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Share Your Pain with God

Description

How do you respond to suffering? Talk to God about what troubles you, and then expect Him to draw near.

Pray: 

My loving Shepherd, I trust Your leading. When You take me through the valley, You bring me to open fields.

Read: 

Job 5:1-27

Reflect: 

How do you respond to pain?

Even if Eliphaz's theories about the cause of suffering are wrong (42:7), he offers some helpful clues in this chapter about how to respond to suffering.

First, he reminds Job (and us all) that troubles and suffering are part of the human condition (7). We live in a world that is dying, where decay and disorder are inevitable. Despite what politicians say, the world isn't becoming a better or happier place.

Second, he tells us that resentment and envy of those who appear not to be suffering are dead ends (2). They may be natural responses, but suffering is only exacerbated by these destructive emotions.

And third, his advice to Job to present his case to God (8) is worth following. Peter, centuries later, suggests a similar course of action. The basis of their advice is the same: God's loving care (10-16,19-26; 1 Pet. 5:7). When the universe seems uniformly dark, that's one spark of truth worth clinging to and a helpful course of action.

Apply: 

Take out your journal, or a piece of paper, and talk to God about what troubles you. Expect him to draw near.

Pray: 

Lord, when I suffer, let me not be like those with no vision of You. Help me keep my eyes and heart toward eternity.

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