Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Suffering's Response

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional
March 7, 2012

...Then [Job] fell to the ground in worship and said: 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.' -Job 1:20-21

God screens the trials that come to each of us - allowing only those that accomplish his plan, because he takes no joy in human agony (Lamentations 3:33). These trials are not evenly distributed from person-to-person; this can discourage us, for we are only able to see through a glass darkly, we are not privy to his reasons. But we can take heart that every trial is ordained by God from eternity past, custom-made for each believer's eternal good, even when it doesn't seem like it. Nothing happens by accident... not even tragedy... not even sins committed against us.

The core of God's plan is to rescue us from our sin. Our pain, poverty and broken hearts are not his ultimate focus. He cares about them, but they are merely symptoms of the real problem. God cares most - not about making us comfortable - but about teaching us to hate our sins, grow up spiritually, and love him. To do this, he gives us salvation's benefits only gradually. In other words, he lets us continue to feel much of sin's sting while we are headed for heaven. This constantly reminds us of what we are being delivered from, exposing sin for the poison it is. Thus evil (suffering) is turned on its head to defeat evil (sin) - all to the praise of God's wisdom.

The proper response to God's wisdom in screening our trials and allowing particular ones - sometimes tragic ones - to touch our lives? "May the name of the Lord be praised," says Job in today's verse. Think of a specific heartache you are facing. Will you follow Job in his response?

Almighty God, may I not 'waste' my sufferings today, but see in my response to them any sin of resentment, complaint, or bitterness that needs to be confessed. I praise you for your wisdom.


Joni and Friends
Taken from Pearls of Great Price.  Copyright © 2006 by Joni Eareckson Tada.  Used by permission.  Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49

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