For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. Lamentations 3:33.
Our heavenly Father does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men. He has His purpose in the whirlwind and the storm, in the fire and in the flood. The Lord permits calamities to come to His people to save them from greater dangers. He desires everyone to examine his own heart closely and carefully, and then draw near to God, that God may draw near to him. Our life is in the hands of God. He sees dangers threatening us that we cannot see. He is the Giver of all our blessings; the Provider of all our mercies; the Orderer of all our experiences. He sees the perils that we cannot see. He may permit to come upon His people that which fills their hearts with sadness, because He sees that they need to make straight paths for their feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. He knows our frame, and remembers that we are dust. Even the very hairs of our head are numbered. He works through natural causes to lead His people to remember that He has not forgotten them, but that He desires them to forsake the way which, if they were permitted to follow unchecked and unreproved, would lead them into great peril.
Trials come to us all to lead us to investigate our hearts, to see if they are purified from all that defiles. Constantly the Lord is working for our present and eternal good. Things occur which seem inexplainable, but if we trust in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him, humbling our hearts before Him, He will not permit the enemy to triumph.
The Lord will save His people in His own way, by such means and instrumentalities that the glory will be returned to Him. To Him alone belongs the praise….
Every soul that is saved must be a partaker with Christ of His sufferings, that he may be a partaker with Him of His glory. How few understand why God subjects them to trial. It is by the trial of our faith that we gain spiritual strength. The Lord seeks to educate His people to lean wholly upon Him. He desires them, through the lessons that He teaches them, to become more and more spiritualized. If His Word is not followed in all humility and meekness, He brings to them experiences which, if rightly received, will help to prepare them for the work to be done in His name. God desires to reveal His power in a marked manner through the lives of His people.—Manuscript 76, 1903, February 20, 1902, “The Burning of the Sanitarium.”
The Upward Look
—-I have a job interview on Wednesday. Please praythat if it is God’s will I will get it. JT
—-Prayer request for a friend’s son who was in a car accident he went through the windshield and needs our prayers. he is in his 20’s. M
—-Please pray for my aunt Loretta. She had a mini stroke today. Second one this year. Darla
—-Please pray urgently for my dear mother…. She seems to be in a deep sleep that I cannot wake her up from. Please pray for her healing. Connie
One day when I was seven, I walked across the vacant lot that was behind our house, squeezed through the wooden fence where a board was missing and walked up the alley to my friend, Janey’s house. She was the only other child on our block and we played together every day. As I trudged along, I figured that this would be like any other day of play, but a strange thing was about to happen.
We had not played long, when we noticed something small moving in the middle of the alley. Curious, we left our play and walked over to what it was. To our surprise, it was a bat hobbling along on its “elbows.” I had seen pictures of bats in my schoolbook, but this was the first time I had seen a real one. Intrigued, we looked at it as it looked up at us in fear wondering what we planned to do.
Suddenly, the door opened on the house across the street. A lady, who was visiting the people there, came over to see what we were doing. When she saw that we were looking at a bat, she exclaimed, “Oh, my son would love to have a bat for a pet. Will you pick it up for me?” Without waiting for an answer she turned around and hurried into the house for a container.
Since I was a year older than Janey and much larger, I was the one she had asked. I wasn’t sure what I should do. I had been taught to obey adults, but the thought of picking up that ugly creature was not to my liking. Remembering that my grandfather had always described picking up a snake or other small creature by the back of its neck so that it could not bite, I knew that was what I should do, but I knew that I must be quick and quick was not a normal action for me.
Just then, the lady came back was a paper cup and without another thought, I reached down quickly, picked up the bat by the back of its neck and dropped it into the cup. When I did so, it looked up at me and hissed showing its needle-sharp teeth.
It seems incomprehensible to think of a mother giving her child a bat for a pet. Yet, how often we give our children things equally as dangerous. How often we allow our little ones to watch shows on TV that fill their minds with evil. Many times the program shows children who are disrespectful. Often cartoons are filled with violence. Other programs are full of the occult. As these principles are instilled in the minds of our little ones, their behaviour mimics what they see and hear. These “lessons” they are learning stay in their minds long after they have forgotten the actual program to be used by the devil to lure them into sin.
Television is not the only “bat” parents offer their children. The majority of the toys in the store are geared to instill evil principles inside them. They see the commercial for them on TV and feel that they must have the toy for themselves. Many times I see a beautiful little child holding some toy monster. Soon we notice that his face and whole attitude changes as he is acting out what he has seen in the program. It is like giving our little one a sick bat to play with—dangerous indeed.
How careful we should be to do the right even if others urge us to raise our children according to the world’s standard. He urges us, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deut 6:6,7
Our Dear Saviour desires to have us teach our dear children to follow Him. He says, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:16 Peter warns us, “Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.” 2 Peter 3:17 Yet, that is what most television programs and many of the toys that are sold are geared to do. Jesus’ warning is one that we as parents must take to heart. “Whoso shall entice to sin one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matt 18:6
May we guard carefully our children from the evil one’s snares by setting no wicked thing before their eyes. (Ps 101:3) May we ask for the wisdom our Great Creator longs to give us that we may raise our little ones for Him. May we put into practice Paul’s advice, “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Phil 4:8