How many times does God have to allow people to suffer until they finally learn to do things His way?  Now, God doesn’t like to see people suffer, but they only suffer because of their own disobedience.  And if God never let us taste the consequences of our actions, we would be even more of a mess than we already are.

1Pe 5:6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
1Pe 5:10  But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
1Pe 5:11  To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

You see, the devil is your constant enemy who is bent on your destruction, and given the opportunity by your disobedience to God’s Word, the devil will bring so much destruction into your life, that you will be forced to call upon God to be rescued, sooner or later.  Back in the days of Moses, Israel had fallen into captivity to Egypt because of their disobedience to God, and they had been slaves for four hundred years.  They cried out to God for a deliverer, and God sent Moses.  But keep in mind, He allowed them to suffer four hundred years.

Sadly, even after the LORD led them out of Egypt in a mighty deliverance, even sending them out with much gold by the hand of Moses, the people griped and whined and complained and even created a golden calf to worship while Moses was on the mountain with God.  They even told Moses when he came down and saw the golden calf that they had “thrown gold into the fire and it came out this calf”.  They disobeyed God to the point that He let that entire generation die out in the wilderness, save for Joshua and Caleb, who were faithful to Him all their lives.  So often God delivers us from oppression that we have brought on all by ourselves, and yet we turn against Him again.  IS THAT THE THANKS GOD GETS?

You would think that after suffering a while, you would gladly obey the LORD after He brings you out of oppression, poverty, sickness and all the other junk of the devil, and worship Him with your whole heart from that day forward.  But noooooooooo, we just keep doing the same thing over and over like a broken record.  We go through the same cycles over and over, don’t we EVER LEARN?  We are oppressed, we cry out to God, God delivers us, we do alright for a while and fall back into our old disobedient ways again, the devil has his way with us and destroys everything we have and touch, including our health, and now we’re at the bottom of the barrel again.  And we cry out to God….

When will we ever become mature, established in God’s ways, strengthened and settled?  Well, it will be when we decide we’ve had enough of the devil’s ways, and not until.  Not everybody keeps going through the cycle, some learn from their misnakes xxxxxmistakes, and don’t repeat them.  Others never learn.  There are only two types of people in the world: those who learn, and those who are stiff-necked and WON’T learn.  The fruit of your life right now tells which category you fall into.

1Co 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1Co 11:32  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

God has MANY times relieved you from oppression and destruction from the devil, but how many times have you chosen to fall back into it again?  Are you ready to break the cycle and stay on the blessed side?  You can, you know, but it’s entirely up to you.
Many people keep going round and round the same old mountain year after year, saying “The mountain is getting higher”. No, the rut is just getting deeper and deeper, that’s all.  If the rut is where you want to spend the rest of your life, then fine; that’s your choice.  But if you’re ready to move from the rut to the mountain top where the view is much better, God will bring you there, but you will have to follow Him on the path, and it will not be the path of your own choosing.  But take cheer, you will be taking the scenic route.  There will be many dangerous curves along the way, but you won’t fall over the cliff as long as you hold tight to Jesus.  It will be the most exciting journey of your life and when it’s over, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to decide to get out of the rut.

God gave us the Bible, so we could read and learn from the mistakes of our forefathers.  Don’t be like the majority of people who God delivers from destruction, who turn again to their old ways like a dog returns to its vomit.  That isn’t the thanks God deserves.  Rather, once He sets you free, follow Him and STAY free, breaking the cycle of sickness and poverty and oppression in your life for good.  Indeed, there is a lesson to be learned from history if we just will.  That’s the way to truly thank God for His mercy!