I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.
I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”
(Job 42:5-6 NLT)
Knowing about God is not the same thing as knowing God. It was not until Job had experienced the painful circumstances that he saw God through his own eyes. Will it be any different for us?
For some strange reason, it appears that you can only fully understand God’s character by some form of pain. Yes, you can know God intellectually without God’s dealings in your life, but if you want to know him; personally, it always comes with a cross you must bear. Even the son of God, Jesus, learned obedience by the things he suffered (Hebrews 5:8).
Down through Christian history, people have embraced a suffering theology and tried to inflict it on themselves. It never works this way. Wanting to suffer is a bit sick. Humility is never accomplished in our lives by what we do but by what God does. If we try to bring it about by our human effort, we will eventually become proud of our humility.
So, what part do we play? It’s called obedience, which keeps us in the place that God can work in our lives. Human nature causes us to run from adversity, but also will bring about our fleeing from God. You can’t know God by running in the opposite direction. Jonah learned this the hard way.
When we see God for who he is and see ourselves for who we are, the natural response is humility, which is always demonstrated by repentance. Suffering enabled Job to know God in his heart and not just his mind.
The image us use with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes, the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing
website: Ken Barnes’ Book Site