That's the way of life. It seems that after one escapes from a bad situation another equally bad arises. No matter how hard one tries, it seems that fate just cannot be overcome! Some are destined to relive bad experience after bad experience. Is there no breaking the cycle? Are humans mere pawns in the devious hands of fate?
Galatians 6:7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
Consequences are results of actions; specifically behaviors. As an example, I'll use my own life experiences (so as not to offend others). I made bad choices when I was really young. Those bad choices led to unhappiness in life. I reaped what I sowed. Furthermore, I made additional bad choices as life went on because sin breeds more sin. Sin compounds itself. Each of those sins created more dysfunctionality in my spiritual life and more consequences to suffer; reaping more of what I'd sewn. Each successive cycle was Deja Vu all over again (tongue-in-cheek) or "Been there done that!"
The sins committed were not of a heathen. I was "saved" since I had confessed belief and had faith in Jesus. I messed up anyhow although I tried not to sin. When we "obey" God we must follow what he says to a tee! He doesn't take it lightly when we do it our own way.
Numbers 20:7 " And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. 9 And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him. 10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. 12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them."
In the example above note that God told Moses "speak ye unto the rock" to get the much needed water. What did Moses do? "He smote the rock twice." Moses still got the water. That's God's grace! However, he suffered consequences; his people weren't allowed to go to their destination, Canaanland. This is a perfect example of the consequences of disobedience! The Jews did it often and with regularity. They suffered the consequences of their disobedience and they keep on keeping on! Deja Vu and "Been there done that!" People just can't seem to learn from their mistakes!
I'm no different. What was making me unhappy years ago still makes me unhappy! What "ticked me off" then "ticks me off" now. It's a cycle. Just because I committed my life to Christ doesn't make everything right. At my age I still suffer the consequences of my sins committed years ago! Just as God forgave David for his grievous sins, David suffered dire consequences! Salvation is salve for the soul. It's hardly the sweet herb for worldly woes! Just because Joel Osteen says positive things doesn't remove negative consequences of our actions.
How can one break the endless cycle of Groundhogs Day? Sincere prayer, for self and others, and in praise of God. Will that fix everything? Likely not! However, it can make the petty things of life insignificant and bring joy to the soul! Prayer changes things:
Matthew 6:6 " But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
The Lord's Prayer tells us how to pray. It gives us a map of what to say and who to honor. Matthew 6:6 tells us where to pray and that what we pray for will be rewarded. (Of course The Lord's Prayer tells us it must be in God's will). The Pharisees prayed on the streets for all to see. We're to pray in secret. That's a mark of sincerity!
Here's my typical insincere ineffective prayer: "God thank you for all you do for us. Thank you for the food and shelter we enjoy. Thank you for our health. I praise your Holy Name. Amen." Although the words are "real good" the sincerity is lacking. My cycle of repeated sins and consequences may be related to a insincere prayer life. The most effective any prayer I ever said was accompanied by fasting!
1 Corinthians 7:5 "Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency."
Even in marriage, we're supposed to take time off to pray. We're told to "give ourselves in prayer and fasting". To cast out powerful demons, Jesus tells us that it takes prayer and fasting. The fasting lessens that self-pleasure and makes prayer more sincere. It's not perfunctory, but meaningful!
I wish I could live my life over again. I would live it differently. No more youthful indiscretions, no more adulthood mistakes and a sincere dependence on God. Fortunately, it's never too late to stop the Deja Vu all over again!