July 3 I Friday
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” —Romans 8:28
If we are honest, some of us Christians are embarrassed about suffering and hardship because we feel we ought to be free from all that. There is, however, nothing in Scripture that indicates this. While it is true that God blesses us in all kinds of ways and we avoid some of the turmoils and some of the pain that sin brings into our lives, there are many times when circumstances and events that we would not have chosen come into our lives. We would have done anything to avoid it but these circumstances and events become God’s tool and workshop for doing things that are ultimately good.
This was the case for Job: out of 42 chapters in the book of Job, his suffering was recorded in about 37 of them. Yet Job says in the last chapter, “My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You” (Job 42:5). How? Job said those words after going through a personal disaster: he had become the object of satanic attack; he had seen the death of all his ten children; he lost his livestock; he became sick from the top of his head to the soles of his feet; his wife had turned against him; he had gone into such depression that he became suicidal; and his friends all turned against him. The result of all of that, not at the time but at the end of it, led Job to say, “My eyes have seen You.” Because these very things, this hardship, the tragedy he had been through and the inner turmoil of his heart had become the very means by which God came into his life in a whole new way.
All of us can be “fair-weather Christians,” where when everything is going well, we worship God. But when we face unexpected situations, it brings out our real person. One of the reasons why hardship is good for us is because it uncovers our true self. Some of us may be bold and pray, “God, please show me the real me.” There was a lady who prayed that very prayer and two months later she prayed, “God, don’t show me anymore because what I see, I do not like.” Yet, upon reflection, the lady shared, “The Lord said to me, ‘I’m showing you the real you not to condemn you or to rub your nose in the dirt, but to let me clean you up and make you something different.’” May we embrace whatever circumstances we face, not only because it will allow us to experience God more deeply but also because God is ultimately doing something good through it all.
Prayer: Sovereign God, I yearn to experience You more deeply. Help me to embrace whatever circumstances and events come my way knowing that these are Your tools to refine me. Thank You, God.