Punishment? Or consequence?

Today I want to address something that sometimes comes up in conversations. It’s kind of a big one.

Someone will say, “Because of all this bad stuff happening in my life I feel like God is punishing me.”

Have you ever said something like that? Have you ever felt it?

I get where it comes from. When difficulties keep piling on top of you it can feel like you’re the unfortunate, pummeled soul at the bottom of a rugby scrum.

But I don’t think it’s helpful when we think that everything bad in our lives is because God is punishing us.

Sometimes it’s a consequence of our own decisions and actions.

Now let me be very, very clear. When it comes to something like a genetic disease or abuse of some kind, you haven’t done anything to deserve it or bring it on yourself. In today’s devotional I’m thinking more about ungodly decisions we make that impact the direction of our lives.

When we make ungodly choices about a relationship (and then that relationship suffers)… or when we navigate life while neglecting God’s wisdom in the Bible (and then find our lives bent out of whack)… or when we feed personal habits that are unhealthy (and realize it’s hard to undo a selfish lifestyle and rebuild trust with the people around you), why would we blame it on God?

Don’t blame God for your consequences.

What difficulty are you struggling with? Do you actually think it’s God’s punishment? Or is it a consequence of your own choices? Or is it the result of something else?

Think it through.

I don’t claim to fully know the mind of God, but I do know this. Psalm 46:1-2 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…

Whatever you’re going through, despite the reason, God can be your refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, you need not fear.

By Matthew Ruttan
-Bible quotes are from the New International Version
-Click here to learn about what’s happening this Sunday at Westminster

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