We have to re-think as American young people. To change our default when it comes to injustice, suffering, and hardship. Is God fair? Where does poverty, famine, and sickness fit into our lives. If God is so loving, how can He allow this and that? Our personal theology of comfort can mess with any kind of inequity in our life.
In the last few months I have been studying the Book of Job. Talk about injustice and inequity. Here is a young man who was righteous, was a noble man in the city, and had a large family. And yet, he saw so many things happen to him that were 'unfair'. But, you cannot just get ticked off while you are reading the beginning of the story. You have to read to the end of it. Where God restores everything back to Job and shows us that He has a purpose for everything in our lives.
One of the chapters that has been a focal point of my prayers is the 5th! God is talking to Job about how He can turn every situation around. Whoa. Some great stuff to think about if you are in the middle of a trial.
So, in this blog, I wanted to do a quick youth-oriented commentary with a few verses in this 5th chapter of Job.
17 "Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects;Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.
- You wouldn't think that hardship and difficulty would be a happy day. But, God assures Job that when the Almighty does the chastening, all things must be taken with a smile on our face knowing that His will in the end will be good. And result in a happy day!
- Looking at what is going on in your life (depression, relational issues, bad grades, financial difficulty, family problems, etc.) can be overwhelming. You will see the hurt and the loneliness and feel like God isn't fair. But, you have to believe that He knows what He is doing. That in the end, He will turn the hurt around. He will turn the darkness into light. He will heal the wounds.
- One thing here. Remember that you will have trouble. But, He will deliver from every trouble.
- I love the emphasis upon the family in the Book of Job. I also know that family is under attack in America. From legislation and government to culture and society, we have lost the biblical definition of family and therefore losing the most important influence on the development of a society. Notice the peace and the longevity in the home. Young people need a healthy home.
- Finally, I love how God takes away the fear of death. This generation already feels invincible. Now God promises that our days will be full. That He alone calls our beginning and our end. And the last verse in this great chapter says simply that these words are true. Count on them. Search and look for every reason for your suffering, but, in the end, you will see that God is true and faithful.
Learn to re-think:
Use the trial for a triumph.
Put your chaos on His canvass.
Believe that your mess is His message.
Don't get pouty in the problems.
Don't lose heart in the hardship.
And don't be selfish in the suffering.
As Solomon says often in Proverbs, 'there is a way that seems right to a man, but, the end of this is death.' Trust the Lord in it and through it. I hope that you can see that God is with you in the whole story. Too often we see the pain in the story and we forget to see the gain in the story. Hang on to the end. I assure you, when you let God write the story, it will end with a smile!