• Wayne Fox

Beauty Out of Ashes – 2

Beauty Out of Ashes – 2

We continue with the thought of God making us into the character that He desires us to be through the adversity that comes into our lives. Most godly character traits can only be developed through adversity. James 1:2–4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. God tells us through James that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and perseverance leads to maturity of our character. Job develops his faith through the adversity he went through – Job 42:5.

We can be sure that the development of a Christ-like character will not occur in our lives without adversity. Galatians 5:22–23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Paul defines the fruit of the Spirit as 9 characteristics that the Spirit will help us develop. Love, joy, peace, patience can only, be developed through the adversity that comes into our lives. We think we have love until someone offends us or treats us unjustly. Then we begin to see anger and resentment well up within us. We have joy until our lives are shattered by an unexpected event or grievous disappointment. Adversity, spoils our peace and sorely tries our patience. God uses the difficulties to help us become more like Christ. Love that gives freely can only be learned when we are confronted with a situation that brings forth a sacrificial love. Joy cannot be learned in the midst of happy circumstances. God knows exactly what adversities we need to grow into the likeness of His Son Jesus Christ. He knows when to allow the adversity in order to produce the results that are best for us. God never allows too much adversity or the wrong adversity in our lives.

A teacher or coach will explain to us the purpose of the particular drills he is putting us through. Some of the drills are tedious and painful but we endure them because we understand the purpose and the intended end result. God never explains to us what He is doing or why. God never explained to Job the reasons for all of Job’s suffering. In Job chapters 1 and 2 we are taken behind the scenes to observe the spiritual warfare between God and Satan. From the Scriptures we cannot determine that Job is ever told the reason for his suffering. We cannot determine from Scripture why God allowed Satan to afflict Job. We have looked at Romans 8:28-29 before this passage is as valid for Job as it is for us today. Based on this passage we must conclude that God had a much higher purpose in allowing Satan’s onslaught against Job and merely using Job as a pawn in a wager. Satan is not mentioned after chapter 2 of Job. There is not a conversation between God and Satan after Job chapter 2. God does not claim victory over Satan. The book of Job concludes with a conversation between God and Job. Job acknowledges that through his trials he has come into a new and deeper relationship and understanding of God. Job 42:5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you. We can conclude that this deeper relationship was one of the results God had in mind all along. It may not be the only results. Sometimes afterwards we can see some of the beneficial results of adversity in our lives. We seldom can see it during the time of adversity. There are 3 Psalms that began with “Why”. Psalm 10, 22, 74. David served God’s purpose and was a man after God’s own heart. Psalm 10 was written after the death of David’s son. Psalm 22 is the Psalm that our Lord quoted while He was on the cross. Psalm 74 will help us during adversity. It will teach us how to act, each of these Psalms ends on a note of trust in God. The writers do not allow their “whys” to drag on, they did not allow them to take root and grow into an accusation against God. Their “whys” were cries of anguish that are a natural reaction to the pain we experience.

There are 16 times Job asked God” why”. Job is persistent and discontented. Job is accusatory towards God. Job did not demonstrate trust. God never answered Job’s “whys”. Instead God answered Job with “Who”. We must stop seeking the answer to the question “why”. God owes us no explanation. He has the right to do what He wants, when He wants, and how He wants, because He is God. Job did not need to know why these things happened as they did. Job just needed to know who was responsible and who was in control. Job needed to know God better. Each of us has asked the question “why” many times under less trying condition than Job’s.

Instead of asking “why” we should be asking God to enable us to understand that He may be teaching us through this experience. We should not be seeking to satisfy our soul of finding some spiritual “good” in this adversity. But we must trust God that He is working for our good even when we see no beneficial results. We must trust God when He doesn’t tell us why. When we don’t understand what He is doing.

Why is it so difficult to ask God for understanding instead of asking “why”?

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