Sunday, August 9, 2015

Suffering.....

Suffering

Suffering causes us to look beyond what we see, and reach for what we cannot see. Suffering and pain and loss bring about a craving for the eternal.

Even though this is happening, I'm still going to trust Him. Even though my eyes can't see what's going on, my mind can't reason it out, I'm still going to trust Him. Even though it feels as if my whole life is shattered and my body and heart ache profoundly, still will I trust Him.

We must remember that things are always in God's hands and that they are never out of God's hands, regardless of circumstances.

Trust that suffering will end. Trust that there is more to this life than what we can see. Trust that eternity's blessings far outweigh this world's problems. Trust that suffering is not just a waste of time, that it can actually make you stronger. Trust that God rewards those who trust in Him.

The suffering of this life is temporary and will end for those who trust in the Lord. Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

When we suffer and do not understand why, we can trust that God has a greater plan in place that we cannot see.

Suffering Opens Spiritual Eyes and Ears

The story of Job is the most famous story of suffering in human history. It is so intense and heart-wrenching that it is almost unbelievable. How could someone endure so much pain? He experienced the loss of his children, the loss of wealth and position in society, severe physical illness, despair, and bewilderment, abandonment by his wife, accusations, humiliation, loneliness, and a profound crisis of faith. 
In his suffering and loneliness he kept questioning God: Why?

He kept remembering his past glorious life—he had had the respect of everyone, he had had his children around him, he had lived in luxury, he had given to the poor, he had lived a gracious and generous life, and more importantly, he had felt the favor of God was on his household. He thought things would never change! He thought he would live a comfortable life until he died (vv.18-20) but God had a different plan!

God had blessed Job immensely and knew that he was a faithful man. He knew he could trust Job with the severest of pain and knew that in his faithfulness, Job would glorify Him. God knew that Satan was no match for the faith that He had placed in Job's heart. But God also knew that Job had a lot more to learn about who His God was. Job had known God only from the mountaintops. Now, it was time to get to know Him in the valleys. 

Job had to learn about God's grace being sufficient in the darkest of times to sustain him. Job had to learn that he could not count on his best friends or even his wife to stand by him when the toughest time came. Job had to learn that there are mysteries in life and there are unanswered questions, which in spite of his wisdom he could not comprehend. Job had to learn about the majesty and glory and the awesome might of His God, who cannot be manipulated or be bent to our desires.

So Job cried out for God, but seemingly there was no answer. In fact, God replied in accordance with His free will, His pleasure, and His perfect timing. Job had to learn about the darkness and misery of life when God's face is hidden. But finally God spoke! And when He spoke it was humbling! It crushed Job's pride and sense of self-importance. God made Job come face to face with His glory and majesty and might.

God healed Job and blessed him again and even more, but not before he had learned the lesson that God lovingly had preordained for him. Job finally came to his knees and confessed that now he had finally come to know God in a real sense: For before his afflictions his ears had heard of God, but he had never seen Him the way he saw Him in the deepest valleys of his life. This humbled him! In awe of God's sovereignty and majesty, Job confessed: Now, I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes. Finally, Job was truly healed!


I will trust Him

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.

                                                    Job 13:15

"Though He slay me, I will trust Him,"
Said the sainted Job of old;
"Though He try me in the furnace,
I shall then come forth as gold.

"Though the 'worms of deep affliction'
Cause this body to decay,
In my flesh I shall behold Him —
My Redeemer—some glad day."

"Though He slay me"—can I say it
When I feel the searing fire,
When my fondest dreams lie shattered —
Gone my hope and fond desire?

"Though He slay me, I will trust Him,"
For He knows just how to mold,
How to melt and shape my spirit
I shall then come forth as gold!

Father, 

I confess that I have complained against You because life is often so hard for no apparent reason. I have questioned Your ways, believing that if I had Your power, I would have done a better job of running this universe than You've done. 

Father, I pray that I might not rebel against Your sovereignty. I pray that when I see injustice in the world, I might not ascribe it to You; I pray that I might remember that You, O Lord, are God, and I am not. Help me to believe that Your way is perfect. And let that admission lead to submission, repentance and thanksgiving.

                                               
In Jesus' name, Amen.

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