Discipline of Difficulty & Lessons from Job


Posted by: Misti McHatton

Tagged in: share, ReadyChurch, ReadyChristian, Preparedness, prayer, Personal Crisis, Leadership, care

God has Overcome


John 16:33 – In the world you shall have tribulations: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

An average view of the Christian life is that it means deliverance from trouble. It is deliverance in trouble, which is very different. “He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High…there shall no evil befall you” – no plague can come near the place where you are at one with God.

If you are a child of God, there certainly will be troubles to meet, but Jesus says do not be surprised when they come. “In the word you shall have tribulations: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world, there is nothing for you to fear.” Men who before they were saved would scorn to talk about troubles, often become “fusion-less” after being born again because they have a wrong idea of a saint.

God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome.

The strain is the strength. If there is no strain, there is no strength. Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy? He cannot, unless you will accept the strain. Overcome your own timidity and take the step, and God will give you to eat of the tree of life and you will get nourishment. If you spend yourself out physically, you become exhausted; but spend yourself spiritually, and you get more strength. God never gives strength for tomorrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the minute. The temptation is to face difficulties from a common-sense standpoint. The saint is hilarious when he is crushed with difficulties because the thing is so ludicrously impossible to anyone but God.

This devotion spoke to me in relation to the question people ask when facing crisis: “Where is God in this?” as well as to the kind of response ReadyChristians and ReadyChurches can provide in times of crisis.

So often we are taught, usually implicitly, that when difficult things happen in our lives, it is because of some fault that we have done or that there is a spiritual attack against us. While this is sometimes the case, it isn’t always. Difficulties can be an opportunity for us to realize again, and understand more, the depths of God’s love for us. Whenever I think about human suffering and God’s response, I always come back to the story of Job.  The key question in Job is whether or not a favored, righteous person can/will hold on to their faith in God when things go wrong.

Job 1 3:15 – “Though he slay me, yet I will hope in him…”

Job 5:17 – “How happy is the one God reproves; therefore do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.”

Job 6:10 – “Then I would still have this consolation-- my joy in unrelenting pain-- that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.

CEN Application:

Seek understanding and not blame.

Look for ways God is showing His love to us in times of disaster.

Help others to seek this same understanding.

Rest in the promise of Romans 8:28 – “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”