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Devotional - week of September 30, 2001


GOD’S STRANGE FAITHFULNESS

I know, O LORD, … that in faithfulness You have afflicted me  Psalm 119:75.

Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word  Psalm 119:67.

“God is faithful.” We have said it often. Usually we say it when He has answered a prayer, kept a biblical promise, or protected us from some danger.

 

The author of Psalm 119 introduces an understanding of God’s faithfulness not commonly held. He says afflictions are expressions of God’s faithfulness.

 

Many have interpreted afflictions as indications of God’s unfaithfulness. “God let me down” or “God deserted me.”

 

The psalmist realized discomfort brought him back to God and to God’s word. He concluded that God’s affliction was a demonstration of His faithfulness.

 

While recent events have brought terrible national grief, those same events have brought many back to God. Perhaps some have turned to Him for the first time.

 

We don’t like the pain. We don’t like the clouds that continue to hang over us and seemingly will hang over us for years to come. But many see those clouds as expressions of God’s faithfulness holding us closely to Himself.

 

When the Jews of the dispersion were facing total extinction, God elevated a young Jewish girl, Esther, to be queen of Persia. Her relative, Mordecai, believed she could possibly save her nation. He challenged her with the words:

… who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this  Esther 4:14?

As in the life of Esther, God’s strange faithfulness has placed a very opportune moment before believers.

 

If we are to be the instruments of light and life God has in mind, our best opportunity is through our availability to Him by living out our crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.