(July 19, 2015)
The language of this chapter contained something that I had never noticed before. The Lord is directly saying that the reason He was refining His people is because He had chosen not to cut them off. I have often thought of my challenges and trials as blessings because of the progress that they help bring about in my life. But there has always been a part of me that has seen others, who have escaped such trials, and felt a hint of jealousy at the fact they could sin with no immediate consequence.
But reading this chapter, it would seem that my assessment is very much wrong (which, of course, I intellectually knew even if I struggled to understand it emotionally). If someone is sinning (which is all of us) and who needs to repent (which is, again, all of us) and who isn’t being refined in the furnace of affliction, axiomatically that must mean that the Lord is not deferring His anger or restraining from cutting them off.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that every moment without trials is a wasted moment. The Lord blesses us in various ways and gives us a happy life. But if we were not facing challenges, trials, or difficulties in our lives that would be a time when it would be very important to be worried because that would be an indication that something had gone tremendously wrong.