My family and I have been unusually sick this winter. It’s just been tough. I’ve heard some chatter in town about why my kids, husband, and I have had such struggles with sickness this winter. It really hurts my feelings!
When we have struggles, we don’t want people telling us why we’re so sick! We need compassion not condemnation!
The disciples were guilty of this too!
3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.
Look at the man with the greatest struggles in the Bible — Job. He “was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.” (Job 1:1) In fact, God Himself said “that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” (Job 1:8)
Then Satan questioned the veracity of Job’s worship of God Almighty.
In other words — “Of course Job worships you, he just wants you to give him stuff!” Satan was acting like Job was worshipping God because he was Job’s “Santa Clause.”
I picture how little kids love Santa Clause without question and with utter trust. But what if a rattlesnake was under the tree – would they feel the same?
Notice, however, it is NOT God that does the harm to Job!
So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. (Job 1:12)
Satan is the one who causes the harm to Job! God did not say “I am going to kill his children and have is property stolen and take away his health all in one day — HA HA!” God did not originate the evil – God just set the limits!
When we are God’s child, God sets the limits on Satan’s desire to harm us. For Satan wants no good for God’s children:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
There was no REASON. Here we have the best man in the world at the time and God allowed Satan to strike him. Not because God couldn’t protect Job, but because God had a purpose even in allowing such terrible things (or else we’d not have the book of Job!)
The reason Job’s three friends got it such trouble is because they rushed to judge him. THey spent their time basically saying that God is “Santa Clause” and the only reason all of these bad things happened to Job is because Job did something to deserve it. Eliphaz says in Job 5:17-18
17 “ Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects;
Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.
18 For He bruises, but He binds up;
He wounds, but His hands make whole.
This is all well and good. The words of Job’s three friends are full of wisdom. The problem is that they were misapplying it to Job and stood as his judge, not as his friend! They kept urging him to repent, accused him of being wicked and pursuing folly. So much for friendship!
Nevertheless, when Job spoke to God he repented — not for the supposed “sins” that “caused” his troubles. Rather, he repented for questioning God in all of this Job says, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1
God does have plans to use even the suffering of His saints for good! Not one tear is wasted if you are a Christian!
God became very angry with Job’s friends “for you have not spoken of Me what is right…and my servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him…” (Job 42:7-8 )
So as I am upset at my sick family, my sick self, and my wreck of a house. I will take time to pray for those who have hurt my feelings. No one likes to feel talked about.
When someone has a difficult time we are to comfort them, be kind to them and not pass judgement. For if we judge, we risk inciting the wrath of the Lord God Almighty against us for our wrongful accusations.
The “reasons” for a person’s suffering are between that person and God and we are to be his messengers of love and comfort. The Holy Spirit’s job is to convict — not ours!
If you have cancer or have lost a loved one or are in pain — it is between you and God. Pray for those who hurt your feelings — who “kick you when you’re down.” They are human too and perhaps it scares them that it could be them one day. Be the example that they’ll need when they walk the path you now trod. Yes its unfair.
But I know another one who suffered for no sin committed. He had great pain through no fault of His own. He did not deserve to die. He did not deserve the torment and pain! And yet, Jesus Christ chose to die! He died for you and I and forever bears the marks of pain even in his eternal, resurrected form. He will forever identify and remember the pain that allows him to totally identify with the depths of human agony. Not one of Jesus’ tears was wasted. Not one drop of blood was for naught. The same promise holds for His brothers and sisters in God’s kingdom!
Lord, forgive my anger and upsetness at those who are being unkind. I do not feel comforted only condemned. I ask for health for my extended family. I ask for your hand of blessing to return to our health if it your will. But if not, we shall yet praise you. You are worthy to be praised and we are but dust. The simple fact you created us and brought us into being is the greatest testimony of your love for us, except for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ! He kept His wounds even after resurrected so that He would forever identify with our sufferings and fully represent the human race as the eternal sacrifice for our sins. Thank you, Lord that you have a purpose for even a pinprick and that even a pinprick cannot happen without being filtered through your divine permission. We reject the enemy and cling to Jesus Christ! May we love you for your love and not just seek your hand. I love you and praise you for your goodness and faithfulness to us! I love you, my Lord. In Jesus name. Amen.