Jesus said our lives would be marked by trouble, trials, and tribulation. We seem to go from one affliction to another affliction along our way to the Celestial City. What I have learned over the years is this: it’s not what happens to you that makes the greatest difference in how your life works out . . . rather, it is what you do with what happens!
So . . . what have you been doing with what has been happening to you lately?
If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling. (Job 23:3)
In the midst of unimaginable heartache, trials, and tribulations, Job could find no lasting comfort in his friends. Sure, they ministered to Job’s broken heart when they were silent throughout the first seven days. But as soon as they opened their mouths, the weight of Job’s burden increased. Job knew that the only place to go when affliction arrested him was to flee to the Almighty. Charles Spurgeon put it this way:
In Job’s uttermost extremity he cried after the Lord. The longing desire of an afflicted child of God is once more to see his Father’s face. His first prayer is not “O that I might be healed of the disease which now festers in every part of my body!” nor even “O that I might see my children restored from the jaws of the grave, and my poverty once more brought from the hand of the spoiler!” But the first and uppermost cry is, “O that I know where I might find Him, who is my God! That I might come even to His seat.”
There is only one place to go when we are dealing with the difficulties of life, and that is to the throne of Grace. We can find no help or healing, no comfort or closure anywhere else. In his utter desperation, Job turned in the only direction he could to find deliverance. And often, this is the truth for all of us. Without affliction, we can advance through life with very little thought of the Almighty. But when the storm winds begin to blow, there is only one place to go . . . into the presence of the Almighty.
One of the great Gospel gifts God has given us is the invitation to come boldly before the throne of grace. In fact, it is actually a command. We have been commanded to pray, not just invited. And in that command we have been given an eternal comfort in knowing that Jesus will never leave nor forsake us. Regardless of what it is you might be going through right now, you are not going through it alone. Jesus is with you. Jesus is within you. Jesus is beside you. And when you feel like you simply cannot go on, know that you have already been carried across the finish line.
Remember, the Bible never instructs us to simply seek God. It instructs us to “seek God first” (Matthew 6:33). May that be the confession of our lives every day we have life on this side of the grave.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!