“He tears me in His wrath, and hates me; He gnashes at me with His teeth; My adversary sharpens His gaze on me.”
When we find ourselves in times of great trial, it is often difficult to discern the voice of God. In Job’s case, the voices of pain, sorrow, suffering, and loss were screaming so loud, the voice of God was drowned out. He could no longer hear God’s Word reminding Him of the great love with which he had been loved. He could no longer hear the voice of compassion, mercy or providence, explaining He would make all things right. All Job could hear was the voice of his anguish, and it was screaming, “God must hate me.”
While we may never face trials as grievous as Job endured, we will no doubt, encounter difficulty that will call into question the character of God. We will all experience times when looking at our circumstances will make it difficult to perceive the love and mercy of God. It is in those times, I lean upon the advice I received from my pastor. He told me when I do not know, I should always fall back on what I do know. In other words, there are foundational truths about God we can cling to in difficult times. Having a grip on those truths will take us through our darkest hours.
First, we must remember, God is good and everything that flows from Him is good. The psalmist put it this way,
“Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped.” Psalm 73:1-2
He declared the circumstances he faced brought him to the brink of falling, but the cure was to remember the goodness of God. Not only is He good, but He also promises to work all things out for our good. That means He has a plan to work with the circumstances we are facing, in order to accomplish His best for our lives. Often, we fail to see any value in the trials we endure, because we are by nature shortsighted, we cannot see into the future, or understand the big things of God.
Another important, even foundational truth, to rely upon in times of confusion is, God is in all this for the long haul. He is making decisions that will effect, not just the moment we are in, but the generations that will follow. Abraham was promised descendants as the stars, but at his death only Isaac had been born. It was not that the promise failed, but that the vantage point of God was much more far-reaching than Abraham could see. Keep in mind, the way we choose to react to the difficulties we face, will have an affect upon those who come after us.
Finally, no matter how loud your trials may scream that God hates you, the cross cries out emphatically, God is love. The very fact that God initiated the steps to redeem man back to Himself, knowing those steps would lead to the brutal death of His only begotten Son, are proof enough of the magnificence of His love.
In your sorrow, pain or confusion, take the time right now to focus upon the majesty of the cross and allow God to bathe you in His infinite love.