Today I heard from a friend that, despite what I had heard they were saying, I knew things were not as fantastic as they would lead people to believe, and my friend is facing a very difficult personal time. What they thought was to be a good time, with things going according to some plan, suddenly turned bad. I have had significant concerns for their wellness (physical, emotional, spiritual) and while I wish they weren’t facing such trying times, it appears my worries were obviously valid considering what I learned from them today. In some prior posts, I had mentioned about feeling a sense of concern or dread and had been praying for them. I am hopeful that the Lord is gracious and merciful and answers the prayers and delivers them from the situation. Of course any deliverance requires effort and sacrifice on their part and I hope pride doesn’t keep them from doing what they must do and result in further problems.
Every one [that is] proud in heart [is] an abomination to the LORD: [though] hand [join] in hand, he shall not be unpunished. Proverbs 16:5
Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6
I worry further that they have hardened their hearts and will continue down the path they are on and ignore the message He is trying to send.
13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy.
14 Happy [is] the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.
Another question that occurs is if this is God’s way of punishing people? Is He not only allowing, but sending to them, the hardships they now encounter? If they had done right all along would the situation be occurring? If they sorely His forgiveness will He stop the hard times they are facing? Even if they do ask forgiveness but don’t walk away from a sinful situation will He still allow them to suffer until they do turn away from those things? I don’t speak about my friend or anyone in particular but rather any and all of us who have sinned. We all have sinned and we personally and Christ know how we did so. Is asking forgiveness enough to stop the consequences of ones sins? Or, is there still a price to pay until we truly and completely repent and turn our backs on all things associated with our sins?
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Yes, He will forgive our sins, He promises that in many places and God is faithful and keeps His promises to us. But, we have an obligation to not only confess our sins, but to repent as well. Forgiveness is for past sins, but failing to repent keeps us from God. Asking for forgiveness, then returning to the same sins, or to other sins intentionally is blasphemous to God.
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. John 5:14
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. John 8:11
In order to serve Christ and have salvation, we must confess our sins and repent, turn our back on sin and not sin further. Not doing all three will not give us true salvation. Thinking we can sin, then confess, then go sin again, confess again, again and again, is not what He teaches us. He teaches us to turn away from sin as part of repentance.
I still don’t know if hard times that come upon people are punishment from God for those who call themselves Christians, but continue to sin. But, I think that is the case, but more than punishment, I think it is God trying to teach us and get us to do as He wishes.
Lord, I praise You for the forgiveness, grace and mercy You give and for the salvation from those blessings. In Jesus name I pray for my friend, that You give them the wisdom to know what to do, give them comfort and peace during trying times. Give them the strength: Physical, emotional and spiritual, to face the challenges ahead. If these times are being used by You to teach them and draw them to You and show them they must turn their back on sin I pray that they see and know and that their heart isn’t hardened. I pray that whatever hardships are encountered are not as difficult as they could be and that Your will be done in their life.
I ask that You work in my heart to keep me in the path that You plan for me and give me the strength and wisdom as You walk with me through life.
I appreciate those who stop by and hope all have a blessed day and while doing so, somehow are blessings to someone else.