They Prefer Evil To Affliction

September 30, 2010

Friends,
God, through Christ, has made Himself always available to us, inviting us to run to Him for help in our time of need. However, we are to do so in repentance and humility, turning completely away from anything that displeases the Lord. This is what people often have a hard time doing. Therefore, sometimes, even often, we see that people, in seeking to relieve their affliction, find it easier to turn to evil. They resort to compromise, deceitfulness, impurities… and they look to idols and worldly philosophies for help and answers.

Job 36:21 speaks to this. It says, “Beware of turning to evil, which you seem to prefer to affliction.”

People do hate being afflicted, for it certainly can be painful. But instead of enduring the trial by clinging more tightly to Christ and trying to grow in faith and strength through the training, many people turn away. They do not listen to the Spirit. They do not wait on the Lord –for Him to speak, teach, guide, or act. They get impatient, ungrateful, and fearful, and in so doing, instead of allowing the discipline to mature them, they become spiritually weak.

How many times have we seen people, when caught in financial trouble, turn to unrighteous ways of making money? They may turn to dishonest means or even illegal means. How many times have we seen a person whose spouse turned unfaithful, become unfaithful also? Or when a divorced individual resorts to running around trying to get a “fix” of admiration from others to make up for the rejection?

We’ve probably all seen too, when people have caved in under the continued persecutions of insults and shunning from friends, family, co-workers, or from those in their church or community. They try to walk the narrow road, but thorns and weeds of worry, loneliness, or doubt begin to strangle them, and instead of putting on the full armor of God and battling with spiritual weapons, their faith dulls and they are enticed into the world’s methods for gaining comfort. Yet they find little. As Job 8:14,15 say, “What he trusts in is fragile; what he relies on is a spider’s web. He leans on his web, but it gives way; he clings to it, but it does not hold.” These weaklings sell their values for a few bowls of acceptance and toss away their vows of holy living just to gain a few laughs amid shallow friendships. Rather than go to the effort of drawing the Living Water from the Well themselves, they’re soon running hither and thither, excitedly proclaiming some new formula to soothe affliction, when really all it does is sap everyone’s energy and produces no healing.

Any effort made to get out of affliction that is not a turning to the Lord, is a turning away from the Lord, and God considers it evil (Isa. 31:1-3), for it is a show of contempt toward Him as He holds out His hands to us all day long. (Isa. 65:2)

Let it not be said of us that we preferred evil to affliction. Affliction can be God’s best method of training that we may become useful shining tools for His purposes. But turning to evil? Well, that never ends in anything but destruction.

Therefore, “Beware of turning to evil, which you seem to prefer to affliction.”

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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