LOOKING UP WHEN I AM DOWN
The one issue that we all have in this world is the challenge of making sense out of the ways we find ourselves in various forms of suffering. The issue has been so pressing with many of us that it presses our faith to the boarders of whether God is really in control of our whole lives. It is critical to the life of the true believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior that we develop a spiritually healthy view concerning this matter if we are going to live victoriously in this world.
Job was a man who worshipped the true and living God faithfully according to the scriptures. We can look back at the scriptures and see what Job could not initially see when the testing of suffering entered into his dome of what appeared to be a comfortable life. No apparent reason was evident to him. It was not just that these things happened, but why? This spiritual reality became the struggle that compounded the matters of physical loss of relationships and possessions in his life. When life makes no sense to us, our faith in the sovereignty of God and His love for us is stretched to lay hold to truths He is revealing to us about Him and ourselves.
What God reveals to us is that any suffering that He allows into our lives is by a specific design and has very specific purposes according to His wisdom (Romans 11:33-36). Besides the fact He is certain that He can keep us in all our ways, He knows what has to be done to add necessary things to us, and He knows what has to be taken away for the greater purpose of His glory. He knows how much we can bear according to His grace (I Corinthians 10:13), and He knows how to deliver the godly out of any temptation (2 Peter 2:9). God allowed Satan to invade Job’s life (1:12; 2:6). The consolation for us is that Satan has to obtain permission and has boundaries in his attacks upon our lives. It clearly reveals that God’s authority and keeping power is greater that Satan’s temptations and the stretch and growth of faith in Job was what God allowed Satan to use to grow Job spiritually. When God allows those things that are valuable and special to be touched, it reveals where God truly is in the deep priorities of our hearts. It was Job who said, “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (1:21). Does the blessings mean more to us than the Giver of the blessings?
God also in His wisdom allowed Job’s fears to become the battleground for victory or defeat in Job’s life (3:25; 9:28; 30:15). Our logic would expect God to use our strongest and most confident areas to be the subject of attack, but then the victory would be for our glory and not God’s. It always reminds us of two great truths that our faith must rest upon; first, “in our weakness is His strength made perfect (2 Corinthians 12:9), and the battle is not ours, but the LORD’s (2 Chronicles 20:15). It is at this point of our weaknesses we clearly discern our limitations and true place in a life that has to depend upon the sufficiency of our God. Also, it is at this point that nothing and no one can take the place of faith in God and the revelation that He exclusively wants us to learn in this time of suffering. What is often true for many of us is that pain is where we are open to the most gain in our walk with God. We seek Him most and yield to Him most when we are brought to the end of ourselves with circumstances that seem to have no human resolution.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank You that no place of human suffering is beyond Your mercy and wisdom in our lives. You have promised to comfort us in all our tribulation and in doing so, You teach us to be comforters of those around us who are suffering in different ways also, in Jesus name, amen.
(by Pastor Wayne Cockrell)
A perfect word for a Monday morning. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Amen Pastor! Thank you LORD for being there!
Thank You Father that in my Weakness Your Strength is Made Perfect. Always Worthy of Praise !!!
Amen Pastor. I am so encouraged.
Amen Pastor! Powerful Devotion. my soul was bless !
Amen Pastor! Thank you for this encouraging devotional. I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help!!
Amen Pastor Cockrell! Suffering is not easy. However, it is necessary to help me/us grow closer to Him. God Bless you!