Testing and Correction
Life is not easy; trials and tribulations are to be expected, especially if you are a follower of Christ. It doesn’t matter how often you go to church, read your Bible, or spend time in God’s presence; you are not exempted from suffering.
Job was a righteous man and spent much time in the presence of the Lord. And though Job was blessed and highly favored by God, he still endured much suffering; he had to deal with the death of his children, the loss of his property, and sickness in his own body. His wife was also unsupportive during these times of extreme suffering. And though they meant well, his three best friends only added to his grief. But through it all, Job did not lose faith in God; in fact, he said of God in Job 13:15, though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Job did not understand why he was suffering the way he was; he was not privy to the conversation between God and Satan. Job had no idea that God would bless him with more, but he needed to be tested before receiving what God had for him; his character needed to be shaped.
Just as Job was tested, we, too, must be tested. We are actually to rejoice in sufferings, according to Romans 5: 3-5. This used to be a hard Scripture for me, and I skipped over it when reading the Word; I found it very confusing. Rejoice in suffering? How can you rejoice in suffering? This just made no sense to me; I used to wonder why I was being punished during times of suffering because that is what it felt like, punishment. But it is during these difficult times that we see just how strong our faith is; during these times, our weaknesses are exposed, and during these times, we are being perfected. Job’s flaws were exposed during his sufferings, he tried to justify himself before God, and he realized that he didn't know as much as he thought. God didn’t owe Job any explanations, and He doesn't owe us any, either. We are just to trust Him because, without faith, it’s impossible to please Him. We are refined through fiery trials; our trials strengthen us, produce endurance, shape our character, and give us hope that we will not be put to shame. There is an excellent reward in trusting God.
God has much that He wants to give us and do through us, but before we can receive what He has or do what He has called us to do, our flesh needs to be crucified, and we must die daily, and this is accomplished through suffering. Christ was our example, He endured the cross set before Him, and He set aside His own will for the will of the Father. He had complete trust in the Father and overcame the sufferings of this world. If we want to be with God one day and please Him, we must become like Christ. We must have the character of Christ. I no longer see my suffering as punishment but as a correction. I know that the Lord is trying to perfect and shape me so that I can receive all He has for me. The enemy, Satan, wants us to believe that God is unjust, unfair, and can’t be trusted. He likes to plant seeds of distrust and doubt during our tests and trials, and our complaining water those seeds. That is why it is essential during these difficult times to stay in and study the Word, especially since faith comes from hearing God's Word. We must also praise and worship God during these times because praise is a weapon against the enemy. We can praise God because we know He will work all things out for our good and His glory; we have this hope.
So, rejoice in suffering, and know that God corrects whom He loves and will do exactly what He says He will do in His Word. But to know what is in His Word, we must read and meditate on it daily. We are to feed on the Scriptures and not just be a hearer but a doer of the Word. We may not necessarily receive double in our lifetime as Job did after His suffering, but we will receive a crown and treasures in heaven that will never perish.
Tamisa Lundy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies from Liberty University and a Master’s Degree in Human Services, Marriage, and Family Counseling, also from Liberty University. She has a Christian YouTube Channel, Minutes with Misa, where she teaches lessons from the Bible. She is in the process of starting a Non-Profit that helps and empowers women called Sister’s Keep-Her.