Jeremiah 4:27-28 “For thus says the Lord, ‘The whole land shall be a desolation, Yet I will not execute a complete destruction. For this the earth shall mourn and the heavens above be dark, Because I have spoken, I have purposed, And I will not change My mind, nor will I turn from it.’”
Sometimes circumstances lead us to have thoughts that give us a mistaken sense of well-being. If we have physical symptoms that alarm us but a doctor assures us that everything is going to be okay, we might assume from his words that we will forego all expected difficulty. But the unspoken reality may be that the path to healing is one punctuated by pain.
Faithfulness is one of those words that conjures warm feelings of safety and provision. When a trusted friend promises to do something, we believe they will come through. Their reliable promise brings comfort and a sense of security.
God is our most faithful friend! He always does what He says He will do, and His faithfulness flows to all generations. But this attribute carries through in all circumstances. When the Lord promises good, He will do it. Likewise, when He warns of severe consequences, He will also keep His word then and nothing will change His mind.
Again and again the Lord warned His people of the repercussions of turning from Him. “Return to Me,” He entreated through His messengers, the prophets. In mercy He waited and warned for many years, but finally the Day of Judgment came. Enabled by God, enemy nations descended on Jerusalem and overtook the city.
Though the people cried and pled, God was faithful to His promise and allowed the consequences of sin to prevail. The words of the prophets came true and the nation suffered because of the people’s wickedness. Yet despite all this, God offered a word of hope. Though the whole land would become desolate, He would not execute a complete destruction. In time He would again show compassion and restore the people to their land.
There are many in the world today who like to focus on the warm and fuzzy aspects of God’s attributes. “He is a God of love,” they say, “and just wants us all to be happy.” Somehow they have forgotten that God’s faithfulness extends to His words of warning as well as words of peace.
Sin brings consequences. We were never meant to forge our own paths apart from God. The One Who created us knows what’s best and His commands are meant for our good. When we go our own way disaster will eventually come. So in faithfulness God sets limits and makes good on His promises – even those of punishment and discipline – to remind us of our need for Him and to call us back to Him.
The good news is that God is a God of love and He does want us to thrive. But He knows that can only take place in relationship with Himself. So He is faithful to His word – the promises of blessing and punishment – to draw us to the place of repentance and dependence.
Return to Him today. Sin has its consequences. There may be pain in the healing, but God is always faithful to forgive.
Sandra Sheridan is a Midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.