This is what God gave me in his word today:
The Syrians on the east and the Philistines on the west devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still. The people did not turn to him who struck them, nor inquire of the LORD of hosts. So the LORD cut off from Israel head and tail, palm branch and reed in one day– (Isa 9:12-14)
Let me give you two more verses here please; they explains what the latter verse means to the Israelites:
the elder and honored man is the head, and the prophet who teaches lies is the tail; for those who guide this people have been leading them astray, and those who are guided by them are swallowed up. (Isa 9:15-16)
OK, get it now? Good, now let’s get to what these verses mean to us; when Satan attacks us, it can seem as if we all of sudden lost everything, – just look at Job! – When we don’t have Jesus, we don’t have our head, we don’t have our tail, and we don’t have anyone to spiritually guide us… Let me put this in terms of today:
Bam!!! Your boss just fired you, the bank just called to tell you that your two months due on your payment, the credit company then calls to tell you that you’re a month due on your car… Not only that, but your psychologist decided to take a vacation on all the money he made off of you! And, is if all that wasn’t enough, it starts to rain and your self-help books aren’t doing a thing for you.
Make more sense now? Yeah, thought it might… It doesn’t really matter who you are, where you’re from, why your here, or why you’re reading this now; the Devil can attack you. It is a unchangeable fact that “just is”. However, the same thing – i.e. – (It doesn’t really matter who you are, where you’re from, why your here, or why you’re reading this now) – Jesus can save you! Just accept Jesus now and he’ll swoop in and make everything better… Right? (Un)Fortunately, that’s just not the case.
Jesus won’t just swoop in and save the day, he want’s you to go through this… If someone where to almost get run over, do you think they would continue their habit of not looking both ways before crossing a busy street? The same basic thing applies, it’s not like Jesus is saying; “you made your bed now lie in it”, but he does want hardship to come into our life for the simple reason that he loves us.
Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. (Pro 23:13)
I think that verse has two meanings for our situation; 1) if Jesus disciplines us, we won’t die! and 2) If Jesus disciplines us, it’s either so that we won’t make bad choices or because we made bad choices and he doesn’t want us to end up spiritually dead because of them.
In summary; Jesus loves us, and it’s because he loves us that he’s willing to discipline us…
You are loved!