“BEFORE I WAS AFFLICTED”. True repentance must precede forgiveness. (Isaiah 2:6-9) Isaiah prayed that Israel would not be forgiven until God had dealt with them so severely that they genuinely repented. (V.17-21) He knew that superficial forgiveness of religious ritual would only make matters worse. Do you think God loves affliction? Never! But He is just and Holy. It grieves Him to afflict His people, but as we see in Scripture it is often the only time people will repent and turn back to Him. “BEFORE I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Your Word. It is GOOD for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Your statutes.” Psalm 119:67, 71. I had rather live a whole life of affliction if it keeps me running to His feet, then live in worldly “happiness” without Him. I love the Apostle Paul’s attitude about his own suffering and afflictions, “I will GLORY in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me!” Sheep are prone to wander. Whatever keeps me from wandering, I will embrace. Make no mistake, God’s road blocks are trying to stop you. His afflictions are to prevent you from wandering. It grieves His heart when we disobey and rebel. Learn your lesson fast and return to keeping His Word. EMBRACE His loving discipline. What does it matter if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?
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