If God’s Wrath Breaks You, Let God’s Love Mend You

God, through the prophet Jeremiah, asked the rhetorical question:

“Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored?” (Jer. 8:22)

The question is rhetorical because the answer has already been given. A couple verses earlier God says:

“Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King not in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their carved images and with their foreign idols? “ (Jer. 8:19)

And in the second chapter, he says:

“For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and have hewed for themselves broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jer. 2:13)

The regular reality of life in this world is that our sin constantly corrupts us and our weakness wearies us.  We are always in need and, bless God, the great Physician of our souls is always on call. Our prolonged bouts of spiritual sickness are too often prolonged simply because of our unwillingness to go see the true Doctor of our souls.  It is Christ who said his mission was to “bind up the brokenhearted” (Is. 61:1). This is certainly true for the non-Christian and yet it remains true for the Christian as well. Why, then, do we so often pass by his “oil of gladness” (61:3) and instead first give ourselves to other remedies under the sun, be it distractions or drugs, pleasures or vices, or any other sort of worldly remedy (whether it be scandalous or mundane)? The Spirit of the Lord “yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell within us,” and “he gives more grace” according to our greater needs. 

The words of Spurgeon are worth reflecting on here:

“The hypocrite flies to the world and finds a sort of comfort there, but the child runs to his Father, and expects consolation only from the Lord’ hand. True grace abides with God and submits itself to His will. This is always good for us.

            Brother, if the Lord causes you to be sick, remain sick until the Lord restores you, for it is dangerous to call in any other physician to your soul but the Lord. If the Lord frowns, do not ask others to smile, for you can derive no joy from that source. If God’s wrath breaks you, let God’s love mend you, or else remain broken. ‘I will not be comforted until Jesus comforts me’ is a sweet resolve of a truly penitent soul, for has not the Lord said, ‘I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; I the Lord do all these things.’ Will you take the healing and the making-alive out of Jehovah’s hand? God forbid! Where you have received your hurt, there receive your comfort. Where you drink the gall of sorrow, there drink the wine of joy; for in the Lord’s hand there is abundant mercy to be found, and He will end your misery…

            Look always, O sinner, to the brazen serpent, no matter what serpent bites you. Whether it is the old serpent himself, or some smaller serpent of the same brood that lurks in the way and bites at the horse’s heels, still look to the appointed cure. Never speculate in healing drugs, but keep to the one antidote that never fails. Jesus is the consolation of Israel, and may Israel place her hope nowhere else.” [1]

Spiritual sickness has only one remedy, and that is to be found in the Lord, the life-giving Spirit. Let your gaze rest squarely upon God at all times, waiting upon him. His promise is that those who wait will “renew their strength” and “mount up with wings like eagles” (Is. 40:31). 

[1] C. H. Spurgeon, The Mourner’s Comforter, p. 88.


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