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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Thursday, January 9, 2014


"Though He slay me, I will hope in Him."
Job 13:15

What powerful words Job speaks!  Who would hope so much and still proclaim such TRUST after thinking that God had stabbed him?  This is absolutely what Job models for us.  This is what God has instructed us through His Word TO DO, to TRUST Him even when we think He has stabbed us in the back, receiving it in FAITH, with TRUST.  There are so many BLESSINGS in our sufferings.  Suffering perfects our FAITH, "In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,  so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls."  
I Peter 1:6-9.

So often, we question ourselves in our own hearts, but then others also doubt us when they see us suffering as in the case of Job.  They wonder why this is happening to us?  We are overwhelmed with many questions! Why won't God let me get pregnant?  Why won't God heal my child?  Why did my loved one die?  Why did my spouse leave me for someone else?  Why did my friend marry so much better than I did?  Why am I lingering in so much loneliness and pain?  What is wrong with me?  Is it disobedience in me or some hidden sin which I need to repent of?  Is there a lesson I need to learn?   The questions are numerous.  Job's example reveals to us that these kinds of questions miss the point of  what truly is going on.  Of course, when we find ourselves in the midst of our long term suffering, we tend to react this way missing out on the importance of our suffering.  Job did not need to learn any lesson when he was chosen to suffer, though he surely learned some valuable lessons along the way.  God was not trying to correct any flaw or sin leading Job to repent.  It was God's testimony about His heavenly rule.  It was about silencing Satan.

Job's suffering seems a bit unfair, maybe even wrong.  For God to let Satan stretch out his hand against all that belonged to Job does not seem right.  But, we must remember that God restrains Satan in what he might do in our lives.  We must see Satan's limitations.  Although it may seem that God was unfair to Job, there are many things that we do not understand.  Nevertheless, we must cling to the God of all Scripture.  He is good, righteous, loving, longsuffering, steadfast....I must always remember God's ways are not my ways.  If God allows Satan to tempt us, all Satan does will be calculated for our own good, Rom. 8:28.  It will work out for our good.  We must learn like Job to know our own insignificance compared to God, the Great I AM.  Remember God never answers Job's questions.  Instead He questions Job.  But Job does not complain.  He repents.  Job admits his failure in speaking of things he could not know.  In the same way WE MUST ADMIT that God is God and I am not.  We must learn with God's help that we cannot fathom all of His ways, but we CAN TRUST HIM.

Consider God's purposes in our sufferings:  
  • Suffering increases our consciousness of the power, sovereignty and sustenance of our ALMIGHTY GOD, Psalm 68:10.  
  • Suffering is used by God for our refining, perfection, strength and to keep us from falling, Psa. 66:8-9; Heb. 2:10.  
  • Suffering allows Jesus be manifested in our mortal flesh, 2 Cor. 4:7-11
  • Suffering weakens us making us depend upon God, 2 Cor. 12:9.  
  • Suffering teaches us humility, 2 Cor. 12:7.  
  • Suffering makes known to us the mind of Christ, Philippians 2:1-11.
  • Suffering teaches us character and Christlikeness, Rom. 5:3-4; Heb. 12:10-11; 2 Cor. 4:8-10; Rom. 8:28-29.  
  • Suffering teaches God's discipline for us, for our good, so that we may share in His holiness, Hebrews 12:1-11.  
  • Suffering can help us learn obedience and self-control, Heb. 5:8; Ps. 119-67; Rom. 5:1-5; James 1:2-8; Phil. 3:10.  
  • Suffering for others can demonstrate the abundance of joy and love, 2 Cor. 8:1-2,9.  
  • Suffering is part of the struggle against evil men, Psalm 27:12; 37:14-15.  
  • Suffering is part of being worthy of the kingdom of God, 2 Thes. 1:4-5.  
  • Suffering is the struggle against injustice, I Peter 2:19.  
  • Suffering is sharing in the sufferings of Christ, 2 Cor. 15; I Peter 4:12-13.  
  • Suffering teaches us endurance so that we may win our crown, eternal life, 2 Cor. 4:17; 2 Tim. 2:12.
  • Suffering  binds Christians in sharing with the needs of the saints with a common purpose, Philippians 4:12-15.  
  • Suffering teaches us God's statutes and brings us back to the way of God when we go astray, Psalm 119:66-67,71.  
  • Though we suffer for our sins, our broken and contrite spirit pleases God, Psalm 51:16-17.  
  • Suffering helps us to focus on our hope, the salvation of our souls, the grace that will be brought to us when Jesus is revealed, I Peter 1:6, 13.  
  • Suffering produces humility in us, I Peter 5:6-7.  
  • Suffering helps us to number our days,  Psalm 90:7-12.  
  • Suffering is necessary to win the lost, 2 Tim. 2:8-10; 4:5-6.
  • Suffering strengthens us by allowing us to comfort others, 2 Cor. 1:3-11
  • Suffering is nothing compared to the value of knowing Christ, Phil. 3:8.  
  • Through suffering we can know God's Truth, Psalm 51:6; 119:17. 
  • Suffering is part of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus, 2 Tim. 1:7-8, 4:16-18.
  • Suffering teaches us thanksgiving and joy, I Thes. 5:18; 2 Cor. 1:11.
  • Suffering gives us hope, Jeremiah. 29:11; Job 13:14-15. 
  • Suffering reveals God's care for us, Psalm  56:8.

With all these lessons learned from suffering, let us never forget that Jesus, the Man of sorrows was very acquainted with GRIEF AND SUFFERING.  Our Lord Jesus modeled for us endurance in suffering.  Most importantly, His perfect suffering made it possible for us to have redemption through Him.  He endured the cross and the curse for us.  For the joy that was set before him, Jesus despised the shame, but He sat down at the right hand of the throne of God, Hebrews 12:2.  We are to share in His sufferings, Matt. 26:36-46. Jesus trusted His Father in the garden of Gethsemane.  He had to finish and had to face His worst fears becoming the Man of sorrows for the salvation of our souls.  Let us purpose in our heart, soul and mind with all of our strength to walk like Jesus and Job who TRUSTED completely in God in times of deep suffering.  

It is remarkable to me that although Job was stripped of everything in this life, that he could have trusted still in God.  Job held unto his FAITH.  God gives and God takes away.  Blessed be the name of God!  Anyone who has had to endure deep suffering can recognize these moments in their journey. Tough He slay me, yet will I TRUST HIM.

May our Lord help us to meditate with wisdom on God's purpose in our sufferings and various trials. May we consider them all joy knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance in order for us to be complete lacking in nothing.  May our Lord help us to persevere under sufferings and trials and be approved of God in order to receive our reward in heaven, our crown of life, which our Lord has promised to those who love, believe and obey Him.  To Him be the glory.  AMEN


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