of life support, and he woke up and told his dad he wanted to go home. Funeral arrangements have been tossed out the window and a home coming party is in the works. His parents are totally drained from the emotional stress of the past four days, and from the most difficult decisions they were forced to make. Of course it will be quite some time before he comes home, but miracles do happen, and there are still many barriers waiting for him, but this family had only prayers to hold on to and team of brilliant surgeons.