Hope that Lasts

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Reading: Job 18-21

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.” (Job 19:25)

Have you ever been accused of something you know you did not do? Or, have you been falsely judged for doing what was right? How did you feel? How did you deal with it? Think with me for a moment.

Job 19:23-27 must be the pericope in this book best known and most loved by bible readers. Then at its very heart, we find Job’s confession of faith. Scholars may have some contention as to the identity of the “Redeemer” being referred to, but on a larger perspective, we can clearly see that Job expresses his confidence that God will ultimately vindicate (meaning, to clear someone of blame or suspicion) his servants in the face of all false accusations.

The Apostle Peter also exhorted us to stand firm in the midst of trial and injustice. He reasoned that, “this is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step. He never did one thing wrong. Not once said anything amiss. They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross, so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:21-25 MSG)

We may suffer for a while, but remember that our hope in Christ lasts. It is unchanging, imperishable and sure.

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The Necessary Journey

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Reading: Job 13-17

“Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble. He comes out like a flower and withers; he flees like a shadow and continues not.”

The tone of melancholy echoed as Job wrestled with God and exchanged arguments with his friends. His lament bewailed the brevity of life, the surety of death and a deep sigh of hope’s absence. So today, we contemplate: “Could something good still come out of a situation such as this?”

Ken Gire wrote, “When the Father begins crafting character, a crushing must first take place. Not because He’s a temperamental artist who’s angry with His work, but because the raw materials for His art come from a broken heart.” I believe that a state called “brokenness” comprise a huge bulk in our lifetime. The mere concept of it brings an awkward chill to our spines. We are afraid of being broken, so we often evade it. However, we must understand that brokenness is a necessary journey. We cannot escape its reality, but we can choose to embrace a fresh, biblical perspective.

When King David repented of the sin he committed with Bathsheba, he expressed in Psalm 51:16-17 that, “[God] will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; [God] will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” The young king recognized that what God longs for is a deep character more than just great accomplishment. But how is godly character formed? Since this is not innate among us, we should all go through the painful, necessary journey of brokenness.

I believe that every person who is reading this now could testify to the truth that we live flawed, broken lives. It hurts, but I urge you to not quit. I pray that you’d keep your head up, endure and in God’s appointed time, may our melancholy turn into doxology!

Worship Amidst Pain

Title: Worship Amidst Pain

Reading: Job 1-7 

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“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21)

Famous author by the name of C. S. Lewis wrote, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” This is easier said than accepted, I believe, for this is not the common worldview of man. When pains in life come, it is as if we are instinctively compelled to make truce with an angry God. Does this occur to you as well? What is your knee-jerk reaction to life’s difficulties?

Today’s passage directs our attention to Job, a man who had all the things that one could ever hope for – a great family, a thriving business and a good moral standing. Furthermore, he was a man who enjoyed an intimate relationship with the Lord. He was, in fact, noted to be “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1,8). However, almost like in a snap, things that he treasured in life were taken from him one by one. His flock, his servants, and above all, his children – gone!

Yet in his anguish, Job did not sin nor charge God with any wrong. Instead, he worshipped. Job understood that grieving and worshiping were not two incompatible roommates. He did both – a deep catharsis of the soul while praising the God who holds all things together!

I pray that we would all see our circumstances as Job does. May we allow God to use our pains as a stage where he can proclaim his goodness, mercy and steadfast love!

Prayer Focus: “O Lord, thank you for you are in control of all things. When times get tough and I do not understand, help me to lean on your grace, wisdom and strength. Amen.”