The language of pain and the language of faith

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Steadfast and immovable”
Our Bible verse for today: “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.” Job 19:25-26 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “The language of pain and the language of faith”
The Old Testament story of Job is a great Biblical case study of being steadfast and immovable in the middle of personal suffering. Job was the richest and most respected man of his day. Job 1:3 says, “He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.” 1:1 tells us the reason he was so great and so blessed, “This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” Job was such a strong, steadfast, and immovable man of God that God decided to use Job’s faith to make an important point and to teach a powerful lesson about remaining faithful even in the worst of times, and even when we don’t understand what’s happening or why it’s happening.
God allowed Satan to attack Job and to remove all of his blessings – including his wealth, his children, his status, and even his health. And it wasn’t because Job had done anything wrong. On the contrary, it was precisely because Job had done so much right that God knew He could count on Job to model courage, dignity, and strong faith in the middle of suffering and pain.
But that doesn’t mean that Job didn’t complain or that he didn’t give voice to his pain. He did. Read the story. Job’s pain, anguish, and heartache were real, and it would have been artificial and phony if he had pretended otherwise. So, Job spoke about his pain, and he gave voice to his frustrations. He was honest about what he was going through. That’s what we call “the language of pain”. And it wasn’t wrong for Job to do that. Talking is therapeutic and often we need to get it out, we need to give voice to our pain.
But he never allowed the reality of his pain and suffering to diminish his faith in the ultimate goodness and righteousness of God. And so, even as he suffered, he told of his faith. That’s what we call “the language of faith.” The language of pain and the language of faith can coexist. Both are real, and both can be expressed without one diminishing the other. I would go so far as to say it’s important for both to be expressed. If we don’t give voice to our pain, we’re not being honest about what we’re experiencing, and others will see that. And if we don’t give voice to our faith, others won’t know that we still trust God, even though life is hard at the moment.
That’s the lesson of Job. That’s why God allowed him to experience those things for a brief season of life. If you read the story, you’ll discover that Job himself learned some important lessons about himself and about God through his experiences. But also, the lesson of Job has been a powerful example for God’s people down through the ages. It teaches us how to handle our own times of suffering and pain, and how to continue to trust God through it.
The entire story of Job is one long dialogue – it’s all about talking about what we’re experiencing. From that story we learn that there is a language of pain, and there is a language of faith, and it’s okay to give voice to both.
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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