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(Thank GOD) S C R I P T U R E - PS. 34 : 19 AND PS. 30 : 59(b)              OCTOBER, 1995

MANY ARE THE AFFLICTIONS OF THE RIGHTEOUS, BUT, THE LORD DELIVERS THEM OUT OF THEM ALL.

WEEPING MAY ENDURE FOR THE NIGHT, BUT, JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING.

SUBJECT - THANK GOD FOR 'BUT'

The dictionary, describes the word 'but', as a conjunction (connector), between words, or phrases. This little three lettered word, seems insignificant, but (there it goes again) without it, many things, that are said or written, would leave us, in a state of disarray. It is usually used, after a negative, as a means of offering a contrary or differing opinion. Such is the case, in our scriptures.

The first scripture, leads off with a negative fact, 'MANY ARE THE AFFLICTIONS OF THE RIGHTEOUS'. That part of the scripture, is enough to keep anyone from desiring to become righteous.

Can you imagine, a person coming up to you, and asking you to join his or her group, for the sake of promoting a cause. And that cause, will open you up to all sorts of persecution and the like, all of your life. Everywhere you go, day and night, you will be subject to any, and every thing that will be negative. Would you rush to sign up?? I don't think so. You would have to do some serious thinking, before you did, and most of you would say, forget it. Why?? because, there doesn't appear to be any light at the end of the tunnel. Let's face it, if the goal, at the end of the line, is going to be less, than what you started out with, then what's the point? Look at our Olympic athletes. They commit themselves to the most vigorous, training, that you can imagine, all for the sake of winning the gold medal. If they succeed, then they have achieved something that few of us will ever achieve. The satisfaction, that their training, and suffering, has paid off. It has made them a better person. Even if they don't get a medal, at least, they had a chance at it. If all they had to look forward to, was the pain and suffering of training, then they would quickly say, 'forget it.'

In life, we want to have everything just right, with little or no trouble. We seek the easiest way possible to get to where we want to go. Why walk, when we can drive? Why drive, when we can have someone drive for us, or fly? Why work, if we can get someone to give us money to get what we want? Why do any more, on our job, than what the company expects? The answers to all of these questions, and many more, rests in one simple fact. That fact is, 'if my doing something, is not going to get me anywhere, or make me feel good, or cause others to give me praise, then I AM NOT GOING TO DO IT.' Therefore, if that is the case, then you know, that if suffering persecution, and being afflicted, is all I have to look forward to, then you can take that 'cause' and put it somewhere out of my sight.

Well, that is what the first part of (Ps. 34:19) is implying. Many afflictions, with no relief in sight. In short, there is no hope. Then, we see that little three lettered word, 'BUT', and a little light goes on. 'BUT', is usually used, after a negative, as a means of offering a contrary or differing opinion. Could there possibly be a good reason, such as a way out, or some other good thing, that would make me decide to live a righteous life? Yes. There is deliverance for the righteous. Now, I can see the entire picture. Sure there is persecution. Sure, I will be afflicted. People will ridicule me. They will talk about me. They may attack me physically. There is the possibility that I may be imprisoned, or worse. But, God has said, He will deliver me out of, some of them.... No!!! HE WILL DELIVER ME OUT OF ALL OF THEM. That means, that anything that I get into, as a result of living the life that God says I should live, He will get me out of it. (Acts 12:3-11), tells of how Peter, the Apostle, had been cast into prison, for preaching the gospel, and how he was delivered out of the hand of Herod, who wanted to execute him. God, is always right there in the mess with you, just like He was with Daniel, in the lions' den (DAN. 6:4 -22), and with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (DAN 3:12-28) in the fiery furnace. What is the end goal of a righteous life?? Eternal life. That makes it worth while.

The next scripture says, for those that mourn, or are hurt, emotionally, spiritually or physically, that 'WEEPING MAY ENDURE FOR THE NIGHT,'. Now, the term 'night', as used in this verse, does not necessarily mean the night, that we have at the end of every day. if that were the case, then we could rest assured that when morning comes, in a few hours, the weeping may end. But, what this 'night' means, is those times in your life, when you seem to be in a continual state of hopelessness, loneliness, and despair. The type of thing, that can last for days, weeks, or even years. Have you been there? It seems that it will never end. One minute, everything is fine. You have life by the coat tails and you are merrily going along. Not a care in the world. And all of a sudden, it happens. A close loved one dies. You are diagnosed with a crippling or terminal illness. All of your wealth has been taken away, due to a financial crisis. Any one of a hundred or so things that can bring about depression. All hope is gone. Have you been, or are you, there? When you are in that type of situation, there doesn't seem to be any daylight at all. That is the night, that the scripture is talking about. Then, we see that three lettered word again, 'BUT', and it gives us what we need most of all, hope. It is then followed by a sweet sounding three lettered word, 'JOY'. Joy comes in the morning. Hallelujah !!!! Weeping may endure for the night, but, joy is coming in the morning. That means that morning is coming. There is light at the end of the tunnel. And joy, will be there.

Thank God for that word, 'BUT.' Both scriptures, let us know that if we believe in Jesus, and trust in His promises, that no matter what you are going through, there is victory at the end.

Today, we have so many people walking around, thinking about all the trouble they have in their lives, and how they have no hope. Most of them, try to escape the problem by using drugs, or alcohol, or getting involved in sexual encounters with a lot of partners. Anything to relieve the pressure. In effect, they have a 'death wish.' They don't think about suicide, they just don't care if they live or die. Then we have those that are thinking about suicide. The pressure is on, they see no way out, and they can't take it anymore. We have a man, that goes around, helping those, that have no hope of relief from their suffering, to end their lives. His name, is not important, but this fact is. It is a sad state of affairs for this, and any other society, when we see relief, in death. Sure, I have not been in any of these peoples' shoes. But, I know God. And I trust Him. And if I trust Him, then I trust His word. When people either don't know Him, or don't trust in His word, then they will resort to self destructive ideas. This man, this doctor, thinks he is providing a good service. If you ask him about God, he scoffs at the idea of there being a God, especially, if He would allow people to go through all of this suffering. But as we can see, God has said that these things will come, 'BUT', deliverance and victory is waiting for you.

If you get the chance, pick up that Bible that you have on the mantle, or on that table, and dust it off, and read about two people. Job, in the book named after him, and David, starting from (1 SAM. 18:5) and you will see how they handled their hardship. They had total trust in God. Can you imagine this doctor being around at that time, and offering his services to them?? They would have run him off so fast, it would make your head swim. Well, in a sense, this man, represents the devil. Because the devil is always trying to tell you that, there is no hope, there is no way out. If there is a God, would He let you go through this? Why don't you end it all? When that happens, think about that three lettered word, 'BUT', and send him packing. Victory is waiting for you.
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