Learn To Re-think In Hardship

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  that comes in our life.

In the last few months I have been studying the Book of Job in the Old Testament of the Bible. Talk about injustice and inequity. Here is a young man who was righteous, was a noble man in the city, had everything he needed, and had a large family. And yet, he saw so many things happen to him that were 'unfair'. As I began reading the story of Job again, I had to re-think. You cannot just get ticked off while you are reading the story. You have to read to the end of the story. 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 chapter. God is talking to Job about how He can turn every situation around and bring about good from the bad things that happen to us. Whoa. Some great stuff to think about if you are in the middle of a trial today. 

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!
  • God uses chastening (hardship, discipline) to bring about spiritual maturity. Strength. Every athlete understands this concept. No pain, no gain.
 18 "For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole."
  • Looking at what is going on in your life can be overwhelming. Whether it is depression, relational issues, bad grades, financial difficulty, family problems, or self-image, we need to re-think. That these kind of things are merely producers in our life - of something good.
  • 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. He will use difficulty to create maturity.
24 "You shall know that your tent is in peace; You shall visit your dwelling and find nothing amiss. 25 You shall also know that your descendants shall be many, And your offspring like the grass of the earth."
  • I love the emphasis upon the family in the Book of Job. Tents and dwelling are the words used. Symbolic of our home and our family. And God promises Job that He is going to take care of everything.
  • 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 to secure a great future.

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!