Great Suffering

In life we encounter suffering and trials and tribulations. As a believer we weren’t guaranteed the easy life. We are even told that we will be persecuted. We will have hard times. We will be spoken against. It is our response to that which God looks at it. Do we act like Job and wallow in it? Or do we act like Paul and rejoice in it? (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) Neither Job nor Paul first knew why they were being put in such great pain for, but while Paul quickly turns to the Lord for guidance, Job turns to despair on the second day when Satan lifts his hand against him. That isn’t to say Job had great faith. If anything, Job is an example of how most people are when faced with such great suffering. We go silent. (Job 2:13) We stop talking to God and start trying to reason out for ourselves what is going on. That’s what Job does throughout all of his book over a period of about 9-10 days (1st two days spent in horror of learning about his family and himself becoming afflicted, 7 days and nights of silence, and apparently 1 day in very long and deep conversation with his friends). We can learn from Job, though. The whole time he was turned away from God (from the time he became afflicted with boils until the end when he turned back to God), he was allowed to remain in his sad state of affairs. Several times he came close to blaspheming or cursing God. Instead of seeking Godly wisdom, he sought wisdom from his friends who came to visit. The moment he turned to God, though, God became that perfect strength in Job’s weakness and restored him to even greater than he was before.

While the reasons for putting the thorn in Paul’s flesh was different then for allowing Job to suffer like that, both are tests of faith and are perfect of examples of what we should do (that is, turn to God). Are you suffering from physical, emotional, or spiritual pain? Don’t turn away from God, that only prolongs our healing. Rejoice in your infirmity knowing that His grace is sufficient, that His strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor 12:9a)

Dear God,
Thank you for being there for me. Without You there is no healing, there is no hope, there is no strength. Continue to be with me today as I go through my day and be strong for me.