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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Pain and Patience

“To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty. “ (Job 6:14 NKJV)

My wife was angry at God yesterday because a dear friend “Just can’t get a break.”

She was overwhelmed by yet another medical disaster that our tender-hearted sister in the Lord had experienced just that day. The woman was having a reaction to medication that had turned her foot into a dead lifeless looking appendage. My first thought when I saw the picture was her foot was going to have to be cut off.

Our friend is a Godly handmaiden of the Lord and had not forsaken the fear of the Almighty. Yet, after a lifetime of medical issues, now she had this scary reaction. My wife showed her overwhelming worry in a brief anger attack.

I was proud of my wife having an honest tender heart instead of the self-righteous attitudes of Job’s friends. They were quick to assume if a person was allowed by God to suffer it was because they were not righteous enough. And Job called them out about that hard-hearted attitude in today’s reflection verse. A friend is to “show kindness to our friends that are afflicted,” which will demonstrate to them they are not alone during overwhelming times. Then, deep trusting prayer for help can take over and the peace that passes understanding through Christ our Lord can result as we are taught in Philippians 4:6-7:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (NKJV)

Summarizing Job’s message to God’s children about pain and patience:

  • The Bible has a lot to say about pain. One of the key lessons found in Job is the Lord God is Sovereign during times of overwhelming trials.
  • Satan is heartless and mean in pursuit of his goals. Remember the evil one’s schemes, terrorizing, and murder.
  • Satan often uses self-righteous people when we are at our lowest. Aloof, judgmental people make things worse.
  • Job overcame and found a better future by holding onto his belief that the Father knows best no matter what happens. This attitude is a trusting heart’s strength and is often necessary to survive overwhelming trials.
  • The Lord understands when we get angry at Him. He “pities His children as He knows they are dust,” Psalm 103:13-14. He understands that we are weak and human.
  • We become stronger through pain or we are crippled by it when we blame the Father. Only our Father knows the big picture and the future. Our Father knows best.
  • Pain comes to both the righteous and the wicked, permitting opportunities to develop relationships with God Almighty. Pain is not our enemy as it provides a chance to learn and grow.

The New Testament agrees with Job:

  • Tribulation brings about patience. Romans 5:3.
  • God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God. Romans 8:28.
  • God will never leave or forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

“Dear Father God, help us to hold on to You and Your promises during periods of fear, doubt, loneliness, and pain. In Your Son’s name, Amen.”

Copyright © 2020 Bob Segress, Ph.D., used with permission.

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