Where do you turn when you encounter adversity?
We are often tempted to look first to our own resources or our own abilities for aid. But the book of Job teaches us to humbly approach our God and trust in Him for His help, even when we do not understand why He is allowing hardship in our lives.
Five Ways God Uses Hardship
Even though we may not understand the specific reason for our current suffering, Job demonstrates five ways God often uses hardship.
- To humble us (Job 22:29; Deuteronomy 8:2)
- To test us (Job 2:3; Deuteronomy 8:2)
- To rearrange our priorities (Job 42:5–6; Deuteronomy 8:3)
- To discipline us (Job 5:17; Deuteronomy 8:5; Hebrews 12:11)
- To prepare us for future blessings (Job 42:10; Deuteronomy 8:7)
Understanding our suffering in the present moment is difficult, if not impossible. However, when we realize that God has His reasons for allowing the pain, we can train ourselves to trust in Him more in the midst of adversity.
Hoping in God’s Promises
One of the reasons why so many people fall away is because they do not understand the promises of God. They ask Him for healing or for material blessings, and when He does not give it, they walk away from the faith. Disappointment leads to bitterness when they do not understand God’s ways.
That is why it is important to trust in God’s promises—what He truly promises, not what we would like Him to do. God, after all, is not a cosmic vending machine. It is fine to hope for things—healing, for example—but our hope must be in God. His promises and His character are a sure foundation for our hope.
The bigger your view of God, the more you can contextualize your problems. His glory is beyond our understanding. The more we stretch our minds and recognize this, the more we can trust Him with our lives.
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