Grace for Your Day June 20

We have started down the road together with Job.
The privilege the Christian has to open up the word of God, and absorb knowledge, and truth, and then apply it in wisdom is something we ought not to take lightly.

The book of Job is always quite correctly associated in our minds with suffering. There are broadly two types of suffering or trials.
One is suffering that is brought on by our own unwise actions and sin; consequences if you like; reaping what we sow.
The second is unrelated to having sinned: God is pruning and growing us.

When we suffer because of our sin, the pain is incredibly difficult to bear.
The regret.
The humiliation.
The loss.
The self-flagellation.
All the cries of "If only ...".
The inability to undo.

The word of God allows us to escape much of that because it teaches us how to live in a godly way.
We can have wisdom far beyond our years, without having to go through the pain-and-suffering-to-be-wiser-next-time process.
We just need to fear and trust God, understand that His word is true and authoritative for us, and obey Him.
Young people, listen up: Psalm 119:97-105 is for you to meditate on and seriously adopt. It will be your protection in a world that is rapidly unraveling by departing from truth. The beautiful part for the Christian, is that even when we do sin, we have the means to recover: humility, godly sorrow, repentance, grace. We are an incredibly blessed people!

The grief of having sinned wasn't Job's experience. God said he was blameless, upright, fearing God, turning away from evil.
Job's friends said he had sinned, that's why he was suffering, he knew he had not. But the weight of that misplaced counsel added insult to injury.
As he lived this trial, God sovereignly gave us insights. Lessons for our lives. At his expense.
Last week we talked about the first two: how it's possible to please God, and that we can suffer even if we are above reproach when God deems it necessary. 1 Peter 1:6

This week we will examine life lessons 3 to 5: the depth of Job's despair, his feelings and how we are encouraged to manage our own feelings. We will talk about how suffering tests whether we believe what we actually say we believe. Then finally, what about counsel? The double edged sword of speaking into somebody's life can be tricky to wield, but it need not be. We'll talk about giving and receiving counsel and how to recognise it if it's bad.

Looking forward to seeing you Sunday and opening up the Scriptures together again!

Please join me in earnestly praying that His word will not return void. -- Quentin Smith

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