Consequences linger

Jeremiah 30:18-24

If you make your bed, you must lie in it. That adage isn’t always true, but true enough times to count on. Do the crime, do the time is another old nugget that reminds us there are ramifications for the things we do. And we get that. We don’t like if people get off too easy. At least, other people.

But something strange happens when we think of God and consequences. Since God casts our sins into the depth of the sea, we assume that means everything goes with it. Well, grace redeems us, frees us and forgives us, but it doesn’t always spare us. Consequences aren’t a part of the grace formula.

When nothing but the blood of Jesus washes away our sin, there are times we get a clean slate to go with it. That is, the trouble, hurt or harm we may have caused is rectified as well. Praise God when that happens because it doesn’t always happen.

There are many more times the consequences of what we’ve done linger. We should understand that’s not judgement from God. And I don’t say that in a negative way. It’s a reality we need to ensure we understand. In the name of Jesus Christ you are forgiven! But if we expect forgiveness to erase any and all repercussions, you might be greatly disappointed.

Jeremiah 30 has one of the great prophecies-within-a-prophecy. God promises to “restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob.” The sound of joy will make the feeling of thanksgiving so evident. One day things will be so different than they are today.

But there’s still today.

Of course, the today we’re talking about is exile. The people will still face the consequence of their disobedience. They will still suffer. Part of God’s promise is that the city will be rebuilt. You understand the impact of that when you realize it will be destroyed first.

Why doesn’t God just flush away all the real-world consequences of our sin? I’m not sure. Maybe because they often affect other people. Maybe we need to learn to appreciate how much our actions or inactions can burden others, too.

Whatever the reasons, may we continue to trust God through them. And may we take great comfort in knowing God has redeemed us even when the consequences we face linger.

Stay blessed…john

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