2 Chronicles 33:12-13 “And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.”
Most of us would never pray to be afflicted, yet, affliction comes.
We may feel the effects of our sinful choices and be sorrowful because of them. But, when God brings about sorrow in our lives, it is to bring repentance.
2 Corinthians 7:10 “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
In the account of Manasseh, he didn’t start very well. He began his reign opposite to the way of his father, Hezekiah. He worshipped every god but the God of Heaven. It was only after he was in affliction that he sought the one, true, and living God.
Given a choice, many of us would choose the path of ease, luxury, and least resistance. Yet, it has been in those tough times that we have come to know that God is merciful, faithful, and true to His Word.
We cannot always expect that God will hear us and relieve us of our affliction. Look at the prophet Jeremiah. He was always in a place of suffering and never found relief. God took care of him and watched over him, but he never experienced the fruit of Israel returning unto God.
Paul sought to be relieved of the messenger of Satan that buffeted him. Some think it was a bodily affliction that he asked to be relieved. Others thought is satanic oppression of the spirit. Though it is never clearly stated, Paul gave us an example of how to handle the situation when it does come into our life.
Today, I am genuinely grateful for the times when I have been allowed to be afflicted. It has assuredly brought me to my knees, but, also brought a renewed sense of God’s presence, mercy, and grace. It is the reason we correct our children.
In bringing affliction (correction) into our children’s lives, we can lovingly guide them through the process of what they will experience when God comes to afflict them. To be able to take the correction and realize it is done on love will open the door for them to be corrected appropriately by God when the time comes.
Examples abound throughout the Word of God about those who submitted and those who rebelled. Every time the one afflicted or corrected submitted themselves, they were given mercy. Every time they resisted or rebelled, they were dealt with more harshly; and sometimes death came early.
One of our principles of RU Recovery says this:
“We lose our freedom to choose when we give in to temptation. The consequences of our choices are inevitable, incalculable, and up to God.” (Proverbs 5:22; Proverbs 20:17; Proverbs 9:17-18)
If the choice was left to us, we would beg for mercy for ourselves and cry for justice against those who have wounded us, or sinned against us. Inevitably, we cannot choose the consequences of our sin. Allowing God to choose the punishment, means I am accepting that He knows what is best for all involved.
We would make inferior judges of sin. Thankfully, I can know that my God took care of the punishment and payment for my sin on the cross. The affliction and subsequent correction that may come into my life are because He so desires to have close fellowship with me, His son.
May we remember just how lost we were before we came to know Him as Savior. May we never forget what price was paid to redeem my soul. And may we never forget to thank Him for His mercy, love, and grace that has been so constant.