Saturday, December 18, 2004

I fear my pain: Job 9:27-28

"Though I say, 'I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my sad countenance and be cheerful,' I am afraid of all my pains, I know that You will not acquit me." (Job 9:27-28)

Sometimes we go through difficult times and it's just a matter of girding up our faith and pressing on. Sometimes we just need to endure to the end. But other times, we get caught in our affliction and cannot just walk away from it. For Job, it was not just the pain and affliction he was experiencing, it was the fear that it would never end. Job looked forward, and all he saw was more pain and suffering. He could not just walk away because, where would he go that his suffering would not follow?

Job's problem was not a matter of will or lack of understanding. Job was in a spiritual fight. Fear is spiritual in nature. Paul said, "God has not given us a spirit of timidity [fear], but of power and love and discipline." (2 Timothy 1:17) Job's problems were spiritual and he needed a spiritual answer. There are times when we don't have what other people need. Our encouragement, insight, and wisdom are not enough to deliver them from their affliction. As humans, we don't always have the answer. Job did not need an answer from his friends, he needed God; he needed God to intervene and to invade his experience and to set him free.

There are times when we over value the help we can provide, and even the help other can give us. I've meet people who believe that, if they could just meet the right person, their life would be complete, not understanding that our true need is not for other people but for God. There is no one, other than Jesus, who can fill all the needs in our lives. I have also meet others who believe that, if someone who is suffering would just follow their advice, they would soon be free of their suffering. Not realizing that many people need what we cannot give; a direct encounter with God.

As fiends, our job is to support, encourage, and strengthen each other in our trials; and to pray. We should lift them up and ask God to intervene on their behalf. We should not think of ourselves as "god" to them, but as brothers. We should be like the four men who lowered their friend through the roof to Jesus. We should help our friends to Jesus, for only He can provide what they truly need.

David Robison

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