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There is Promise in Pain (The Conclusion)

Originally published Monday, 06 November 2017.

Week Sixteen Study Overview: It’s our final week studying Job! We will discuss chapter 42, talk about repentance, friendship and promise inside pain.

Key Point of Struggle: How do we truly see God in our situations without a “whirlwind moment?”

Key Proof of Comfort: Hebrews 11:1

Well, we made it! Throughout this sixteen weeks of studying Job, my world turned upside down, but the most precious thing remained: God. My relationship with Him is built on a solid foundation, and when the wind whipped, not even losing my sweet, baby brother shook it.  That’s not to say life is easy, and it’s not to convey I go to bed every night tear free, because I don’t. Two nights ago, I cried myself to sleep so hard the bed shook, but I persevere because I believe my God has a plan.

Until Job’s “whirlwind moment,” he was having a terrible time trying to make sense of his situation. His questioning had started to cross the line, and his eyes were drifting from trusting God to defending his character.  At one time or another, we all seem to have that problem. Things fall apart and we immediately become caught up in our defense of the matter. In my own life, I’m really working hard on allowing God to be my defender. He’s the only One who sees the complete truth in every heart and circumstance.

However, what if the “whirlwind” never comes? What if we don’t have the view of God we need in order to make sense of our circumstances? I believe, and we’ve talked about this in previous weeks, that we need to abruptly halt trying to make sense of our situations when we’ve gone more than our fair share of time with no answers. At that point, trust becomes our faithful companion.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

-Hebrews 11:1

We hope for answers, and we pray for a favorable end to our trial, but it’s faith that takes us each new step. It’s not in what we see; it’s in what we don’t see. It’s not in where we are right now, it’s in where we are going. In the book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis talks about pressing onto the next country. With everything in me I want to make my days count here on earth, but I’m striving for my eternity with Jesus. Every decision I make here hinges on my relationship with God, which leads to my forever with Him.

Do you remember that line from the movie Sleepless in Seattle where Tom Hanks’ character is discussing how he faces the days after his wife’s death? He said, “Well, I’m gonna get out of bed every morning… breathe in and out all day long. Then, after a while I won’t have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out… and, then after a while, I won’t have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while.” Did you know the apostle Paul had a similar school of thought with one difference? He said, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (See Philippians 3:12-14)

We press on in life. The movie Sleepless in Seattle is a good reminder of what some of us face, and it shows us the importance of pressing on. But it’s not about pressing on for merely what we have here, but for what we have in eternity. Paul talked about forgetting those things behind and reaching for what is ahead. I’m not in any way suggesting that I will ever forget my brother. I won’t. I can’t.  I refuse. But I can let go of the deep wounds.  I can do it through strength in Christ. I can hide inside Him and He will right wrongs. With everything in me I believe this! Life goes fast. We can’t live it trying to defend ourselves and then use excuses to not serve Christ anymore. People will fail, heartbreak will happen, but God remains faithful. Job learned this.

I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of yours can be withheld from You.

-Job 42:2

This begins what I like to call Job’s mirror moment. He got a good look at himself compared to God and realized in the scheme of things, he was so small. That’s the super cool thing about learning our significance in Christ. Yes, we are small, but He loves us so much. His love was evident in the restoration of Job’s life. We will get to that in a minute. First, let’s take a look at his friends. In Job 42:7-8, God lets the friends know He was angry. He then gives them a command and told them that after they completed their task, Job would pray for them. They did what God told them to do. God restored Job, but here’s the amazing part: After Job prayed for his friends, he was doubly restored.

And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

-Job 42:10

When Job had a clear view of God’s righteousness, he forgot about the awful way his friends had treated him, and did what was right in the eyes of God. God rewarded him for it.

We don’t always see significant change right away, but I believe God always blesses us for doing right. It might not be in the way we think, but he always comes through. There is promise in pain! There is promise for your life. May you see it each and every day!

Thank you for studying with me, friends! Join me on this Friday’s Word for Your Weekend when I announce our study for the month of November! There are some big changes happening here!