Don’t Prefer Evil To Affliction

May 31, 2014

Often, when we’re going through some kind of trial or suffering, temptations to turn to evil rise up to entice us. Oh, the evil doesn’t hardly ever look evil. Instead it looks good and comforting, and it whispers promises of rescue and of happiness. However, underneath the silk, and behind the soothing words, we catch a glimpse of evil and sin. We realize that with the pleasure and “salvation” lies a catch. A trap, actually.

But we’re desperate. We’re lonely. We’re tired. We’re bored. We’re weary of waiting on God to do something, to deliver us from our affliction, from our oppressor, from our distress. We feel so victimized and we believe that our time for being cared for gently and understood by the many, including by God, should be now. So we turn a blind eye to the tentacles lurking amid the shiny waters. We turn a deaf ear to the hiss behind the music. We turn a hard heart to the sin coursing through the merriment.

In we therefore go. And it’s good fun for a while. The friends are friendly, jovial, and caring. Until they get tired of us. Which is pretty much right away. Because that’s what they do. –They use others. They use each other, and anyone else they can find, and have no qualms about it because they consider their behavior normal. Because isn’t that the game all of society is playing? The game called “Use & Cheat”? Use and cheat where you can, whenever you can, as much as you can? They seem to think so.

Christ-followers need to be on guard about this game. For the game hides in brilliant packages, in winsome smiles, and even in “godly” talk. We need to be on guard about the promises of pleasure and of rescue which are really just traps. Jesus, our God, is the only real and lasting deliverance, the only real and lasting delight.

Job 36:21 warns, “Beware of turning to evil, which you seem to prefer to affliction.” Are you, Friend, going to give up your good morals –your integrity, your honesty, your purity, your principals, your birthright– for a bowl of stew just because it will alleviate your pain for a moment? The stew’s salvation is temporary. You know that. The stew comes with strings attached. (Heb. 12:14-17) Big strings. Sinful strings. Eternal death strings. It’s not worth it. Wait on God. “Call out to Him in your distress and He will answer you.” (See Ps. 120:1)

With suffering always comes temptation. The devil is ruthless and loves to fire away at easy targets. God allows it to test us, but He also provides us with a way to escape every arrow. If we call out to Him for help, He will give us the strength to take that way. Every time.

Affliction will come and go. Throughout life. Preparing for it God’s way and knowing who our real Fortress is, is how we will escape the evil which always seems to try to take advantage of our “weakened” condition. Then, with God –in His Spirit and His Spirit in us– we will remain standing firm.

with love,

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