This is the sixth in a series of posts written by our very own Paul Burgess. See the first post and an introduction to the series here.
I’m not suffering. God’s reason for choosing me to write about suffering is a mystery. I’m not presently suffering. Look at where I spend my mornings. The lockdown hasn’t changed retired life much at all. I miss short trips and traveling, something most of the world could never afford. Blessed with an abundant life, I would feel guilty if it weren’t for believing we live in God’s will.
Job suffered. He knew what it meant to suffer tragedies that brought unbearable pain and grief. And yet his faith in the invisible God, who through creation made Himself known, was unshakeable.
Oh, he complained and questioned; would you deny him that right? I am sure he was at his wits end, on the threshold of crazy, with this test of his allegiance. The refining of Job’s faith was through suffering.
Listen to his faith.
“Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
“That with an iron stylus and lead
They were engraved in the rock forever! “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.
“Even after my skin is destroyed,
Yet from my flesh I shall see God;
Whom I myself shall behold,
And whom my eyes will see and not another.
My heart faints within me!”
(Job 19:23-27 NASB)
Job knew the bottom line, the end of the matter. His redeemer is alive and there will be a resurrection.
So let us be thankful for little or much; it all comes from the hand of God. “John answered and said, ‘A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.’” (John 3:27 NASB) Being joyful is possible when you wholeheartedly believe God knows what He is doing.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NASB)