Those who follow the Lord can expect good outcomes from bad situations … even His discipline!

One of the wonderful things about following the Lord is that we can expect very good outcomes to what appear to be bad events. Our tendency is to judge things by our immediate circumstances – and at best to assess how good or bad they are for us by the near future… God, on the other hand, has an eternal perspective! Even when our Heavenly Father disciplines us His intention for us is good if we cooperate with what He is trying to do, respond properly, and obey.

This morning I read a passage that made just that point to the children of Israel who were about to be disciplined by the Lord and go into exile in Babylon… Jeremiah had just been shown a vision of two baskets of figs…
Jeremiah was asked, “’What do you see Jeremiah?’ He answered, “I see figs. The good ones look very good. But the bad ones look very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten!’ Then the LORD said to him, ‘I, the LORD, the God of Israel, say: ‘The exiles whom I sent away from here to the land of Babylon are like those good figs. I consider them to be good. I will look after their welfare and will restore them to this land. There I will build them up and will not tear them down. I will plant them firmly in the land and will not uproot them. I will give them the desire to acknowledge that I am the LORD. I will be their God and they will be my people. For they will wholeheartedly return to me.’” (Jeremiah 24:4–7 the NET Bible) A very good outcome to a bad situation if they responded properly! On the other hand, the outcome for those who persisted in going their own way, disobeying the Lord, and not responding properly was not good as the following verses indicate!

Reading this today reminded me of Hebrews 12:9-11 in the Bible…

“We have experienced discipline from our earthly fathers and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life? For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but He (our Heavenly Father) does so for our benefit, that we may share His holiness. Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it.”

I am so glad I believe that those who follow the Lord can expect good outcomes to bad circumstances! I’m glad I believe even the Lord’s discipline is designed to produce good things in our lives!

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