Perseverance, an Uphill Climb but Worth it

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Job endured many hardships in the middle of his life. He persevered and God blessed him. But in the midst of the suffering God taught Job.

Sometimes life is uphill. Things are not smooth. We struggle. But in the adversity there are lessons. God uses every situation and circumstance in our life. Through them He molds us. He wants us to grow to be more like Him, so often He will use hard things. It also increases in our faith and trust in Him. 

Job was tested by God. He lost everything, his family and all he owned. His family died and all his livestock as well in bad storms. Later he lost his health getting boils all over his body. He had nothing left. In Jobs first response though he blessed and praised the Lord. The Lord gives and takes away. (Job 1:20-21)

When we face suffering of any kind we are told to rejoice. Rejoice in Christ. We are His, held securely in His hand and nothing can separate us from Him. Troubles develop us. They produce Godly character in us and bring us closer to Christ. (Romans 5:3-5, Romans 8:38, Joel 2:22-24)

We may not feel joyful, but we can make a choice to rejoice and see our situation in a different light. Trust Gods control over it and His sovereignty and wisdom. He knew and saw the circumstances beforehand and chose to allow it in His Love for us. Only God may know the reason. We may never understand but we can make a choice everyday to rejoice and be grateful. If we ask for His help He will be faithful and give us strength to endure while teaching us and loving us through it so we can rejoice in Him. (Isaiah 55:8-9,  Proverbs 18:24)

Job was again tested by God. This time his health was taken. Job’s second response was to complain and question God, though he did not get angry at God or lose his faith. 

In the midst of trouble, especially long term, it can be hard to see. We can easily lose focus and see only the trouble surrounding us. We lose hope. Doubt comes and questions arise. But God is still there reaching out to help us. Just pray. Call out to Him. (Psalm 50:15, Psalm 34:17, Psalm 37:39)

Jobs friends came to comfort him and at first sat silently with him for 7 days. Then they talked. Each one taking turns. Job responded to each and they replied o him. This went on for a few cycles. They thought they knew answers to Job’s pain and in the process they accused Job. They said he sinned and was being punished. Job proclaimed his innocence in each reply. (Job 2:11-13)

A lot of times comfort is best given without words. Just our presence is enough. Words can get in the way. That doesn’t mean they aren’t appropriate at times, but we need to be careful about what and how we say things. 

When we are going through a tough time or a friend is, quiet comfort is most needed. Just being there in fellowship with their suffering. Praying and bringing the situation before the one who can heal is best. 

As Job responded to his friends he also talked directly to God. God wants to hear us and be with us in our hurting. He wants us to pour our thoughts and emotions out to Him. He is there with us and He cares deeply. He knows each moment and each part of our lives and is weaving each thing together for our good. It is hard and doesn’t look good at times but He has a plan for good, not harm for us. (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 5:8)

Through it all Job did not lash out at God. His wife told him to curse God and die. His friends told him he must have sinned and his troubles were punishment from God. Job held on to what he knew in his conscious, he was innocent. He almost lost hope. He wished he was never born. He asked to hold court with God and present his case. He defended himself against his friends accusations. (Job 16:20-21, Job 17:3, Job 19:2-6)

Sometimes things look so hopeless and hard. Our emotions come out and our minds play with us. We can go deep into depression, anxiety, worry, questions, anger and darkness. God understands all these things. He sympathizes with us. At the same time we need to draw close to God, not pull away. Not get angry or bitter with the one who wants to help and heal us. Not turn our backs on Him and try to go it alone. 

Bitterness and anger are like poison in our souls. It starts small and if not cut off it will grow rapidly and explode within us to outward actions. Job wished he never was born, never lived and began to question and be critical of God. He wanted to hold court with God to present his case of innocence, instead of continuing to trust Gods plan. (Job 3:1-3, Job 3:11, Job 3:23, Job 7:11-16, Job 10:1-2, Job 23:2-7, James 1:19-20)

Then God spoke and responded to Job. To his questions and bitterness. He asked Job a list of questions and said he must answer them. Through the questions God explained His greatness and sovereignty over all things. God is good and in complete control. His reasons we can’t always comprehend but His ways are surrounded in His Love and care for us. (Job 38:1-3, Job 40:1-2, Job 40:3-5)

In our rough times, God is molding us, shaping us for the better. Without hard times we would not know and learn a whole lot. We grow tremendously when we are under pressure. God uses pressure to test us and shape us to be more like Him. We learn the most under pressure. If we let God our faith grows the most under pressure. We will have trouble in this life, but God has overcome so we can overcome through Him. Be joyful, rejoice in times of trouble and let God work in us growing our faith and endurance. (John 16:33, 2 Corinthians 4:8,-9, James 1:2-4)

If we let God work in us and our situation we will come out stronger and better having persevered and grown into a new season with better understanding, endurance, character and hope. (Romans 5:3-5)

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