This post is part of the series His Encouragement
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Welcome! Welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you.
We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.— James 5:11, NLT
There is a saying that some people lead a charmed life. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a charmed life means “a life unusually unaffected by dangers and difficulties”.
Looking back on my life, I believe I have lived a somewhat charmed life. None of my trials or obstacles were that significant or challenging in the grand scheme of things or in comparison to the suffering of others.
It is almost as if, for most of my life, there was this wall of protection around me. Some might say it was caused by my naivety or optimistic outlook on life. Others might say that the Lord blessed me with a hedge of protection.
However — if that hedge of protection did exist — it was battered and broken during this last year. In such a short span of time, my family and I have faced challenge after challenge, trial after trial, sorrow after sorrow…
As a result, I have begun to understand Job more clearly and personally than ever before.
You see, Job was accused of living a charmed life, too.
Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”Job 1:9-11, NLT
For reasons we may not understand this side of heaven, the Lord allowed his faithful servant Job to be tested. Satan was given permission to do anything and everything short of taking Job’s life.
A short time later, Job began to experience tragedy after tragedy and sorrow after sorrow. The trials and pain seemed neverending. There was no time to really process and grieve. Many people, including Job’s closest friends, actually believed that Job must have committed some grave sin and so God was punishing him… because they had no other explanation for the seeming unfairness of the tragedies heaped upon this man.
At one point, his own poor wife (who, mind you, also suffered these tragedies alongside her husband) finally broke down. She felt God had abandoned them. In her pain and anguish, she cried to Job: “Curse God and die.” (Job 2:9)
Through his own pain, Job very gently corrected his poor wife. “You talk like a foolish [unbelieving, wicked, heathen] woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” (Job 2:10)
Friend, are you experiencing trials and sorrows? Does your life seem to be an unfair series of challenges and sorrows? Are you overwhelmed? Do you feel broken? Do you feel abandoned?
How are you responding to your trial(s)?
- Are you Job’s friends, wondering what grave sin you are being punished for?
- Are you Job’s wife, so completely overwhelmed and broken that you feel you cannot continue on? Has your faith in the Lord been shaken?
- Or are you Job? He did not blame the Lord for his experiences (Job 1:22), but he did question why these things were happening to him. The Lord, in His mercy, spent a great deal of time speaking with Job.
Unlike Job, we know how his journey ended. We know that, despite all of the trials and sufferings he experienced, in the end the Lord blessed him greatly. Our encouragement Scripture for today reminds us: “You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.” (James 5:11)
Likewise, though you may not be able to see through your trials and challenges now, trust in the Lord’s tenderness and mercy. It may be a long, bumpy, dangerous, and painful road, but remember that the Lord has plans for you and your future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Do not give up hope! May we each be like Job when he declared: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” (Job 13:15)
Why? Why shouldn’t we throw in the towel and just, as Job’s wife was on the verge of, give up? Because we serve a loving and merciful God who loves you so, so, so very much that He came to this earth in human form, suffered great sorrows beyond even what we are going through to redeem us and bring us back to Him.
I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.Jeremiah 31:3, NLT
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.Romans 5:8, NLT
This weekend both Passover and Easter are being celebrated by millions of people around the world. May you use this special time of remembrance to read the beautiful love story that is the Gospel of Christ.
No matter your trials and sorrows, trust in the Lord to give you the peace, comfort, and strength to see you through.
What verse has touched your heart this week? Share in the comments below!
Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:
- Trisha of Joy of Reading
- Nicole of The Christian Fiction Girl
- Jessica of A Baker’s Perspective
- Becca of The Becca Files
- Gina of Stories by Gina
- Rev. Rebecca Writes
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Continue reading this series:
His Encouragement: Prayer is a privilege