Today’s Bible Reading: Job 23-27:23; 2 Corinthians 1:12-2:11; Psalm 41:1-13; Proverbs 22:5-6
Going through difficult times can be made even more difficult by the fact that we cannot find God. Such was the case with Job. He searched for God (Job 23:3,8). But had a hard time finding Him in the midst of his pain. Yet Job knows that God exists and is watching over him (Job 23:10). Even when we can’t see God in our lives or hear Him speak to us, He is there.
Many ancient mythologies claimed that the earth was held up on the backs of animals. But the Bible accurately debunks these theories (Job 26:7) demonstrating that it was not copied or influenced by other ancient beliefs. As I’ve written a few times before – if the writers of the Bible were making this stuff up and wanted to be believed by their contemporaries they would not have put outrageous claims like this one in their writings.
Thus far in the book of Job, Job has stated that he knows God. But he also knows that he does not, and cannot, know all there is to know about Him (Job 26:14). Our finite human minds cannot comprehend all that God is. We can know about Him, of course. And we can know some things about His character – many of which He tells us in the Bible. But there is far more to Him that we simply cannot understand. And that is a good thing. Because a god who can be completely understood by his creation is no god at all. Such a god is just an invention of the human mind.
Evidentially the Corinthians were upset with Paul for not coming to visit them a second time (2 Corinthians 1:15-17). But apparently Paul’s first visit there had not gone so well and he didn’t see any point in going back. Paul was being lead by the Holy Spirit. He did what God told Him to do. God will direct us (assuming we are listening to Him and obey Him) as He sees fit. The Corinthians did not understand this. Often times we won’t understand why other Christians make the choices they make. But if they are making those choices based on what they are hearing from God, there is no reason for us feel slighted as the Corinthians did.
Notice that Jesus does not waver between “Yes” and “No”. He is not indecisive. He always does what He says (2 Corinthians 1: 19). We may not always get the answer from God that we want but we can be assured that He always knows what He is doing and that His decisions are in our best interests.
When someone sins against us our ultimate goal should be to forgive that person. While that may be hard at first, there comes a time when forgiveness is necessary for the forgiver as well as the forgiven. Withholding forgiveness can create great discouragement (2 Corinthians 1:7). Along with forgiveness we should comfort and reaffirm our love for the person. Notice that our love should be “reaffirmed” – we should never lose our love for those who have hurt us. Its okay to be hurt. Its not okay to lose our love.
Withholding forgiveness is a trap that Satan tries to get us to fall into (2 Corinthians 2:11). An unforgiving heart creates separation between two people which, in the case of believers, is exactly what Satan wants.
Speaking of hurt… David addresses this in Psalm 41. Notice that David does not deny that he is hurting. His enemies, including his best friend, had turned against him (Psalm 41:5-9). But David’s focus is not on them. His focus is on God. Despite his circumstances David praises God and recognizes Him as his protector and rescuer.
People are more trainable when we are younger. If parents set their kids on the right course, and help them not to stray from it, that child will grow up to be more stable and successful (Proverbs 22:6). This goes against what our culture tells us. It does not take a village to raise a child. It takes a godly mother and father.
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