Ezekiel 6:9-10 Calamity For A Purpose

Then in the nations where they have been carried captive, those who escape will remember me–how I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after idols. They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices. And they will know that I am the LORD; I did not threaten in vain to bring this calamity on them. Ezekiel 6:9-10

It was because of the sins of the people that God chose to destroy Jerusalem and place all the people in captivity in Babylon. In the process of doing that, God kept a remnant alive. Those who survived would realize what their sins had caused and would repent of those sins. The few left would turn their hearts back to God and the purpose of the calamity would be fulfilled. The captivity was not to just destroy the people, but to get them to turn their hearts back to God.

From the beginning of time, God has always wanted to have a relationship with mankind. He always wanted to be able to spend time with people and bless them with a full life. Never once was the final purpose of what happens to just be destruction.

God allows calamity and trials in the lives of those who follow Him for a purpose. Sometimes it is just to test the person and see if he is really following Him or not. Other times it is to draw the person back to God.

When a person begins to go through a hard time because of sin, he will realize how good he really had it when he was following God. At that point, he may turn back to God, hating the sin he had fallen in to. Some will fall away from God and give up on Him, while a remnant will turn back to Him during such times.

Throughout your life, God is working out all things to keep your focus on Him and to make you more like Jesus each day. Some of those things may be calamity. They may be painful and hard to go through, but the purpose is still the same.

Keep your eyes and life focused on God. Strive to be more like Jesus everyday. In that way, all the things you are going through will be for a good purpose. And God will not have to strike you to get your attention.

I pray today that you will be more like Jesus; that you will not fall away from God in hard times; and that you will turn from all sin in your life towards God.

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2 Chronicles 36:22 Favor In Tragedy

“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: ” ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the LORD their God be with them.’ ” 2 Chronicles 36:22

The last four kings of Judah refused to follow God and led the people in greater sins. God then allowed Cyrus, king of Persia (modern Iran), to take over Judah and put everyone into captivity. Once he had the land, he allowed some of the people to go back and rebuild the temple for God.

Often when tragedy strikes a person or a nation, people are scared and mad at God. Very seldom do they understand the purpose of the tragedy, asking why it happened. It can look like God is angry with the person and just out to destroy them.

God is a god of love. He does not hate anyone, but wants everyone to come to Him in repentance and follow His Son Jesus. With this in mind, everything that happens is for the good of the person it is happening to.  God allows things to happen in a person’s life to build him up, not to tear him down or destroy him.

In the Old Testament, God had been sending prophets to turn the people back to God and warned them of captivity. When they did not listen, He allowed them to be sent into captivity. However, while there, they were given extreme favor by their captor to be allowed to go and build God’s temple again. They were allowed to go back and worship God in the correct way. God used the tragedy to get their attention back on Him.

Whatever situation you may have gone through or are currently going through, it is for a purpose. God is not out to destroy you. He wants a relationship with you more than you can ever imagine.

As you go through a tragedy look for God’s favor in the midst of it. See what God wants you to do through it. Find ways to worship God in and through the situation. You do have God’s favor in your life, if you will follow Jesus.

I pray today that you will find ways to worship God at all times; that you will see God’s hand of favor on your life; that you will not be angry at God for any tragedy in your life; and that you will know the love God has for you.

2 Samuel 12:20 Moving On Past Tragedy

Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. 2 Samuel 12:20

After David found out that Bathsheba had become pregnant by him, he had her husband killed. Although this was done in secret, God knew and sent Nathan, a prophet, to him to confront him about it. God chose to take the child’s life. While the child was sick, David prayed and fasted, hoping God would relent from taking the child’s life. Once the child had died, David did not spend time mourning the loss of the child, but got up and started eating and worshiping God again.

Tragedy is something that hits people very hard. Loss of a loved one, extreme illness, loss of a job, loss of a part of the body, or one of many other things in life that are hard-hitting. It is very difficult when tragedy hits a person.

Most people begin a time of mourning and weeping at the loss or the tragedy. It is very common for people to go into a time of depression and blaming God for what had happened. Some will even walk away from God because of the tragedy.

Once David’s son had died, he realized there was nothing more that could be done. He cleaned up and went to the temple to worship God. He trusted God’s choice in taking his son’s life. David was willing to worship God, despite the tragedy, and then move on with life.

Staying in depression will not solve or change anything, but keep one miserable.

You may be going through a great tragedy now, or have gone through one in the past. Focus your life on God’s love, mercy, and control. Trust that God knows what He is doing and allowing. Do not get angry with God, but worship Him in spite of the tragedy. Then move on with life.

God has given you the gift of life, don’t waste it in depression about a tragedy in life.

I pray today that you will see God’s hand at work in your life; that you will trust all that God is doing in your life; that God will strengthen you in a tragedy; and that you will lean on God for strength.

Mark 8:33 A Harsh Rebuke

“But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. Get behind me, Satan! he said. You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Mark 8:33

Jesus had just told the disciples about how He was going to suffer. He told them how He would be rejected and then killed. He also mentioned about His rising from the dead.

Peter heard all of this, except the part about rising from the dead. He could not believe Jesus would be rejected and would not allow for it.

Immediately Jesus says something that seems very harsh. He rebukes Peter as Satan. Jesus points out that Peter is only thinking like man, not like God. God had a plan that He knew would work, and Peter was not willing to follow that plan.

In this rebuke, however, Jesus does see the source of the problem. That source is Satan. He is the one behind all lies and deceit. Satan is the one trying to blind the eyes of Peter from seeing what God was really doing and needed to do.

Now comes the hard part, applying this to your life today. Many times a person will go through some major tragedy in his life. Often as he is going through the tragedy, he will blame God and get very angry with God. Many people cry out to God–Why? Often they will try to change God’s mind.

Jesus went to the cross willingly and knowing what was going to happen. Imagine the pain He knew that was coming, yet still going forward because it was the Father’s plan and will.

In your life, God may have you going through some major situation. It may seem to take forever for it to end. It may seem like it will never end.

You need to trust God in it. Do not try to run from the situation, embrace it as the will of God. Satan cannot do anything that God does not allow. Everything God allows is to build you up more like Jesus and for you to be His witness to the world.

This does not mean that things will be easy or fun, but it is God’s desire. Allow God to use you and make you more like Jesus. Keep yourself from having to be rebuked for not following God’s plan.

I pray today that God will reveal His plans for you; that you will know the love God has for you; that you will embrace the plans God has for you; that you will grow to be more like Jesus; and that God will use you to draw more people to Him.