Jesus said: “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” (John 5:14 NKJV)
In last week’s blog post, “How to Count it All Joy in the Middle of a Storm,” we talked about how Christians go through trials from time to time in their lives.
Sometimes these trials happen because God wants to increase our faith.
One of the great examples of this in the Bible is the trial that Job went through.
He was a great man of God. The Bible describes him as, “blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. (Job 1:1 NKJV)
Nevertheless, God allowed Satan to bring an extremely difficult tribulation in his life.
Job lost his fortune, his sons and daughters, and he got inflicted with a very painful disease. These trials didn’t happen to him because he was in sin.
In contrast to Job, this blog post is about the type of trial that is caused by sin.
Even though there’s a tendency for Christians to attribute all trials to sin, it’s important to realize that’s it’s not always the case. However, we must be aware that sin can be the cause of the trial that we’re going through.
Ignoring this truth can hinder the corrective work that God wants to do in our lives.
Remember: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NKJV)
How Can You Know if Sin is Causing the Trials in Your Life?
There’s something unique about trials that are caused by sin versus any other type of trial.
That’s because these types of trials are the only ones that can be avoided.
Notice that if we resist temptation and avoid sin in our lives, we don’t have to face the consequences of sin.
There is a principle in the Bible that best describes this:
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
-Galatians 6:7-8 NKJV
Also, before a believer faces the consequences of sin, he receives multiples warnings from God.
God is a patient and merciful God. As our Father, He does not take pleasure in allowing storms in our lives.
For this reason, He incessantly warns us to put away all sinful behavior.
However, God says in Genesis 6:3, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh.”
There is a limit in God’s patience towards His people.
Once we pass that limit, once we cross that line, the Spirit of God will stop trying to persuade us from sin. As a result, the discipline of God will fall upon us.
If you’re going through a storm, ask God to show you the reason for it. If sin is the cause, God will always let you know.
He wants you to know that this storm is a disciplinary action with the purpose to straighten your walk. He undoubtedly does this out of love.
As the Word says, “For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” (Hebrews 12:6 NKJV)
Think About This Biblical Example
One of the greatest examples we find in the Bible about how to deal with the consequences of sin can be learned by examining King David.
King David committed a horrible sin in his life which is found in 2 Samuel 11.
It tells us that King David committed adultery with Bathsheba. After finding out that she got pregnant, he decided to get her husband killed in battle to hide his sin.
It’s important that we see how after King David committed these sins and tried to cover them up, how God sent him the prophet Nathan to confront him.
Nathan prophesied in David’s presence the consequences he was to face because of his sin.
Nathan told David the following:
Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’
Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’ ”
So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.
-2 Samuel 12:10-14 NKJV
David, after acknowledging his sin, received the forgiveness of God.
Nevertheless, he could not avoid the consequences of sin.
Those consequences could be clearly seen in David’s family.
We read in the Bible the tragic story of how one of David’s sons, Amnon, raped his sister Tamar.
After that incident, Absalom, Amnon’s brother, kills him for what he did to Tamar.
Additionally, later on in the life of David, Absalom betrays his father.
He snatches the kingdom out of David’s hands, sleeps with David’s wives, and starts a conspiracy against his father to kill him. (2 Samuel:13-18)
We must as Christians understand that the grace of God that provides mercy and forgiveness is not a license for us to sin.
Let’s be careful with sin. The pleasure it offers is momentary, but the consequences are very destructive, and long-lasting.
How to Approach a Storm Caused by Sin
After David received the prophecy from Nathan, the first thing that happened was that his newborn was struck with an illness.
The Bible tells us that David, “…pleaded with God for the child, and…..fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them. (2 Samuel 12:16-17 NKJV)
We notice that when the storm hit David’s life, he decided to pray earnestly for his situation, and He decided to fast continously.
Likewise, as children of God we should approach the storms caused by sin acknowledging our faults, and praying and fasting for what’s coming our way.
Further ahead in the story David receives news that the Child had died, and it tells us that he:
…Arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped.
Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”
And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
– 2 Samuel 12:16-17, 20-23 NKJV
We see that David’s prayer was not answered according to his petition. But after receiving the bad news, he still went before God and worshiped Him.
This is the attitude we should have in the middle of a trial.
Even though things don’t go our way, we should still worship God.
When we look at the Bible verses above, we notice that after praying and fasting, David got up and went on with his life.
This shows us the endurance that God provides when we desperately seek Him in the middle of a trial.
Instead of getting bitter for the wounds caused in a storm, we’are called to get up, and move forward with our lives. Jesus promised to be with us until the end.
David ended up having another son, Solomon, with the same woman he committed adultery with, who was now his wife.
The most amazing thing is that Solomon ended up being the one that inherited the kingdom of Israel, and also the one whose line God chose to bring the Messiah: Jesus.
Even though God allows difficult things in our lives that cause us a lot of pain, His marvelous grace causes those storms to bring us many blessings.