Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Struggle


 
“But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside.” – Job 23:10

There’s a good reason why God himself says in Job 1:8 that Job was a “blameless and upright man”.  Job had wisdom over his condition.  He saw the bad things in his life as what they really are.

With every struggle we go through, there is a test.  The test is in how we deal with the struggle.  We can handle things according to God’s will, or we can handle them according to our own.  Our own often includes anger, frustration, casting blame, and looking to other sources for peace.  But God asks us to handle struggle differently.  Those that seek His will “be angry and do not sin”, and will understand that His “grace is sufficient”.  Those that follow God’s will in the struggles of life will cast their burdens on Him in prayer, understanding that all things are possible with God, and find hope to continue.  They will rest in knowing that in all things, God works our situations for the good of those that love Him.

Job understood his test, and even saw the outcome of his faithfulness to God.  He says “I shall come forth as gold”.  Gold is purified by fire.  The fire burns away all the impurities in the gold.  Likewise, when we lean into God and follow His will through the struggle, we are purified, and we pass the test.

Job realized that being obedient to God in all things was important in His relationship with God.  God blesses those that are obedient to Him (Deuteronomy 28).  He says “my food has held fast to His steps”.  In order to know where God is stepping, we need to know His word, and not just a few verses.  God’s word reveals who He is, His character, what He loves and what He hates.  In the same way we know what our parents are going to say to certain situations because we’ve listened to them for years, we know what God will say because we’ve listened to His words.  Job was able to walk the path God had given him because He knew God.  He had not turned off that path, and that is what made Him a “blameless and upright man”. 

The struggles of life will never cease.  They are there not to harm us, but to build us into what we should be.  A gold nugget taken from the earth is not a smooth one.  It has sharp edges.  It isn’t a shiny reflective gold color, but dirty and almost hidden with impurities.  But when the nugget is placed in fire, the edges are removed, and the dirt is burned away.  What remains is a golden flowing stream, able to be molded into whatever the goldsmith wants it to become.  God seeks to smooth out our rough edges through the struggles so that He can make us into the person He has planned us to be.  Our only part in the process is to submit to the struggle under His headship.

All tests come to a close.  At the end you can either be broken, or purified.  At the end of Job’s struggle, God blessed him with even greater than he lost through the test.    

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