Don't Kick Me When I'm Down
Read Job 17:1-5
"My spirit is broken; my days are extinct; the graveyard is ready for me. Surely there are mockers about me, and my eye dwells on their provocation. "Lay down a pledge for me with you; who is there who will put up security for me? Since you have closed their hearts to understanding, therefore you will not let them triumph. He who informs against his friends to get a share of their property--the eyes of his children will fail."
- Can anything good come from our pain?
- Suffering never gets as nasty as hell (Luke 16:24). What are you suffering? Whether your pain is short term or long, it will end. Even if your suffering lasts all your earthly life, heaven's welcome mat will read No Tears.
- Do you trust that Jesus will give you the strength to endure?
As Job has shown us, sometimes the only way God can bless us is by breaking us. It's not easy, and it's not fun. We feel alone, wrestling and questioning, feeling empty and full of doubts--not aware that we might, in fact, be very close to an amazing encounter with God.
At times, that's how God gets our attention. When everything's going great, we usually don't hear Him very well. Yet when it feels as if we're wandering through a spiritual desert--when we struggle--He has our undivided attention. C. S. Lewis put it this way: "God whispers in our pleasure, but He shouts in our pain."
Could you be on the verge of some incredible new stage of spiritual growth in your life? Or are you just sick of suffering? Maybe you're mad at God because those who don't claim Christianity seem to be having more fun than you.
It's definitely hard to accept and most certainly unpleasant to think about. But, like it or not, even good Christians suffer from time to time.
Why? "When the light comes the darkness must depart," explained Charles H. Spurgeon. "Where truth is, the lie must flee. If the lie remains, there will be a severe conflict, because truth cannot and will not lower its standard. If you follow Christ, all the hounds of the world will yelp at your heels."
Living on the side of truth means struggle: saying no when everyone else is saying yes, or yes when they're saying no; holding back anger when you want to lash out; being honest when you know a little bit of dishonesty could make life easier.
"When it feels as if the Christian life involves more pain and problems than blessing and bliss, consider this: It's better to endure temporary struggle, which leads to eternal joy, than momentary comfort, which results in everlasting torment" (Kate Marie Fitzer).
Lord, help me to grow closer to You. Sometimes I feel so wearied by my struggles. Give me the strength to endure Amen.
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