I was led to Job this morning. When I think of Job, I think of suffering.
The first thing the Lord let me see, was the advice Eliphaz gave to Job in Chapter 22.
Many of the things Eliphaz spoke seemed to be good pieces of advice on the surface, but when we look further into his heart, he was quick to condemn his friend, Job, and he was quick to make a judgement and assumption, that these painful life circumstances Job was facing… this suffering — that it simply “must be” the result of some kind of sin and wickedness in Job’s life.
He was quick to accuse Job of wickedness, and he assumed that this must be the root cause of all of the pain and loss and suffering that Job was going through. So Eliphaz attempted to “tackle” that….. but in the end, when it all comes down to the heart of his response, God was not pleased.
In the end, Eliphaz was wrong about Job.
Sometimes, and many times sin can be the cause of many issues, and many times sin gets us into some bad situations, but I am reminded that God doesn’t want us to lose compassion…. He doesn’t want us to lose sight of the main thing God wants to do to help bring comfort, encouragement, and hope to those who are in the midst of suffering…
“…mourn with those who mourn.” – Romans 12:15
What if we looked at the suffering that Jesus endured and assumed that it was the result of sin in His life?
Yet– He was blameless. He was without sin.
But His suffering had a purpose — a really big one.
There was plan and purpose written into His suffering.
Yes, God allows us to endure suffering at times in our lives, but there is always going to be a purpose and a plan of redemption written into any kind of suffering that He allows His children to endure. ?
There is always a “bigger picture” ?
And what if the things that we suffer, the trials that we face…. what if that suffering is more about something the Lord wants to do, to use for other lives, than it has to do with our own lives?
What if there is something bigger that God has planned, something more that He wants to do with our messy circumstances, with our suffering, that could affect and impact other lives in the end –in a most beautiful way?
What if our suffering goes much deeper than our own comforts? What if God can somehow use the suffering we endure to affect many, many other lives that we just simply cannot understand in the present?
Just look at the story of Job in the bible, and what it means to us today.
…Just look at Jesus.
Look at His life, His suffering, and how it affected all of humanity, for all of eternity.
His suffering resulted in the most beautiful gift of eternal life for those who will receive Him. His suffering paid it all. It unlocked the door.
What if the thing you and I must momentarily suffer through, is not so much about our own little lives, as it could be about many other lives….
What if my story of what I had to face can be used to somehow encourage a few other lives?
What if there could be more to the purpose of suffering than we realize in the moment? Even more than the eventual shaping, the personal refining, and the lessons we learn in the process?
I love how God always thinks so much bigger and broader than we do. He’s so “deep and wide” (oh look, I made a cheesy joke *grin*)
And those traps of the enemy, the ones that are hidden in attempt to remove us from our path, to try and take us out, to throw us off….
The enemy seems to forget how beautifully God can cause those things to backfire. ??
God is just amazing like that. ?
What am I really writing about today? I don’t know…
But as I think about the trials I’ve faced, the things I’ve gone through, the dark uncertainty I’ve crawled through….. I wouldn’t go back and change a thing because I know that when God redeems these things, He does it in a big way.
He can turn all of my trials around in a beautiful way –in a big way. It’s His Heart. ?? He weaves it all together and He makes it all worth it.
The greatest sufferings can be transformed into the greatest victories, which can impact and affect far more than we realize. When we trust Him. When we take hold of His hand. When we just keep hanging in there through the suffering….
Because one day, you’re gonna look back and say, “Wait, how did I get here? When did that circumstance change? When did I go into a 180°?”
And it won’t make any earthly sense….
And then you’ll find yourself sharing your story with others who might be going through the exact same thing…. and what if your suffering, your trial, your story can be the thing God uses to encourage and give someone else hope to keep going through theirs?
What if the suffering we face is far more about other lives, than it has to do with our own lives?
God thinks bigger than we do. (Thank God!)
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us…” – Romans 8:18
Thank You, Father. ?