“There are neither punishments nor rewards, only consequences.”
That’s a good quote. But what is a “consequence”?
Consequence: something that follows as a result; the relation between a result and its cause.
I’ve heard it said that the Lord can forgive any and every sin, but His forgiveness does not negate the consequences of the action. A great example given is a block of wood that represents our life. Our sin is like a big nail hammered into that wood. With the forgiveness of sin, the nail is removed from the piece of wood, but the hole created by the nail is still evident in the wood. Consequences remain even after forgiveness is granted. A murderer might be forgiven by God or a victim’s family, but that doesn’t mean a prison sentence will be pardoned. We must accept that the things we do and say now have an affect on our future. But for how long? If we make a choice today, good or bad, how long will the consequences extend? A year? A decade? A lifetime? Honestly, I don’t have an answer, but I do know the Scriptures have answers.
Psalm 37 says we should,
“Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the LORD
and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in Him and He will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”
And in Proverbs 3 we are told to,
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight.”
HE will make my paths straight. Whether I understand it or not. Whether I deserve it or not. If I turn to HIM and set my feet on HIS path, right here, right now, the rest is up to Him. I only have to stay on His path. And rather I prosper as the world would see it or not, HE will supply ALL my needs (Philippians 4:13). And “all” is a very big word. Look at it:
ALL: the whole amount, quantity, or extent of; as much as possible, Synonyms: whole
Wow! He will supply the whole amount of my needs. That just doesn’t leave much out, does it? Now what I have to accept is what do I really “need”? Too often we equate that which we WANT as a NEED. I believe that even the murderer, who has accepted the forgiveness of our Lord, will have his NEEDS met by our Lord, even while he still sits in prison doing his time; his consequence. So in my life, there are consequences to the choices I made earlier in life. Could my life have been better had I made better choices? Yes. But do the consequences of my choices negate a blessing from the Lord? No. Do they limit what the Lord can do for me? No. Is He able to make my paths straight, from wherever I am in life? YES! IF I will trust and acknowledge Him.