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Tony Evans tells about the time his kid brother refused to obey their father. He chose to leave home rather than obey. His father helped him pack his suitcase. He left, but once outside the house, he realized he didn’t have a job or a car. So twenty minutes later he was back, knocking on the door, ready to obey. Evans says his father let him go so he could learn respect. That’s also what our heavenly Father often does. He did it with ancient Israel. We learn from Psalm 85 that the people were home after 70 years in exile for their disobedience. But now, they are acting up again, so God lets a famine come to teach them a lesson. The psalmist prays, “LORD, you poured out blessings on your land! You restored the fortunes of Israel. You forgave the guilt of your people – yes, you covered all their sins. You held back your fury. You kept back your blazing anger. Now restore us again, O God of our salvation. Put aside your anger against us once more. Will you be angry with us always?… Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.” When our faithful Heavenly Father permits trouble in our lives, it is often to refine our character and teach us to respect and depend on Him.

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