spiritualsnippets.com

Seeing life's events in the light of God's Word.

Joy In Unrelenting Pain

 

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Job 6:10a- “Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain—”

 

I recently heard a story about Austrian concert pianist, Paul Wittgenstein. In 1914, while serving in active duty in WWI, he was shot in the elbow and his right arm was amputated.

One would think this would be devastating, ending a brilliant career. But that was not the case.

During his recovery, he wrote to his teacher asking for a concerto for the left hand alone. Following the war’s end, he studied intensely and reclaimed his career. He gave hundreds of concerts throughout Europe, playing pieces arranged for the left hand alone.

I vowed that if times of self-pity should come, I would remember this brave man whose attitude made it possible for him to still experience joy in his life after such tragic circumstances.

The Bible tells the story of Job, whose wealth, children, and physical health were taken from him.

Not only did Job not curse God, but we learn that he was able to experience true joy in the midst of those trials.

This can be of great comfort to those who are experiencing physical illnesses, family problems, financial struggles.

But, how is it possible that during times of dire circumstances one could find joy?

Like Job, our faith sustains us. We look to God to be our strength. We lean on Him and the promises in His Word.

We look at these times, not as obstacles to our joy, but as times of refreshing.

We view them as vehicles to deepen our dependance on God and draw us in close relationship with him.

We do not allow our trials to defeat us, but instead look at them as opportunities to change us, inwardly, to refine our character, to transform our hearts— to fulfill His new purpose in us.

Can we experience the “joy that comes in the morning?”

Our Lord says we can. He will restore us anew, whether in this life or in the one to come.

The Bible says He is faithful and He will do it.

He gives us His Word.

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Giving Thanks for Future Blessings

Romans 8:28- “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Occasionally, I find myself missing my days of teaching elementary school. This is especially true around Thanksgiving.

Each year, my little kindergarteners would choose to be Indians or Pilgrims, making Pilgrim hats or headbands with colorful feathers. They would use brown paper grocery bags to make Indian vests or black and white butcher paper for Pilgrim attire.

Mothers would come to school and help us prepare stew, cornbread, apple cider, and spice cake and/or cookies for our customary “feast.”

The faces of those little ones were so precious as each child stood and told the class what they were thankful for… their families…their homes.

I know several families who are currently suffering from health issues. I know one going through a divorce. I know one dealing with broken relationships with siblings; another saddened by the estrangement of adult children.

It’s easy to be thankful for blessings like wealth, wisdom, newborn babies, and good health. It’s quite another to be thankful for the trials in this life, isn’t it?

But, many of us know that it’s in the hard times that we learn to trust God…that our relationship with Him deepens as we depend on Him for the strength to get us through.

It’s possible, that years after a hurtful event, we are able to see the good result(s) God brings about because of our dire circumstances. In fact, there are times when we can look back on what we once viewed as tragedies and see that they were actually future blessings—in disguise.

Which brings me to this point: If we, as Christians, believe the truth of Romans 8:28, shouldn’t we be able to trust God now?

Even if we never see the future?

Even if He never answers our question, “Why?”

Because that is really what faith is, isn’t it?

According to Hebrews 11:1, “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

We may not be able to see what God is going to do with a tragic circumstance, now, but we can have faith that those “things not seen” will someday come to pass.

Thanking God for the blessings in our lives, today, and for those in the future,

Brenda

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