“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb. 5:14)
“Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” (1st Kings 3:9)
Now, consider this verse, “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” (2nd Cor. 12:7)
In the days that followed, after Paul received that thorn in his flesh, did he often think of Job 2:10a, “What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?”
If pride had not begun to find a place to grow in the soil of his heart, then there would be no reason for the Almighty to send evil in the form of pain in his life. The Lord does not send pain and suffering as a warning, He does not do so to keep us on the path, but He has no qualms about doing so if we step off it.
“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” (Heb. 12:6)
And each in a way that will reach into the depth of their soul. “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” (Psalm 51:4)
And because it is your Father in heaven that you have committed that sin against, it is your Father that will send the evil.
If you have been born-again then you are an heir to the Kingdom of heaven, this is an assurance you must recognize as truth, no one can take you out of His hands, the Lord Jesus Christ does not cast off the members of His body, He does not remove one and replace them with one who will serve Him better. He corrects, He reproves, He wounds and then He heals. We see through a glass darkly for now, but our eyes have been opened.
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Heb. 12:11)
If He has sent evil, there is a reason, it is always profitable, it is always for good, it is always for His glory, and our lives are to be lived for His glory.
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)
The heart that can discern between good and evil must be exercised by reason of our faith, and that heart, that faith rests in the knowledge of this truth, that if it is in your life, no matter what it is, good or evil, it has been sent, allowed if you so desire that word, by your Father in heaven.
Job was shown why, Paul knew why, when Peter was done weeping bitterly, he knew why. And as they did, and many untold millions and more who understand Philippians 1:21, they kept moving forward on the path.
I personally do not believe that many who are thusly chastened are ever left in the dark as to the reason why, no lesson can be learned unless the picture is clearly seen. Paul moved forward on the path in the fellowship of His suffering, Lazarus was placed on the path at the rich man’s gate every morning by his friends. Which one follows the Lord with greater determination my friends, the one who receives only good, or the one who receives evil, and recognizes it as from his loving Father?
Those who desire it, who daily seek the face of God for His glory understand that it is not always sin in their life that brings that chastisement, but is a way of purging that old nature within us, it is not always because we have wandered off the path, but because we truly desire to fulfill His command of, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1st Peter 1:16)
This is why we rejoice in these trials while at the same time asking Him to either remove them or give us strength to stand in them.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
The good and the evil, this is a truth you must accept if you desire to follow Him who led a life of grief and sorrow.
“In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” (Job 1:22)