What I read today;

2 Corinthians 8; Mark 14; Isaiah 40; Job 42; Judges 16; Genesis 40

We come to the end of the book of Job.  It’s not one of my favorite books.  However, I think the entire can be summed up in Job 42 vs. 7 when God expresses his anger towards Jobs 3 friends.  Why is he angry?  He’s mad because he’s being blamed for Jobs misfortunes.

Too often, there is the reaction within the church that when a person endures a hardship that God must be punishing that person.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We face difficulty for several reasons.  It could be that we have a genetic defect that caused us to get cancer.  It might be a behavior that we won’t shake that makes us an addict.  Maybe it’s our upbringing that makes us violent.  Or it could be that we are sinners living in a sin-laden world.

The reality is that we live in an imperfect world. Diseases, accidents, and bad behavior are part of the world we live in.  God is not punishing us when things go wrong.  But when those times of trial do come, he does allow it to strengthen our faith and trust in God.  If we let them those things become a part of our faith life.

Today we hear preachers talk about faith like it’s a wishing well.  We toss the penny into the fountain, and God will pour out blessings to us.  But that’s not the way things are in this world.  Eventually, we will all get sick.  At some point, we will all face death.  Other times we will live with the tragic death of a close friend.  All of this is a part of our human existence and will not change.

What our faith does for us, however, is give us hope.  It provides us with the confidence that Jesus is walking with us through the trials and tribulations.  It allows us to believe that God is in control and that when we come out of the other side we will either be with him in Heaven or our faith will be strengthened because of what we’ve overcome.

Sin has made our world imperfect.  But be strong because our Savior has given us the promise that he’s here with us and will guide all of our steps, mistakes, and actions so that we will spend eternity with him when our struggles are over.

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