Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Some thoughts from last week's lesson...

Although there were several good points from the lesson last week on Job's Testimony, one point Scott made has stuck with me the most. I have written in my notes, "1) Temptation to give up on God."

Tonight, I was updating the prayer list and saw so many circumstances that just break my heart. I think of the situation with Mimi (not Youngblood) and the loss of that baby after carrying her nine weeks. I think of Troy's family and the loss of a father and a husband and the sense of abandonment with which they must be wrestling. I think of little Noah facing heart surgery at seven years old. I am reminded of the ongoing struggle with the health of Jill's dad. Then also, my heart goes out to Robyn and Christi and the inner struggles they must be going through having mothers with cancer. I am sure there are many others unspoken or outside of our class for which we have no clue.

What is the temptation for each of these? The temptation is to assault God with the accusation of being unfair and unjust. This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Do we trust the testimony of Scripture that God is absolutely sovereign and absolutely good when our hearts are pulling apart, when we are fatigued of facing the pain and the problem day after day?

"Why did You let this happen?"

"How could a loving God allow such things to go on?"

"Don't You care?"

"Am I on my own with this?"

"What's the use of being a Christian if You won't or can't protect me from this pain and suffering?"

And the questions go on and on...As Scott said, Scripture shows us that our Father welcomes honest questions. We should take our concerns to God directly. Through Christ, Hebrews tells us that we can boldly (ESV says "confidently") come to the throne of grace. I heard an old pastor say once that we enter boldly, but not brazenly. There is a difference in an honest question and a disrespectful accusation.

I must confess up front that my own times of testing have shown me that I have so much to learn about relying on the Lord and being confident in His goodness and power to work all things together for the good. I am praying for those who are in these circumstances to be much wiser about recognizing their need for Him to sustain them than I was.

Nevertheless, I throw this out for your comment. What have you learned from Job to help deal with these types of situations? What have you learned about God so that you are equipped to overcome the temptation that is so prominent in a crisis? If you are in a crisis circumstance, where is Christ in the middle of it?

This blog is meant to be an interractive tool for us to discuss what we are studying throughout the week. Use the comment button at the bottom of this post to respond. With so many Job-like situations present just in our class, how does the study of God's sovereignty in the suffering of the righteous effect your hearts in these trials? Does the study of Job cause you to handle these things differently than you would have otherwise?


Anonymous said...

Wow....It sounds like I am missing a really good study on Job! I miss being in class with each of you but I really enjoy teaching the 5th and 6th graders. Your comments on the Job study made me think about what we are learning this month in the 5th and 6th grade class. We are learning such things as Respecting God's Word, Reading God's Word, Living God's Word. So.....when we are faced with temptations or difficulties in our lives, are we equipped with the Armour? Do we hide God's word in our hearts? I am convicted and challenged as I inspect the amount of time I spend in God's Word. It is not enough....and I have found when I am not in the Word like I should be, then I don't show the respect of God's Word and I don't live the Word like I should. Let's encourage one another to be in the Word so we can be equipped to face the Job-like difficulties that come our way. God Bless! John Mills

Kevin Rhyne said...

Thanks for your post, John.

Anonymous said...

Good word, John.
God's Word is the only absolute we've got in a world full of temporal things. Let's hold on to it like it really is the only we've got.