"It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young."
I’ll never forget the day I was sentenced to prison for armed robbery. I was only 19 years old, and as the judge read out my sentence, my heart sank. “Seventeen years!” I thought. “My life might as well be over.”
This is how God’s people must have felt when the Babylonians carried them into captivity for 70 years. But the prophet Jeremiah knew the Lord was working all things together for good.
The Bible teaches that God disciplines those He loves (Deuteronomy 8:5). When God’s children suffer hardship and affliction in this life, it’s because their heavenly Father uses suffering to conform them to the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ. “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten” (Hebrews 12:7, NKJV)? God’s fatherly discipline never seems pleasant when it comes, but when we know it’s for our good, we can submit to it and say with the psalmist, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees” (Psalm 119:71).
I OFTEN SAY PRISON WAS THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME. THERE I LEARNED THAT JESUS' YOKE IS EASY AND HIS BURDEN IS LIGHT.