[How happy are those who believe…]
When I was young in my faith, It was difficult for me see why God would throw the devil down from heaven to earth. (Revelation 12:7-9, Isaiah 14:12-15) Without enough understanding, it seems such a cruel and unfair affliction to put upon mankind, yet Satan too was part of God’s plan.
However, having been given more than an eyeful of who Jesus is, to me now, the answer seems much clearer: without darkness, we could never appreciate the light, and without the light, we could never appreciate the darkness.
While I’m no fan of the devil, without the wounds, there would be no healing, so I have a deep appreciation for God’s wisdom in affliction.
The Psalmist penned, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” (Psalm 119:71) He also wrote “I know, LORD, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.” (Psalm 119:75) He recognized that without the affliction we can’t understand (or see) the true glory of God.
In His wisdom, God must allow suffering, however, the Prophet Jeremiah understood that God never willingly brought affliction or grief to anyone–meaning, this doesn’t come from His heart; He doesn’t take any pleasure in our suffering. Infact, it’s the complete opposite.
The book of Isaiah shines some light on God’s compassion and kindness, pointing to His sympathy for Israel in their affliction, God Himself was afflicted, though it was Israel who always caused their own suffering. (Isaiah 63:7-9)
In both the old Testament and the new Testament God’s love is the same. He sees our need for a Savior, and He comes to save us Himself.
So He became their Savior. In all their troubles, He was troubled, too. He didn’t send someone else to help them. He did it Himself, in person. Out of His own love and pity. He redeemed them. He rescued them and carried them along for a long, long time.” Isaiah 63:7-9 (The Message)
“When [Jesus] saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” –Matthew 9:36
God offers us peace and a refuge, but due to the deceitfulness of our hearts, we can reject this offer. Still, He persists. His love is relentless. His goal is to reconcile us to Himself. He doesn’t want anyone to perish. (2 Peter 3:9) He’ll do whatever it takes.
In the light of His goal, which is not to harm us, but to instead show us mercy, our afflictions seem barely afflictions at all. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
“For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.” –Lamentations 3:31-33
We have two choices: to follow the one who deceives, blinding mankind from the truth (Satan), who insights selfishness, violence, hatred and war, and is full of pride, or we can choose to follow the One who came humbly to restore, redeem and open the eyes of the blind. (Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ.)
He feeds the hungry, cares for the orphans and widows, upholds the oppressed, and heals the lame. He is merciful and compassionate. He is the light in the dark, and selflessly died for our sins, though He was without sin Himself (1 John 3:5), so that we could be forgiven our own sins. (Mark 2:10)
For me, there’s no contest. The winner is clear. Though we have not seen Him with our eyes, we are happy that we see Him clearly with our hearts.
Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see Me? How happy are those who believe without seeing Me!” (John 20:28-29)
Music that Speaks
“Maybe it’s OK if I’m not OK, ’cause the One who holds the world is holding on to me” –We are Messengers/ Maybe it’s Ok
“The god of this age [Satan] has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” –2 Corinthians 4:4