Are there times in your life that it feels as if no matter what you do, you haven’t done enough or what you say, your words carry no weight or where you go, you have not gotten very far or even when life seems perfect that all of a sudden it is a complete mess? I know that happens often for me. There are seasons in life that the journey we are traveling feels as if we should never have started walking in a certain direction or that we are totally lost or that everything is totally out of our control. I feel as though that in crazy times in life, like the season the whole world is in now, that this might be a common experience. Life is filled with many situations that surprise us and catch us off guard. It is filled with moments of receiving news that we didn’t expect to hear. It is filled with moments that even our best efforts are not enough. It is filled with the reality that nothing makes sense.
If I just hold on to him and continue in faith, I am able to experience the truth.
I have been reading through the Job story and there have been some lessons that I have been reminded of from his life. When we are able to struggle with our situation and with God we come to some very important realizations. The lessons are not learned in a pleasant experience but they are of great value. The story of Job teaches me that when I submit to God -even in my pain; when I fall to my knees yet am able to worship him for who He is and not what he is doing or isn’t doing; when I recognize that God is still with me even when I have hit rock bottom; when I declare that God hasn’t changed but is still God, my faith strengthens. God meets with me, hears my argument and communes with me, even in his silence.
If I just hold on to him and continue in faith, I am able to experience the truth. Truth that says through struggles more strength is being produced in me. Truth that says my courage is being built and becomes stronger in challenges. Truth that says great wisdom is birthed through my wounds. Truth that says hold on victory is coming in God.
I may never know why God is doing what he is doing. Some of what God allows hurts A LOT. But each painful experience is made less painful when I have been able to respond in a more timely manner, with a choice to hold on to what I know to be true. Like Job – in Job 1:22, I want to remain sinless before God and say to my soul “the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” When my painful situation does not quickly go away, I want to be like Job in Job 13:15 and declare “…though he slay me, yet will I trust him.” David also reminds us of this heart position in Psalm 42:5 “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed with me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.”
The experiences these men went through were terrible and not easy but yet they praised. They teach us that there is a secret of strength in the choice of praise. Because they knew the God they served, they responded with a decision that said…
Even in this pain, I will hope.
Even in this pain I will obey.
Even in this pain I will search.
Even in this pain I will love.
Even in this pain I will have courage
Even in this pain I will trust
Even in this pain God is faithful
Even in this pain God makes a way out
Even in this pain God finds me
Even in this pain God loves me
Even in this pain God is trustworthy
Even in this pain God is still strong and might to save
Even in this pain God still knows me
Even in this pain God does not change.