Friday, June 17, 2011

Flowers Fade Friday: Suffering

I am pulling some posts from the Flowers Fade archive. If you want to read more about my full journey through the Bible last year, you can always visit my old blog here, but for now I am just going to re-post some of my favorites on this site. I'm not re-posting because I am not reading my Bible or don't have anything new to write about, because God is constantly teaching me new things; it's mainly because my type-A personality wants to clean out all the imports that are sitting unpublished on the back pages of this blog. So I will be posting my Flowers Fade favorites over the next few weeks and deleting the rest. I hope these remnants from the archive inspire and encourage you!

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I just finished up reading about the silent sufferings of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), who is betrayed by his brothers and sold as a slave to a foreign land. Then I moved onto reading about Job, who is attacked by Satan and has his property, family and health taken away from him almost instantly. What do these two men have in common? They praise and obey God despite their circumstances. Joseph suffers through life as a slave and, later, as a prisoner for a wrong he didn't commit, before he is finally elevated to governor over Egypt because of God's grace toward him. Yet, even in his horrible, isolated situation that lasts for many, many years, he remains faithful to God. It's only when he looks back on his situation as an older man  that he verbalizes that his past has been full of "hardship" (41:51), but he still praises God for delivering him from all the ways he has been mistreated over the years, and thanks the Lord for making him "fruitful in the land of [his] affliction" (41:52). Whoa!

Likewise, Job suffers much and is still able to praise God. When Satan comes before God, wanting to test Job's faithfulness, the devil is granted the authority to essentially "ruin" Job's life by killing off his children, destroying his property, and by strking him with disease. And what does Job do in response to this? He praises God! He learns that all his children have died, and he falls "on the ground and worship[s]" (Job1:20). Of course, he is mounring. He tears his robe, shaves his head, and is deeply grieved. But he praises God despite his sadness.

How convicting for me. I often find myself in a bad mood, feeling selfish and miserable at the slightest inconvenience. My schedule doesn't go as planned, work is irritating me, Micah and I get into a fight. I often find myself sinning in these situtations - arguing, lashing back, feeling sorry for myself, filled with anxiety. I don't naturally turn to God and praise him. And look at the gifts He has given me: a busy schedule full of friends, ministry, and activities, a stable job and a fully paid scholarship to get the degree I have always wanted, a wonderful first year of marriage, good health. The list of God's goodness toward me goes on and on! How I want to be more like Joseph and Job, who in all their trials, "did not sin or charge God with wrong" (Job 1:22), but instead worshiped the Creator and Redeemer.

1 comment:

bekah said...

Definitely the kind of faith to strive your blog!