DayBreaks for 08/06/19: Pain Relief
From the DayBreaks archive, July 2019:
Job is such a fascinating study of faith under pressure. He didn’t always shine brightly throughout the test and perhaps that is why reading his story is so instructive and educational for us today. Once, in this country, the pressure was on those who had no faith. They were considered the outcasts, pagan, headed for a horrible end unless they came to Christ. Today, those tables have largely been turned in our country and it is people of faith who find increasing pressure to abandon faith and doctrine in favor of political correctness and “tolerance.”
We know that faith is necessary if we are to please God (Heb. 11:6). But faith discovers what it is really made of in times of trouble, not when everything is peachy. No one needs faith when things are going well – but turn up the burners and it is quickly seen whether faith goes up in a flash of fire and smoke, or whether it just gets hotter and more powerful.
It is easy to say that we “know God.” We even use the phrase, “I have come to know Him” as a statement that we’ve become Christians. Mike Mason puts a bit of a different spin on what faith really is when he wrote in The Gospel According to Job: “But as we progress in faith we go through times when we are less and less certain that we really know Him at all, and yet more certain than ever that He knows us.” In Genesis, it was the Egyptian run-away (from Abraham and Sarah), Hagar, who made this incredible statement as she and her son sat dying in the desert: You are the God who sees me. (Gen. 16:13)
Hagar’s statement is perhaps really the essence of faith. As Mason put it: “Real faith is not so much seeing God, as knowing that one is seen. Only this kind of faith is resilient enough to embrace ‘trouble from God.’”
When one is hurting as Job was hurting, would it have done him much good to “see God”? I suspect that it was of much more comfort to Job to know that God saw him in his own suffering, sitting among the dust and ashes, tormented by pain and grief. It was that kind of faith that allowed Job to say Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? (Job 2:20)
In pain, our greatest comfort often doesn’t come through morphine or vicodin, but through not being alone.
PRAYER: How grateful we are today, Lord, that you see each of us exactly where we are, with the pain and suffering that we all experience from time to time. Thank you for your promises that we will never find ourselves alone as long as heaven endures! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>