Exodus 1:12 “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.”
No one wants to be first in line to sign up for affliction, trials, pain, suffering, or loss. It is something we run from, and even fear. Yet, in the life of every child of God, affliction will come.
2 Corinthians 4:17 “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”
It is not something to be sought out, or requested.
Hebrews 12:11 “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
We often grow accustomed to the familiar and the routine. Many relish it and welcome it. But, when the hand of God comes and allows situations and circumstances to come into our lives, we must not cry out and accuse God. Any child of God who reads about the life of Job will say that there is a man who had reason to complain.
Job did nothing to deserve what happened to him. Yet, God used how he handled the affliction laid upon him to teach us a precious characteristic of the Father. Job’s response to the suffering that came into his life that day guides us.
Job 1:20-22 “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”
The Israelites enjoyed a season of refreshing in Egypt. Joseph was sent by God to save his people. Yet, the path that he traveled to get there would not have been one any of us would have chosen.
He was sold into slavery by brothers who wanted to kill him out of envy and jealousy. Then, falsely accused by a wicked woman who tried to seduce him. Imprisoned for his crime, Joseph never accused God, complained, or became sad or depressed over his situation or circumstances.
In the end, Joseph’s faith shows us.
Genesis 50:20 “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”
Many well-meaning children of God will quote Romans 8:28 to one suffering. The one in pain can reject the intention and throw it back at God with hurt and accusation. Yet, it is when we understand the character and operation of God that we can submit like Job to the affliction in which we find ourselves.
Job and Joseph could not see ahead as to the path out of the affliction. Yet, their faith knew that the hand they were holding was going to see them through, no matter what.
This Sunday morning, if you find yourself in the middle of a trial, or afflicted, reach out to the hand of God and trust that He will see you through.
Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
1 John 4:4 “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”