Two Sundays ago, I began a gospel meeting in Lindale Texas. During our trip, we stayed at one of the elder’s home. They have about 16 acres of land. It’s really beautiful. I decided to do some running while I was there. It was more like walking and jogging. The path had a huge incline. It was hard. It was painful. There were rocks and sand on part of the path. It was hard. I was slow, but I put in 14 miles over three days. On my second run, towards the end I fell. That was an indication it was time for me to stop. Being outside enjoying God’s creation reminds me of life.
All of us are in a race. We have a destination to get to. Sometimes this race gets tough. There are hills to climb. There are rocky roads. There are moments when life gets painful.
There is death of loved ones.
There’s disappointment from the world and even from those close to us.
There can even be doubt.
Yet, throughout all of the pain, we must keep walking. My heart is heavy knowing about some of the pain some are going through this very moment. Yet we must keep walking with Christ to get to our destination.
BUT HOW? WHAT WILL WE NEED TO REMEMBER?
If there’s anyone who can help us when life gets tough, it’s Job, Job 2:13.
“Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that HIS PAIN WAS VERY GREAT.
The chapters of his life when he was in great pain have been recorded for all to read. All was well in his life. Then it wasn’t, Job 1. Isn’t that how life often works. You can have a great week, then everything just falls apart? Tragedy. Death. Disappointment. What can Job teach us?
WORSHIP as you walk in pain
It’s so easy to read Job 1. It only takes a few seconds. But it takes a long time to process. Losing one child is painful. Losing two children is even more painful. Losing all of your children in the same day is unimaginable.
“While he was still speaking…” This is a phrase repeated throughout the first chapter of Job. Wave after wave of tragedy came crashing down on Job.
Yet through the storm, through the pain, through the shock, Job WORSHIPPED. In great anguish, he turned to God and worshiped, Job 1:20-21. How could he do that? Satan was wrong about Job. He thought Job was following God for the money. For the blessings. He was wrong. Job wasn’t worshiping God for physical blessings. Job loved God. He was his anchor in the good and in the bad days. He will have to be ours as well as we walk in pain.
In the midst of his adversity, there was still adoration.
In the midst of his woes, there was still worship.
As we experience great pain in this world, let us worship our great God. The one who is bigger than any sorrow. The one who knows our sorrows. The one who can help us.
IGNORE some people as you walk in pain
“Curse God and die!” I’ve used those words of Job’s wife as a trivia question in the past.
I’ve asked those people, “Who said those words?” But I’ve thought a lot more about Mrs. Job. She was in pain. Her world was turned upside down. Did she have time to see her children before these tragic events occurred? She got to see her husband in pain, Job 2:6-9. It was too much for her.
Are we too hard on Job’s wife? Suffering, pain, tragedy, death, disappointment will cause people to respond in shocking ways.
Are we too hard on Job’s wife? She was suffering too. Job gives us the answer. No.
She was speaking foolishly, Job 2:10. Her perspective was skewed. When we find ourselves walking in pain, there will be times when we will have to ignore others.
When life hits hard, it can be really easy to turn away from God, instead of turning to Him. Sadly, even those close to us may do this.
“The marriage is too hard, so just end it.” Ignore that.
“Christianity doesn’t seem to be making your life better, but rather worse.” Ignore those words.
We must ignore their potential influence. It’s foolish. It may be your spouse. It may be your children. I’m not saying not to love them, but don’t listen to them if they are trying to get you to leave God. Ignore them when they question God’s goodness. Ignore them when they give you wisdom that’s contrary to God’s authority. Job knew God. He knew about His goodness. Even with all of this Job needed to be reminded by God about some things. So do we.
KNOW Who God is
The end of the book is just as powerful as the beginning. Job has spoken. His friends too. Now it’s God’s turn, Job 38. Job’s pain had not gone away. The question of “Why” had been uttered numerous times. Job thought he knew, but he didn’t. God asked him about his knowledge, Job 38:2,4,5, 39:1-4.
Job was a righteous man. He was a good man. But the pain he experienced had clouded his vision. God would help restore his spiritual vision by demonstrating His power!
Walking in pain is never easy. It can cloud our perception about God.
- Know and remember who God is in the midst of pain.
- Know that God can do all things, Job 42:1. He can even see us through our pain.
- Know that we don’t know it all. We don’t often know about the spiritual battle-taking place behind the scenes. Job didn’t. We don’t know when God will move on our behalf. Job didn’t. But we do know God is with US! He’s able. He will answer. He does love.
Because of this we need to finish our race. We need to see things through.
Even in great pain, we need to take up our cross daily. Jesus was in great pain when they led Him away to crucify Him, Matthew 27:31-32. Yet He carried His cross. He was nailed to the cross. He finished. We must do the same. Are you walking in pain? Keep going. Your Father is with you.