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Seeing Through Stained Glass

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1 Corinthians 13:8-12

Someone coined the phrase “looking at life through rose-tinted glasses”. This is described as an unduly idealistic, optimistic, sentimental, or wistful perspective on or about something. People looking through rose-tinted glasses only notice the good things about them, a view that is unrealistic. Its good to be positive in one’s outlook, but it is also important to be balanced.

The Apostle Paul was aware of mankind’s tendency to look through a glass darkly – a view through which our judgment is somewhat clouded. God gave Paul the reason why we do not see things clearly, which thankfully he recorded for our own understanding. In his first letter to the Corinthians church, Paul explains that our knowledge is only partial (:9). God who is omniscient, needs you and me to rely on His wisdom, knowledge and love. Sometimes we see in part because we don’t want to accept responsibility for things we do; as with the first people on earth, its easier to blame someone else than to accept the rebuke of a friend. “Rebuke a wise man and he will love you” (Proverbs 9:8).

It is common for us to see a poor reflection of ourselves in a mirror, rose-tinted or otherwise darkened by sin. James gives us some further insights on how to deal with this problem. When looking at oneself in a mirror there are two options. If we don’t like what we see, we can do something about it, or we can go into denial. The Holy Spirit gave James an important truth – humans have the tendency to immediately forget what they might recognize and work to improve (James 1:24). Is this wise?

God longs for us to be pure, when we claim to follow Jesus. His Word gives us the direction we need, clarifying His will for our lives. When we spend time studying the Bible we are freed, James goes on to say (1:25), and blessed by the liberty God gives to us, from the sin that so easily bests us. Once our spirits have soared into the heavenlies , let loose like a balloon floating up into the sky, who would return to the darkness of this world’s thinking and degrading behaviours?

Paul and James agree that maturity, gained through love and perseverance is the Christian’s goal…..mature in understanding God’s character, we grow to be more like Him…..mature in our understanding of what true love looks like – that amazing love of God which is more than compassionate, which is impossible without His unconditional love flowing through us.

Growing in our faith requires action on our part. He has given us the means to know Him….His Word, David said, saved him from sinning against God (Psalm 119:11). It wasn’t just reading it or hiding it in his heart, but by obeying God’s word, David was blessed. God in turn blesses us, wiping away the darkness that clouds our vision, as we persevere. Its hard to do God’s will, to be obedient but He stands ready to give us all the wisdom and knowledge required to do His will. He doesn’t leave us to flounder alone!

Reflection:

Will you accept responsibility for your own sins? How does God want you to deal with them?

Does your life and mine bring joy to the heart of God?

Have you been freed by the perfect law of God?

Do you understand what God requires of you in His perfect law? Its not complicated –

If anyone considers himself/herself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his/her tongue, he/she

deceives themselves and his/her religion is worthless” (James 1:26)

http://www.marilyndaniels.net

Devotional · Uncategorized

Vive la Difference!

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Romans 12:3-16

Some time ago I was watching a TV series in which a young white woman attempted to seduce a handsome young black man using the phrase “Vive la Difference”. She wanted to “live in the moment” by celebrating those differences. In our world today there seems to be a growing acceptance of this philosophy. Counter-productively there is also less acceptance of those differences that might lend permanency to our relationships. Critical appraisals fracture friendships and marriages. How is it possible to live in a world so divided?

Recently I heard a young man parroting what he had likely heard someone else say negatively about the values of an older man. It caused me to wonder where we place our emphasis. Do we appreciate the strengths in our individual family and friends, or are we anxious to shape them into something else? Would we like them to be what someone else appears to be? What does the word of God tell us? Solomon gives us some suggestions. “A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17). “Wounds of a friend can be trusted” (Proverbs 27:6). How is this type of friendship possible?

Jesus Himself was known as the friend of tax collectors and sinners….both were groups of people who were totally unacceptable to the religious establishment (Pharisees) because they didn’t conform to their image of how people should live. Certainly they did not exemplify those values Jesus preached. So – what did He find so compelling that He would eat with them? Sharing meals demonstrated social acceptance, in that era.

Jesus’ philosophy of life was grounded on love. Love that always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:7). What did His love protect? Those individual characteristics that are at the same time charming and disarming? His love covers a multitude of sins because underneath there is potential to be developed, by building a sense of hope. When the possibilities that God has given to us are recognized, even after failure, as was the case with the Samaritan woman (John 4), any person can be transformed by God! Persevering love and acceptance form the greatest catalyst for developing one’s potential.

High in the list of controversies popular today is the issue of racial discrimination. Surely we can see how God has made all peoples of the earth beautiful. Different? Yes! But isn’t that what lends harmony in music – the differences of each instrument! How boring it would be if the were all cellos or trumpets. It is the diversities that we celebrate as we examine our earth scientifically! It is unique ideas shared that bring progress to any movement.

In business, successful upper management recognizes the need for diversity within its leadership, as might a church within its leadership. The richness of diversity encourages growth. This is why Paul recommends the church takes advantage of the various gifts God has given to individuals (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). We need each other to create a network of encouragement and support.

Vive la Difference!

Reflection:

Do we have a friendly world view towards our fellowman?

Can we look beyond their fault to see their need? (Song by Dotty Rambo).

Dear Lord. Help me to celebrate those differences within the Body of Christ that are so essential to a healthy body. Thank you for the beauty of all You have created! Let me rejoice in the vision that You have given to some very gifted people. May I be in tune with those who have learned to listen to Your still small voice saying “This is the way. Walk in it.” Bless me with the means to help those with hands held out, in service to these who are so needy. May my thoughts be pure and my heart loving as a peacemaker, representing Jesus Christ in this world. Guide my feet in paths of righteousness with a spirit of cooperation. Oh God give unity in the midst of the precious diversity You have created, I pray.”

Devotional · Uncategorized

Thy Kingdom Come

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Matthew 6:10

In the prayer we call “the Lord’s Prayer” which Jesus taught His disciples, He makes reference to the Kingdom of God….a kingdom that belongs to Him “Thy Kingdom” (Matthew 6:10). This little phrase carries great meaning for it recognizes not only God’s ownership but the glory that ownership bestows on His kingdom! Forever! This kingdom will never end, according to Luke 1:33.

Moses wrote some rather detailed instructions about God’s kingdom (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). Until Samuel died God was revered as the King of Israel but when he was old the Israelites asked Samuel to appoint a king over them. Clearly they wanted a visible leader. Knowing Samuel wouldn’t live forever, caused them concern.

Their request displeased Samuel who had leaned heavily on the Lord to lead this unpredictable nation. 1 Samuel 8:4-6. The Lord explained it to Samuel: “It is not you they have rejected; but they have rejected Me as their king” (1 Samuel 8:7).

Hundreds of years later Jesus taught His disciples to pray that God’s kingdom would come. During His life-time the nation was under Roman rule. They had a puppet king in Herod, who thought little of the careful instructions God had given to Moses. In actual fact those details were ignored as early as the reign of Solomon! Solomon was rich, with many horses. He also had many wives some of whom had come from foreign countries including Egypt, a nation specified by God as a danger to their spiritual well-being.

Comparing the kingdom of God in Samuel’s time with the kingdom Jesus taught His followers to pray for, we recognize a significant similarity – it is a spiritual kingdom, one that follows the leadership of the invisible King, God. Does Jesus want to take them back to the “good old days”? Of course not – those days were not without their challenges and disasters when people failed to follow God.

The angel, announcing the birth of Jesus to Mary, specified her baby would be king. “The Lord will give Him the throne of His father David” (Luke 1:32). With His birth the Kingdom came, but there is a present tense today, as well as future. John wrote of his revelation:

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say ‘Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ’ “ (Revelation 12:10).

Jesus was looking ahead. He had in mind the Kingship of God would be stabilized in the hearts of repentant and surrendered individuals through the power of the indwelling Spirit of God – a significant difference from the old ways. “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end!” (Luke 1:33). His Kingdom began at the resurrection. Jesus told His disciples at the last supper He would not share a meal with them until they were in His Father’s Kingdom (Matthew 26:29) Note how that took place on the shores of Galilee after a post-resurrection fishing miracle (John 21:13).

Reflection:

What do you know about the Kingdom of God?

Where is the Kingdom of God?

What part in the Kingdom of God do you play?

Are you thankful to be a part of the Kingdom?

Written by Maryilyn Daniels.

http://www.marilyndaniels.net

Devotional · Uncategorized

Grandma’s Prayer

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Ephesians 1:9-11

Dear God: Thank you for my dear family! You have blessed us, and my cup of joy overflows! Thank you Father for the family history that has grounded us in the Word of God! The fact that prayer was essential as far back as the third and fourth generation truly makes us blessed! Now there are little ones with whom you have blessed our family – babes in the flesh as well as spiritual babies! May we be given the grace, courage and patience needed daily to shape them into maturity according to the Divine will of the Holy Spirit.

Father, you know we need discernment so that we might be pleasing to You – pure and blameless in Your sight, until Jesus returns. We bless You for giving us your Holy Word, a love letter as well as a guide for holy living. Thank you too, for giving us the Holy Spirit who indwells our hearts as our comforter, instructor and corrections officer. We have the confidence that the Holy Spirit will fill us with the fruit of righteousness when we submit to His leading. We know that when the water gets too deep and we don’t know how to pray, the Holy Spirit takes our hearts’ desires to Your heavenly throne where You discuss the situation and answer with the best of all possible solutions.

May our language, our attitudes and our character speak consistently to everyone of Jesus. May we be sensitive to when they are in pain. May we be encouragers, always instilling hope. May we model forgiveness, because You have forgiven us!

Within this family may His love form close bonds that tie us together as we hold hands through pain, sorrow and loss. May that love become evermore precious as we celebrate memories of laughter and growth, and our history as well as our dreams for the future. May that love be inclusive as You add to our family – babies born, lovely in-law relationships so much treasured, as well as through the adoption of friends. May Your love make us gentle, accepting and forgiving.

Thank you for special scriptures that light the way through darkness: “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “I am the way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6). Thank You that You protect us from evil!

Thank you Father for listening. Thank you for the privilege of prayer, talking with You our Sovereign Lord. Thank you for giving us only those answers that are for our ultimate good, born out of Your omniscience and perfect love. Thank You that Your answers are not limited by time and space, but as we pray for our grandchildren You will answer those prayers throughout their lifetime, when we are no longer here to pray. May the love of my children and grandchildren for Jesus, grow more and more as the years go by. We pray in the powerful name of our Lord Jesus who taught us to pray to our Father!

Reflection:

What might you like to pray for your children and grandchildren?

Were you blessed by family who believed in prayer, or how did God catch your attention?

Do you find comfort in talking with God? Why or why not?

http://www.marilyndaniels.net

Devotional · Uncategorized

This Sickness

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John 11:1-14

 

Jesus wasn’t worried. He knew God had a plan. As always, God’s plan was perfect. Lazarus died. I asked myself – “How do I respond when bad things come into my life?” Quite naturally, Mary and Martha and their family friends grieved over the death of a beloved brother. They could not have hoped that Lazarus would be raised from the dead – nothing like that had ever happened like that before.

 

Meanwhile the disciples who were with Jesus were astonished at His reaction to the news that Lazarus was seriously ill! Here was this marvellous healer lingering where He was for 2 days (:5). They knew He loved Lazarus and Mary and Martha. He demonstrated time and again such compassion for people He didn’t know, in the face of physical suffering. Why did He delay?

 

“This sickness” Jesus told them, “will not end in death” (:4). But then on their way back to Bethany, Jesus revealed what they could not know. “Lazarus is dead” (:14). What a contradiction! Jesus did give them a clue, but did the disciples understand it? He told them up front that this sickness was for God’s glory. How could that possibly be if He didn’t heal Lazarus…..and now it was hopeless – Lazarus was dead.

 

By the time Jesus journeyed back to Judea Lazarus had been dead for 4 days. In a hot country the body quickly decomposes so when He wanted to go to the grave, Martha warned Jesus there would be a very bad odour (11:39).

 

What no one understood was the purpose of this disaster. What questions ran through the minds of the disciples as they travelled to Bethany? What expectations did Mary and Martha have when Jesus arrived? On the way to see the grieving family, Jesus told the disciples He was glad He was not there at the time of Lazarus’ death (:15). They probably attributed that to those common human feelings which come when we face pain. He did tell them He was going to wake Lazarus up – whatever did He mean? (:11)

Jesus also told those who followed Him that this was a test of faith….”that you may believe” (:15). Often a man of mystery, Jesus even today calls us to trust Him when we do not understand what God is doing. What happened to Lazarus demonstrated the glory of God much more than restoration from a sick bed (:41-44). What a glorious revelation of the power of God.

 

This account not only brought glory to God in the days of Jesus, but it encourages our belief today, does it now? Belief in God’s power, and ability to bring to fruition His plans, which, if we read this correctly is simply to make us aware of His magnificence in order to worship the One who is often beyond our finite understanding.

 

Reflection:

When you and I are faced with disaster, do we believe that God will bring glory to Himself through an unbelievable situation?

What situations do we face that seem to be hopeless, and how does our faith in God strengthen us?

Do we truly understand the God we say we worship?

Devotional · Uncategorized

Biblical Metaphors

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John 14:6

A metaphor is an image which suggests similarities between two different ideas, without implying that they are identical. Scripture uses metaphors extensively as a way of illustration and teaching. Given the number of metaphors applied to Jesus Christ alone, there is a lot to learn! On the one hand He is the Shepherd – the good shepherd. On the other hand he is the Lamb – the lamb without blemish! There is no contradiction when these descriptions are given to illustrate a characteristic.

Jesus makes reference to Himself in a variety of different ways. He calls Himself the door, the vine, the light, the way, the shepherd, the life….. God the Father is described as the Potter, the Rock and so on.

When He describes Himself as the door, that might mean either a protection against evil, or a gateway into eternal life. I am the Vine refers to connecting man to the Father and His power. He is the “Rose of Sharon,” the “Lily of the Valley,” and the “Plant of Renown.” He is a rock, a refuge, and a strong tower. He is referred to as the light of heaven and in Rev. 22:16, “the Bright and Morning Star.”

There is purpose and hope in the illustration of the potter (Isaiah 64:8), who molds and shapes the clay into a perfect vessel, to be used by the master! WOW! The process is sometimes painful – there are tools involved that trim the clay, fire that hardens it against breaking, glaze that coats it to keep it pure.

Some metaphors are subjective (according to the way we perceive them to be). What does Jesus mean by “I am the life” (John 14:6)? Apparently life is something we must give away. “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39). What does this teach us about the eternal life Jesus promised His followers? Is it not something to be shared with others?

Oh taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8)! Mixed metaphors. He wants everyone to taste, to savour the riches of His grace! He meets each of us at our point of need as He lights the path before us with truth. We know this from John’s account: “I Am the way, the truth” (John 14:6)! Everyone is invited to partake of His light, because Jesus declares Himself to be the Light of the world! (John 8:12).

Reflection:

Now when we study the Word of God we must always finish by asking questions. What is this teaching me? How does this impact my faith? Does this create a spirit of praise in me? What must I share with others? …..or some other such queries.

For me these metaphors excite awe! The magnitude of God’s person is described metaphorically so our finite minds can take in the infinite. What a blessing that God teaches us with illustrations that expand our understanding! What an awesome God we serve!

Devotional · Uncategorized

Once I Was Blind

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John 9:13-25

In today’s scripture reading Jesus has just healed a blind man. The Pharisees found fault, as usual. After all, Jesus had healed this man on the Sabbath and keeping the regulations seemed to be more important than caring for a suffering human being. My uncle was totally blind for the last 30 years of his life. Fortunately he had a very positive temperament and enjoyed the memories of all he had seen during the first 65 years of his life, but I can just imagine how wonderful it would have been for him to have had his sight restored.

The man Jesus healed was born blind. He had no memories of flowers and sunsets. He had not even seen the faces of his parents! Jesus was not restoring his sight; He was giving him sight for the first time. Imagine how thrilling that would have been! Shut your eyes and listen to sounds that you can identify because you have sight. All the sounds with which this blind man was familiar would take on new meaning – bird songs, crickets, footsteps fast or slow, bubbling water. Now he could put faces and voices together! Would the Pharisees have denied him all this? Isn’t the love of Jesus something wonderful?!!

Jesus once called the Pharisees blind. Why? Read Matthew 23:13-19. He called them sons of hell (:15), blind fools (:17). Why was this so tragic? Because they were the spiritual leaders of that day….”blind guides” (:16, 24). Jesus referred to a spiritual blindness that was leading the nation away from God by putting too much emphasis on rules, and not enough on the spirit of those laws. This was indeed a woeful situation, individually and nationally.

This was one of Jesus’ most powerful sermons. “Brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” (Matthew 23:33). Passionately Jesus grieved over Jerusalem in His concluding remarks. “How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (:37). Blind as their spiritual leaders, these unbelieving Jews were bound for hell. This was not God’s will for His chosen people.

Who are God’s chosen people? God promised Abraham He would bless the nations through him….and Jesus is that promised One. Gentiles too are blind, without Christ, but God loved the world enough to send His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him has eternal life” (John 3:16).

Jesus promises that those who recognize His deity saying “blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” will see Him. Paul prayed that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance” (Ephesians 1:18). God is not willing that any should perish.

Reflection:

Spiritual vision gives us insight. When we see Jesus, our minds are enlightened by truth. This opens up a whole new world. Instead of being bogged down in the darkness of evil, we become children of light! …people who shed light into a world darkened by sin (1 Thessalonians 5:5). Praise the Lord!

Can you say with the man John writes about: “Once I was blind but now I can see” (John 9:25)?

Devotional · Uncategorized

Keeping it Simple

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Matthew 18:2-4

After years of teaching the Bible to adults, it seemed a daunting task to try to teach little children about Jesus. Why? In our sophisticated, developed world Jesus is no longer known. God is not recognized in our schools because we have become a nation with many gods. Although man’s imagination has gone wild, creating fanciful science fiction movies, how easy would it be to describe a spirit to kids today?

In Genesis we read “The Spirit of God hovered over the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:2). As a child that captured my attention with thrilling mystery! God, who cannot be seen, was there at the dawn of creation! I was giddy with anticipation! What is that God really like?

Centuries later, because time does not restrict God as it does human beings, God revealed Himself. He took on a human body, specially made. We celebrate that body at Christmas time. Imagine! The God who inhabits the universe became a baby here on earth. How restricting is that? Ah – but God who is omnipresent (present everywhere), was not confined just in that baby’s body. He is everywhere; His spirit was not confined to the body of Jesus.

My curiosity increased as I read on! Mankind was made in the image of God. Why? What does that mean? God created human beings with the ability to think, so that we could have fellowship with God (1 John 1:3). This fellowship we call prayer…having conversations with God. The Bible tells us He hears us when we talk with Him and when we have problems, He even hears our cries.

When we hurt, the heart of God hurts, and like a father, He longs to help us. Part of being like God is that we have feelings. For example: We can love God because He first loves us. We can love our families, friends, and neighbours because God gave us feelings. We also feel sad when someone does something wrong, just as God does.

Each human being is made up of a visible body, but like God we have, within that body, our spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). We are to keep ourselves pure, clean in body, mind and spirit. How can we do that? By knowing God – thinking like God, acting like Jesus.

We have a record of Jesus’ life in the Bible so that we know how to follow Him. He was kind and gentle with everyone, children and adults, people who were rich or poor, men and women, Jew and Gentile. Being like Jesus pleases God. How can we be like Jesus?…by asking Him to take control of our imaginations, our thoughts as well as our feelings, and our behaviour.

How does He do that? By putting the Holy Spirit inside of those who invite Him to take charge of their lives. I did this when I was a little girl and as a senior now, I can tell you Jesus has led me all the way. The Holy Spirit comforts me when I am sad, but He also makes me aware that when I sin I need to ask God to forgive me. Otherwise I feel out of fellowship with God. The Holy Spirit guides me in the choices I make, when I ask for His help. My life has been full of adventure because I have followed Jesus’ teachings, because I wanted my life to please God!

Reflection:

What fellowship have you enjoyed with God? Can anything break that fellowship?

When you say you follow Jesus, what does that look like to God and to others?

Keeping it simple, can you share Jesus with others?

By Marilyn Daniels. http://www.marilyndaniels.net

Devotional · Uncategorized

Appointed by God

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Luke 10:1-20

According to Luke’s records, there were many who wanted to follow Jesus, but that on their own terms. We read of 3 such people in Luke Chapter 9:57-62. Peter, on the other hand, voiced the commitment of the twelve disciples Jesus had hand-picked. “We have left everything to follow You” (Luke 18:28).

Apparently there were more than those 12 who actually followed Jesus. After rebuking those who wanted to follow Him when it was convenient, Jesus appointed many more to assist Him in His ministry. They were to go head of Him to prepare various Israeli towns for His coming. He commissioned them to heal the sick and to preach about the Kingdom of God (10:9).

Imagine the extent of this ministry …..72 people were appointed to go in pairs. They might expect everything they needed to be provided – food and accommodation (:7). They were to receive whatever food was set before them. Culturally this was important, since the Jews had very strict food laws. Much later this was confirmed in Peter’s life when he had a vision revealing to him that whatever God calls clean to eat, if quite acceptable (Acts 10:9-16).

Who were these people appointed by God? What was their mandate for ministry? They were to preach the truth about Jesus Christ and His kingdom. Peter identified those who know Jesus as a Royal priesthood. (1 Peter 2:9) In Old Testament terms the priesthood was very exclusive. Not so with followers of Jesus. One might expect the 12 Apostles with whose names we are very familiar, to be singled out for this responsibility, but no – this group was nameless.

Does that matter? Yes! The message was all about Jesus, not about men. So it is today. When we witness to others about faith in Jesus, it is to bring glory to God alone. We are just instruments in His hands; the outcome is up to God. We will be accountable to God for obedience to Jesus’ command to make disciples, but that follows conversion. Before conversion takes place our only responsibility is to point the way to Jesus and to let the Holy Spirit do the rest. If we have been appointed we must be true to our calling as representatives of God. If we are rejected by folks, it is really God they are rejecting (:16).

The 72 returned with joy! They had never had such an experience! Even the demons had responded to their message because they were authorized by Jesus to take control (:18)

Reflection:

When I was learning to witness as a Christian I thought that we were to win others to Christ. Lost on my young mind was the reality of the power that resides in His name! I assumed a responsibility that became too heavy; it was a burden God did not intend me to bear. Jesus said “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” ( Matthew 11:30).

Now I can share my faith free from that burden, and instead approach folks with joy!

Are you weighed down with a responsibility that is not yours?

Can you let God be God, and you His instrument?

If you have been appointed by God do you believe He will equip you for the task?

by Marilyn Daniels. http://www.marilyndaniels.net

Devotional · Uncategorized

My Way

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Job 23:10

Previously I have referred to the verse where, with assurance, a suffering man relies on God’s wisdom. Job wrote “But..” …that big little word which forms a bridge between thoughts. “But He…” Who? God of course. The all-knowing, omniscient One.

 

Job goes on to indulge in the certainty that his strong reliance on God brought, while he sat on the ash heap nursing his broken body. This was not the way it was supposed to be. He was a wealthy man, but wealth does not ensure health. However, he was also a God-fearing man, one whom the Bible describes as blameless. Would to God each one of us could have that inscribed on our tombstones.

 

Among his family he was known as a man of prayer (Job 1:4). In his community he was respected for his wisdom as a man of faith. So wouldn’t we think God would bless him because his thoughts and labours pleased the Lord? Not so! As Job cursed the day he was born, he did not feel particularly blessed. He suffered real pain, along with the frustration of not understanding the way life was going.

 

However, Job was also wise. He had enough insight to see that God was testing him; for what reason he did not know, but he faced this test with the fortitude only experienced by a man or woman of God. Although he had followed in God’s steps (23:11), keeping to God’s way by obey God’s laws, right now the path ahead was in darkness. That darkness terrified him, but did not silence him (23:17).

 

He saw light at the end of the tunnel. “I will come forth as gold”. He believed God would judge him on the basis of his pure heart. In these words he claims innocence. He has not deliberately turned away from God. There had to be a deeper meaning to his suffering that he could comprehend. Though his friends tried to persuade him there were secret sins in his life, Job was adamant that his trial would prove them wrong.

 

In the end God raised him up and blessed him with sons and daughters, multiplying his flocks. Why did he suffer? We may not know the answer fully until we get to heaven, but many a person has been comforted by his steadfast belief in the God whose plans cannot be thwarted (42:1). Comparing himself to Almighty God, Job declared he was unworthy (40:2 & 4). He longed for the days when “God’s intimate friendship blessed my house” (29:4).

 

He trusted God who made him taste bitterness of soul (27:2) because he realized in this world man is born to trouble as the sparks certainly flew upward from a fire (5:7). Trouble mingles with blessings as a reality of life, so he rebuked his wife whose sage advice suggested he curse God and die (2:10). Instead Job comforted himself with the fact that God gave him life, showing him kindness and watching over his spirit (10:12). This was the God Job trusted knew his way. His famous words bring us hope to this day “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him” (13:15).

 

Reflection:

Job knew that God was fully aware of the path ahead of him, even though he couldn’t see where it was leading. Do we have that same level of trust when things don’t go the way we planned?…the way we expected?

He knew that if a man dies, he will live again (19:25-27). That then life will be glorious because in it we will see our Redeemer. This is a prophetic utterance because as yet Jesus had not come to redeem mankind from sin! There will be a physical resurrection of the body that so plagued Job, a body fully restored. At that moment His heart yearned within him for such a blessing!

Does your heart yearn for the time when you will be healed either physically or emotionally?

by Marilyn Daniels. http://www.marilyndaniels.net