April 27, 2017

Suffering in Silence {TTB12}

“Oh, that I had one to hear me! (Here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me!) Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary!”
Job 31:35

This week covered the hardest portion of the book of Job: his friends’ accusations and his God’s silence. He didn’t know why he was suffering so intensely; all he knew was that his heart was pure before God and his steps were right. His friends surmised that sin had caused his afflictions; they guessed that God was punishing Job for some unconfessed wickedness that he had in his life. But they could not see the scene in heaven, where God was faithfully watching Job in love, faithfully guiding himthrough all his trials.

I saw a quote recently on facebook or pinterest that read something like this: “Remember, it’s during the tests that the Teacher is most silent.” This is not just an academic truth; it is a spiritual principle as well. When we cry out during our suffering for God to intervene, sometimes it does seem like He is silent. Sometimes it seems like He’s leaving us on our own for too long. But He is our Teacher; just as a school-teacher is silent during the test-time, so He is often “silent” during our spiritual testing. So He remained silent for a time during Job’s testing.

But that doesn’t mean He’s not there. It doesn’t mean that He’s not listening and caring and guiding. We often don’t know the real reasons for our suffering; sure, sometimes it is caused by a specific sin in our lives. But sometimes it’s for a reason known only in heaven. While it may seem to be small comfort at times, we can rest assured that God knows what is happening, and that He has allowed it for His divine purposes. We can say with Job that “he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold” [23:10]. We can remind ourselves as Job says,“Does not he see my ways and number all my steps?” [31:4]. And we can rest in the sure promise that “…what He desires, that He does. For he will complete what he appoints for me, and many such things are in his mind” [23:13-14].

What a timely reminder this was for me this week! God is there, even when He seems most silent. He is watching me as the apple of His eye. He is guiding every single step I take (even the times I step backwards). What about you – what did you learn this past week from God’s Word? What precious reminder did He give you? How did He fill your heart with His love?

Please share! What an encouragement it is to read of what you all are learning… and to share how God is growing us to become more and more like His Son!

.

For those reading the Blended Plan, here is next week’s schedule:

Sunday: Job 34-35
Monday: Job 36-37, 1 Corinthians 12
Tuesday: Job 38-40, 1 Corinthians 13
Wednesday: Job 41-42
Thursday: Proverbs 1-2, 1 Corinthians 14
Friday: Proverbs 3-5
Saturday: Proverbs 6-7, 1 Corinthians 15