Posts Tagged ‘Suffering’

Under Lesser Burdens


Surely now God has worn me out;
he has made desolate all my company…
He has torn me in his wrath and hated me;
he has gnashed his teeth at me;
my adversary sharpens his eyes against me. – Job 16:7, 9

In his misery Job thought God hated him and was his adversary. And yet he continues to hold out hope that God would hear his cries and deliver him. He still believed that God was just and would do the right thing if he could only argue his case before him.

In a few chapter, while still in his distress, Job will confess:

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me! (Job 19:25-27)

What an example of enduring faith in the face of hardship. Our pain will very seldom rise to what Job suffered but may our faith and trust in God never sag under lesser burdens.

In Canaan and in Egypt

So Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.” – Genesis 46:1-4

Israel was in Egypt for four hundred years and how many of those years as slaves? We hear nothing of them during that four hundred years and so we’re tempted to think that God had left them during that time. But what God told Jacob when he sent him into Egypt was “I myself will go down with you to Egypt.” God was with his people when they were celebrated and brought in and when they remained and were enslaved. He didn’t forget his people. When the iniquity of the Amorites was full (Genesis 15:13-16), then “God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.” (Exodus 2:24-25) He didn’t suddenly remember his people, his covenant with them was brought to mind when the right time had come.

If you are Christ’s, God doesn’t forget you when things are tough. Jesus promised “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) That is true when Peter was at Cornelius’ home and when he was in prison. That is true when you have a day of magnificent worship and when things could not be worse for you. God is with us in Canaan and Egypt. Do not be afraid. Go down to Egypt and let God bring you up again as well.