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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Leaning on the Word of God in Challenging Times- Part 9

We have talked about the doctrine on the Word of God. (The Word of God comes to us as the Incarnate Word, Written Word, Spoken Word). We have also learned about The Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Now we are continuing to apply this doctrine in a meaningful way to the life of the Christian. 

When we suffer we need to trust that we can find the Word of God in its three forms, and know that the Holy Spirit is always working. In this we can find comfort in the forgiveness of sins, salvation, and the resurrection. 

Have you ever been tempted to turn away from the Word of God? 

Have you ever felt that your trust in God was broken?  

If you feel this way please continue to look at the Bible study below, but also talk to a pastor or a counselor. 

1) Consider the case of Job: 

Read Job 1:1- How does the book describe Job? 

Job is a man who lost everything. He family, his wealth, his health, and even his friends turned against him. However, he was not a man who was hiding some secret sin. God has not set up a reward and punishment system where if we behave we will prosper, and if we sin we will suffer. Suffering is NOT a sign that God is punishing you.     

2) Instead, our suffering can be part of our sanctification. (The process in which we are made holy.) 

If God is allowing us to go through a crisis of some type it can cause us to despair of everything else, except God. We see our place in the world as weak and vulnerable.  In our position, we cannot overcome the world without Christ.  ( This is only a product that suffering might produce. We cannot pretend to know God's exact puposes for us or his will.Yet, we do know that God is working for our good, and the he loves us more than we could know.)

Look at what Job said about his agony. Job 23:10-11  Our troubles can certainly refine us as it did for Job. 

Also see Romans 5:3-5. 

3) Job's sufferings point us to Christ. Job, a man who had everything stripped away, cried out to his God for hope. (Job 19:25-27) Christ is that hope. 

How is Job like Christ? 

Read Matthew 27:38-44- Christ had lost everything as well. Yet he endured more and went further than anyone else could go. He died. He died, so that Job might live. He gives you life as well. 

In our sufferings, we can look to our redeemer and know that we have onewho can lead us from crisis to crisis to eternal life, security, and a fulfilled hope.

Remember, that in the end God has promised something even greater than an end of human suffering. He promised to save us through his son Jesus Christ. That is a trust that cannot be broken, and that is his will for all who believe. 

Again, if your current struggles are causing a crisis of faith talk to a pastor or Christian counselor, and as always feel free to comment below. 

Spiritual exercise

Memorize Job 19:25-26  Pray for a faith like Job's. Ask God to let your stuggles produce in you a greater hope in Christ's return. 

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