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Our Perspective of God in Suffering 

“Many times we see God through our circumstances but not our circumstances through God.”

As believers in Christ we have so many claims about God:

God is father.                         God loves.                             God is full of compassion.

God hears.                             God answers.                         God cares. 

God sustains.                        God provides.                        God is faithful.

God is judge.                         God is merciful.                     God forgives.

We become aware of our inner and real perspective of God, when we go through negative circumstances and we suffer. This is the moment when, in the light of our situation and circumstances, we develop a picture of God and we keep the promises and claims of God before us. This is when we closely examine our circumstances and receive our peace, hope and comfort from the Lord.

Our pains and sufferings reveal our right relationship and attitude toward God. Even for the strongest believer, there is danger that suffering, hardship, tragedy, long sickness, or the death of a loved one may distort the perspective of God. Just like an artist who paints a beautiful piece of art then suddenly some drops of water fall on it… all the colors are shattered and it is very difficult to recognize and appreciate the artist’s original work.

When we talk of passing through times of sufferings, we are suddenly reminded of a personality of the Old Testament: the person Job. The example of his life is used among the Christians and non-Christians alike. Socially, Job was very respectable; financially he was stable; and, morally, he was strong. In the sight of God he was a righteous man. The devil wanted to test him and he challenged God. This battle was between God and the devil but its direct effect was on the life, family, and fortune of Job. He suffered beyond human comprehension. His house was absolutely destroyed, his children were killed. His health and wealth were gone.

“So Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.  And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself therewith; and he sat among the ashes.” (Job 2:7-8)

At the beginning of his suffering Job held the same perspective of God which he had before his suffering.

“…and he said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah hath taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah.” (Job 1:21)

He had a very positive perspective of God.“But he said unto her, ‘Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?’  In all this did not Job sin with his lips” (Job 2:10).

The criticism of his friends added more to his pain and suffering, and in the end we learn that he had some spiritual flaws in his life. The positive picture of God which was in his mind became distorted.

He had three spiritual flaws:

First: God does not hear me.

The first spiritual flaw is that we think God doesn’t hear us. Job thought many times that God does not hear me and this is the reason that God does not answer me.  “If I had called, and he had answered me, yet would I not believe that he hearkened unto my voice”(Job 9:16).

In the life a of a believer an opportunity comes when his faith is shaky and the picture he holds in his mind, of a living God that hears and answers, starts getting distorted. Job had the same kind of experience. When God delays in answering our prayers there is a danger that we may start murmuring, complaining, getting irritable, upset and grumbling, and speaking against God.

“Behold, Jehovah's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:” (Isa 59:1)

He is testing our patience; that is usually why His answer is delayed. It is very sad that when the answer to our prayer is negative then our perspective of God also become negative. We often start thinking that God does not hear us.

Second: God is not dealing justly with me.

The second spiritual flaw which occurred in Job’s life was that he believed God was not being just toward him. The words of Job were like this: “For he breaketh me with a tempest, And multiplieth my wounds without cause. He will not suffer me to take my breath, But filleth me with bitterness.”  (Job 9:17-18)

During our sufferings, our changing perspective of God forces us to have doubts about the justice of God. When the people of God look at the prosperity of some of the unrighteous people they will often say that God is unjust. Have you ever thought like this in your Christian life? Do not you belong to the same school of thought? Remember: “In this world the prosperity of the unrighteous and the sufferings of the righteous are for a short moment, but in the world to come the prosperity of the righteous and the sufferings of the unrighteous are eternal.” See Luke 16; 19-31.

Third: God does not forgive me.

This is the third spiritual flaw that distorted Job’s picture of God. “I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent.”(Job 9:28)

Many times the devil brings our confessed sins before us and creates doubt about the divine. We begin to feel and thing that God does not forgive our sins.In spite of Abraham’s lie, the murder and adultery of David, the disobedience of Jonah, the financial dishonesty of Zacchaeus, the denial of Peter, the evil deeds of the thief on the Cross, and Paul who was persecuting the Church… God still forgave them all. God the Father brings before us our unconfessed sin through the help of God the Holy Spirit. When we confess God forgives us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”(1John 1:9)

  • God forgives us instantaneously.
  • God forgives us unconditionally.
  • God forgives with out any prejudice.
  • God forgives us totally.

 

“God has the power to forgive the sin of any person, at any time at any place.”Although the sufferings of Job did change his perspective about God, still God heard him. He dealt justly with Job and forgave him. At the end of his suffering, Job was able to know God more deeply and intimately. “Wherefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes. “(Job 42:6)

God blessed Job twofold. And Jehovah turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: and Jehovah gave Job twice as much as he had before.” (Job 42:10)

Let us all ask ourselves this question:

“Do we see God through our circumstances or circumstances through God?”

re: Our Perspective of God in Suffering

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 1:18:34 PM samuel Gill

Ty for your thoughts, they tend to make me stop and say TY GOD !!!   May God Bless you and I pray for you.

 God Bless you and your wife.  Be safe in your work that your our doing for our Saviour!

Love in Christ

Joyce


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