Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Job 5-8
Times of testing can be used to nurture our faith or nurture our doubt
Job 5:17-18New International Version (NIV)
17 “Blessed is the one whom God corrects;
so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.[a]
18 For he wounds, but he also binds up;
he injures, but his hands also heal.
While Eliphaz's words here were not given to Job at the appropriate time, there is a lot of truth in them. Pain can help us grow. When we are tested, whether God is specifically choosing to put us through a “refining” in our life or if we are facing tough times that are just part of living a life in a fallen world, we have a choice as to how we will respond.
I appreciate what I read in Matthew Henry’s commentary:
Though God wounds, yet he supports his people under afflictions, and in due time delivers them. Making a wound is sometimes part of a cure.
Our times are in God's hands; it is well they are so. Believers are not to expect great wealth, long life, or to be free from trials. But all will be ordered for the best. And remark from Job's history, that steadiness of mind and heart under trial, is one of the highest attainments of faith. There is little exercise for faith when all things go well. But if God raises a storm, permits the enemy to send wave after wave, and seemingly stands aloof from our prayers, then, still to hang on and trust God, when we cannot trace him, this is the patience of the saints. Blessed Saviour! how sweet it is to look unto thee, the Author and Finisher of faith, in such moments!
When we face hard times, it is so easy to question “why me?” Maybe the hardest thing to accept though is “why not?”
Job 6:8-9New International Version (NIV)
8 “Oh, that I might have my request,
that God would grant what I hope for,
9 that God would be willing to crush me,
to let loose his hand and cut off my life!
Job wanted to give in. He rather wanted to die than to continue in his suffering. But, God did not grant Job’s request, he had a greater plan for him.
Our nature is often to want to give up when things get tough.
Trusting God in the easy times is good, but trusting him in & through the difficult times is what strengthens our faith.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Job 9-11