Yesterday a therapist looked right into my eyes, maybe even further, and asked a question. A question that spun my negative thoughts into a whirlwind as she jolted my way of thinking into a reality check. A way of life that has always been but is changing. She challenged my thoughts to match the truth.
What set this question in motion? I said, without skipping a beat, “my soul is worn.” And then, her challenge. The truth. She boldly questioned, “Really? Because I don’t think you are.” Way to go therapist lady. Thanks for taking away the identity that has become oh so familiar.
But can I be honest with you all? I’m so ready for this next season of life. The other side. New mercies. My true identity. The one not blinded by the pain of this side of heaven. You know what I mean? You go therapist lady. Put me in my place.
And don’t you just love when God confirms a lesson with His truth. The truth that matters the most. He reminded me of Job this morning. Not just his “look away it’s too painful” story, but his outlook. His point of view. The truth.
But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. Job 23:10
I am not worn because of Christ. I have not only survived life thus far, I am more holy as I have shared in the suffering of Christ. I have been protected. I have been loved. I am being refined as gold.
I’m certain that many of us have a different story than Job but yet, the same story. A life that seems wrecked by pain and affliction and agony and an existence that seems to be forgotten by a loving God.
Abuse. Rape. Murder. Divorce. Loss of a child. Loss of a parent. Homelessness. Abandonment. Addiction. Disease. Car accident. A fire. War. Mental illness. Pain, hurt, and more loss. It’s real. It’s there. It’s allowed.
Job bitterely questions the whereabout of God in Chapter 23. And after all the searching for a God that he’s dearly loved and can’t seem to find in this season of agony, he remains faithful. He proclaims the truth. He is sure of the outcome. Gold. He will be as gold.
Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t his reality check such hope for us? To know that today, in the midst of our suffering that the truth is a refining process is happening to make us more holy than yesterday, as pure as gold.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7
Regardless of our circumstances and our trials, we can rejoice. We can rejoice in the unwavering Gospel. We can praise the name of Christ because our refining has brought us to the knowledge of just who Jesus is and a more genuine faith that can shine bright in a dark world. One that shines as gold.
No matter the weight of today, no matter how worn you must feel because of it, find your hope in Christ. Rest in the peace of knowing that one day, just as Job, there will be the other side. And in the mean time, be honest. It’s ok that you feel worn and it’s definitely ok that you cry out to Him in that exhaustion. But it’s not ok to get stuck in a worn mentality and not see the truth for what it is. That our trials and suffering are purifying us so that we may be rid of what hinders us from a genuine faith. A bold confidence in the Gospel.
And the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. Job 42:12
My latter days will be more blessed than my beginning. I may not receive 14,000 sheep and 6,000 camels as Job did but there will be blessing. There is blessing. And I will no longer rob God of the praise He deserves by crying out I’m worn from life. I will no longer say that life did me in and I just don’t know how to go on. I will confidently believe in Christ’s promise of an abundant future, even if that means an eternity with Him. My goodness, that is more than enough. Eternity is everything.
Beloved, we are being refined. That’s what it is. Believe it. You are not alone, you haven’t been abandoned by a failing God. Look for brighter days ahead and let your stronger, refined, purified faith shine bright as gold in this dark world.