I know hard, but praising God I know Him!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

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Because I couldn't have said it any better I had to copy and paste this email that was sent to me today while I was asking the Lord, "how much more, how much longer will this pain go on?".  This morning I have been  bombarded with one reminder after another that my pain and my suffering is not all about me!  And I stepped outside of my discomforts and shared this Encouragement of Today with several who are experiencing their own tests and trials right now.  If you are going through a season that seems to be more full of hurt and betrayal, sickness and loss, than joy, comfort and peace, open your Bible and read the book of Job.  God has reminded me of this man and brought me back to his story many times during my battles of physical pain and emotional healing.  For now, I think you will find some encouragement in the entry below.  I pray the arms of our mighty God will wrap around you in the midst of your raging storm right now.  Turn to Him and let Him lay you down in green pastures and take you to quiet waters where He can and will restore your soul.  I pray the Holy Spirit come upon you now and that you would not only be moved to great awakening as you read the words below, but that you would feel His presence and be lifted up from the depths of your sorrows and heartache to a place where hope resides.  To a place where your strength is renewed and your mind is made fresh and clear of the good things that are to come.  To a place where you  aren't wondering but are certain that you are not simply getting by but you are KEEPIN ON!

So This is What "Hard" Feels Like

"I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth."
Job 19:25 (NIV)
Do you know what "hard" feels like? I'm not talking about the feel of stone by a river, or concrete under your feet. I'm talking emotionally hard ... spiritually hard. The kind of hard that makes you want to give up, go back to bed or slip into some sort of temporary abandonment of reality.

Do you know the kind of hard that makes you question everything you know, or thought you knew, about God?

The book of Job in the Old Testament tells the story of someone who knew hard. It's surely one of the most difficult to read because God removed His hand of protection and allowed all the pain that Job experienced. In fact, God even pointed Job out to Satan as blameless, which Satan twisted into a challenge to bring Job down.

Confident in Job, God allowed the testing. So one by one, Satan destroyed that which was dear to Job: his family, health and possessions. Then, just when you think it couldn't get any worse, Job's wife and friends step in to "help" with the most unhelpful advice. Job is beset on all sides, and at times he is ready to give up, even asking God to "crush" him and relieve him of misery.

Job was a good and honest man. A man of high integrity, He didn't deserve the hard times he experienced. Yet, in spite of unrelenting agony, Job battled to hold on to truth - truth about his feelings and truth about God. In spite of confusion and questions, Job refused to curse God. Though Job didn't understand why he was suffering, he chose to walk in honesty and integrity, believing God would bring something good out if it.

Job faced "hard" head on. He wobbled a bit, but then planted his feet and steadfastly held on to faith that his God who had never abandoned him before, would not do so now. No matter what he lost, and who abandoned him, Job knew God would always be with him. His emotions may have pulled a bit on this, but Job kept steering back to center. Job faced "hard" well.

To declare his faith, Job spoke words that echo through generations, off the lips of saints of old and suffering saints today: "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth."

Job's story has a happy ending. After passing the testing, the Bible says, "The Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first" (Job 42:12a, NIV). Although Job had to go through the hard times, and there were no easy answers, the Lord never abandoned him, and had a reward on the other side.

The good news is Job's story can be ours. Not that we would wish such catastrophe on ourselves, but we all face our own "hard." And Job's Redeemer is our Redeemer. If you are facing something hard today, Job's story can bring you comfort and hope, for our Redeemer lives!

Dear Lord, I praise You for being the same regardless of what I am going through. There is nothing that is outside Your control. Help me to suffer well, and to guard my lips against any falsehood. Turn my face toward You when I can't lift it myself. I choose to trust You today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Laurie at Turner Farm said...

Thank you Kylee, a beautiful reminder of God's work. God will see each of his children through their "Hard" as long as they trust in Him.