Divine Target Practice

Divine Target Practice

By Mark Hamby
Is God responsible for grief in our lives?
According to Lamentations chapter 3, “God causes grief.”
In fact, Jeremiah, who had been reeling from false accusation, starvation, and abuse, writes that “God bent his bow and set me as a target for his arrow.”
It sounds like divine target practice! So what’s the purpose behind these divine arrows of grief?
§ Sometimes God sends arrows to bring our true nature to the surface.
§ Other times they come to protect us or instruct us. David in Psalm 119 writes that it is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.
§ Divine arrows can be used to draw our eyes away from a dangerous desire and back to God. In the book of Hosea chapter 2 the prophet writes, “Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths.”
§ But most often, divine arrows build spiritual character and maturity that will be needed for the future as Paul instructs us in Romans 5: “suffering produces endurances, and endurance produces character.”
Now I realize that there are some who will not like this idea of God setting us up as target practice. So before you get a wrong impression of a loving holy God, let’s see what else Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations 3: "though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies, for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.” God has our best interest in mind. He’s more concerned about us being holy than happy.
Written by Mark Hamby, founder and president of Lamplighter Ministries. For more information on Lamplighter’s popular collection of inspiring, biblically based, character-building literature, or the new dramatic audio’s from Lamplighter Theatre, please visit our website at www.lamplighter.net or call toll free 1-888-246-7735.