what if the trials of this life ††† are Your mercies in disguise?
Afflicted, I have seen and know what it’s like
to feel the rod of God’s anger:
An absence of light and only darkness.
Darkness—that’s where God has driven me.
Against me and me alone, over and over,
God raises His hand incessantly.
Bones are broken, skin rubbed off, and my flesh wasted;
this is God’s doing:
Besieged in hardship,
wrapped in a husk of bitter poison and trouble;
Brought to darkness like those dead and decaying,
and left there alone to live.
Cut off from every avenue of escape, God has fenced me in
and tied me up with heavy chains.
Crying and carrying on do me no good;
God shuts out my prayer.
Closed in and blocked by walls of cut stone,
what paths I have left, He has twisted and confused my steps.
Dangerous as a stalking lion or a lurking bear,
God lies in wait for me.
Dragging me off the path and tearing me up,
He has left me desolate.
Drawing back His bow, God aims
straight at me with His own arrow.
Ever true arrows, ready in His quiver,
now sink into my gut.
Echoing taunts ring ’round me from the mouths of my own people,
laughing and joking about me all day long.
Enough! He has filled me with bitterness,
saturated me with gall.
For He crushes my teeth with a mouth filled with gravel;
He humiliates me, trampling me in ashes.
Fragmented, my self knows no peace.
I cannot remember what it’s like to be happy.
“Failed,” I say to myself. “My hope fails
in the face of what the Eternal One has done.”
It’s never too late to do the right thing; sometimes, hope is all you need. -Holy Spirit quote
Grievous thoughts of affliction and wandering plagued my mind—
great bitterness and gall.
Grieving, my soul thinks back;
these thoughts cripple, and I sink down.
I remember and wait for this thought:
How enduring is God’s loyal love;
the Eternal has inexhaustible compassion.
Here they are, every morning, new!
Your faithfulness, God, is as broad as the day.
Have courage, for the Eternal is all that I will need.
My soul boasts, “Hope in God; just wait.”
It is good. The Eternal One is good to those who expect Him,
to those who seek Him wholeheartedly.
It is good to wait quietly
for the Eternal to make things right again.
It is good to have to deal
with restraint and burdens when young.
Just leave in peace the one who waits in silence,
patiently bearing the burden of God;
Just don’t interfere if he falls, gape-mouthed in the dust.
There may well be hope yet.
Just let him offer his cheek when struck.
Let him be the butt of jokes.
This is the heart of the lament. Pain and despair are deep and lasting, but God’s rejection is not forever because Jerusalem is the city of the Lord.
Kept in God’s care:
the Lord won’t reject him forever.
Kindness prevails: Even though God torments sometimes,
the greatness of God’s loyal love wins out.
Keeping us down: it is not the desire or way of God’s heart
to hurt and grieve the children of men.
Hope is realized when the next generation of exiles in Babylonia receive God’s mercy and are brought back to the promised land, Palestine, in a second exodus, a journey not unlike what the Israelite’s experienced as they left Egypt under Moses’ leadership.
God surely causes grief and torment, but He also provides kindness that originates from His heart of compassion. The discipline administered by the heavenly Father hurts, but the pain is not lasting and actually reflects His compassion. When the Lord sends affliction, it is instructive, restorative, and temporary. Affliction and judgment may sometimes come from the Almighty, but what always springs from the heart of God is a deep and eternal mercy for His people. Lamentations 3:1-33 The Voice (VOICE)
Although He was a Son, Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered. And once He was perfected through that suffering He became the way of eternal salvation for all those who hear and follow Him, Hebrews 5:8-9
Blessings on your journey, friends.