Suffering can hit anywhere and anytime.
None of us are fully prepared for the day when our life takes an unexpected twist. Like jumping into a cold lake, no one can prepare you for the shock your body experiences, until after you have experienced it.
Job’s suffering came out of nowhere – it was unforeseen – it caught him off guard. The circumstances in Job’s life were unexplainable to him.
Have you been there?
Perhaps it was a routine doctor appointment, that turned into years of fighting cancer.
Or maybe it was the phone call in the night, of the news of the death of a loved one, that turned your life upside down.
Or perhaps a loss of pregnancy or maybe it was a parent walking out on your family, when you were a child.
The unimaginable happens and suffering doesn’t just strike once – it lingers and it is painful.
The journey of suffering doesn’t make sense and that is why Job asked over 25 times: “why, why, why”. He asked this question again and again. But every time Job spoke – he addressed God in some way – he KNEW God was there, even though God was silent.
God doesn’t always give us answers but he does give us…
Job’s wrestling was less about the presence of God and more about the silence of God.
God knows better than we do, what we need. We think it is answers, but have you ever taken a problem to your husband or a friend and they gave you answers and solutions when all you really wanted was a long hug and the presence of their listening ear. While their advice may be helpful, sometimes we just need to know they are there. It’s their presence that we need.
So what do we do when God is silent?
- We go into His presence in prayer.
- We go into His presence in His Word.
- We walk in His ways and do not depart from His commands.
- We treasure His Words over everyone else’s.
Job says in Job 23:10-12
But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
11 My foot has held fast to his steps;
I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.
Job has entered the fiery furnace of suffering and he is sure that after his trial, he will come forth as gold.
Gold does not fear the fire. The fire only makes it purer.
Warren Wiersbe writes:
“When God puts His own people into the furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat. He knows how long and how much.
Some people go into the furnace of affliction and it burns them; others go in and the experience purifies them. What makes the difference? Their attitude towards the Word of God and the will of God. If we are nourished by the Word and submit to His will, the furnace experience, painful as it may be, will refine us and make us better. But if we resist God’s will and fail to feed on His truth, the furnace will only burn us and make us bitter.”
Don’t let yourself become burnt and bitter by the fire of your trials.
Rather – surrender yourself to God’s plan for your life, trust in His sovereignty and goodness and hold fast to His ways.
Even in the silence and unanswered prayers – God is with us.
Let His presence be enough.
May you come out of your trial as gold! Pure gold!
Walk with the King,
For Further Reading
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