One day discouragement flooded into my heart and threatened to overwhelm me. Then God whispered, “Go to My Word. Read…”
I checked my Bible Gateway app on my iPad and the verse for that day was Job 23: 10-11 – “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed His steps; I have kept to His way without turning aside.” HE KNOWS! Yes, He knows all my ways. He understands all my thoughts and troubles. He sometimes needs to test me, and it may not be pleasant and may even be painful, but He knows and He is with me all the way.
As I read the rest of the chapter, I felt Job’s struggle. His precious children were dead. His livestock were all gone. And there he sat amid the ashes with painful boils covering his body. Then his close friends say he must have done some sin to anger God, and God is punishing him because of it. How devastating! How utterly forsaken and abandoned he must have felt! Even his spouse was railing against him. He was at his wits’ end. He looks east, west, north, and south for God, but he can’t find Him. The tumult of his spirit prevented him from clinging to what he knows of God’s character. He must have started to question himself, wondering if maybe he did do something wrong to stir up God’s anger against him.
Then after nearly losing himself in his friends’ criticism and all the negative thoughts that stirred up, he rallies. He remembers who God really is, that His thoughts and ways are above ours. “HE KNOWS the way that I take.” God knew every step he had taken. God knew he was in pain in body and spirit. And when some people do not, cannot, or will not understand, God always understands.
I realized that I, too, need to rally and focus on my GOD WHO KNOWS. I need to just leave all in His hands. I didn’t know why I had such a bad bout of sickness at that time and why the recovery was slower, but HE KNOWS. I don’t know why this chronic illness continues to dishearten me, but HE KNOWS. I don’t know why memory triggers still spin me back into past abuse, but HE KNOWS. So I need to trust His infinite knowledge. I need to trust His love and understanding. I need to believe that He is in control for my good.
Are you suffering physically or emotionally? Do you feel forsaken? Do you feel misunderstood and alone? Do you have a hidden sadness? God knows! Someday at the end of all the testing, God will not only just bring you through it, but you will come forth as gold. Glorious thought! He knows why He tests us, and He does it out of love for us, to honor us, to strengthen us, to make us better able to comfort those who are without comfort. (2 Cor. 1:4) His purpose is always for our good. God the Holy Spirit is transforming us into His image with ever-increasing glory (2 Cor. 3: 18). We will one day be perfect without blemish before His throne. Then we will perfectly praise our precious Savior without hindrance from doubts and distrust of His faithful love and compassionate understanding.
Meanwhile, in this world we will have trouble. (John 16:33) But discouragement must flee and our hearts will be quieted when we remember the ONE Who has overcome the world. When we reflect on the GOD WHO KNOWS and understands and will always be beside us, no matter what. Even when we sometimes like Job get overwhelmed and can’t find Him, He is still there.