In my second Bible read-through, I just finished the Book of Job. This time, I really wanted to get more out of the reading, if I could. I picked out a book from the church library to possibly help me along.
Well, if I felt the book had been great help, I would tell you which it was. I don’t know if I just didn’t understand it still or …I don’t know. Maybe I just didn’t like the writing style. I don’t think the author was saying anything untrustworthy but I also don’t know that the book was of much use either.
One thing from the book that I thought was interesting and true: that when we’re going through times of suffering, it may mean that everything is right in our lives, as opposed to the idea that our suffering is always a result of our sins, that suffering = punishment.
It’s simple enough. If I could objectively think about suffering while I’m suffering, I would know this and might be comforted by it. I’m becoming more acutely aware of spiritual warfare.
Still, it’s difficult to go a day without a single sin, and then one gets to wondering if some period of suffering isn’t some punishment for the days of sin, even if one has been repentant. God may have the ability to forget our confessed sins, but we are not, and that gets to be a tricky thing.
So I don’t know how one can tell if one’s present suffering is due to God’s correction or due to spiritual warfare. I suppose one needs to trust God in prayer and test the spirit of the suffering.
Well, I sense I’ve suffered much and might still be in for more suffering because of my ministry efforts. I was beginning to wonder if all the suffering was due to my sins. How could I not ask that question? Then I think, well, where would those people be if there were no ministry for them? Which alternative was better? And if it took God making me bold enough to do something, and that because my heart's turned towards God, Satan might just be bold enough to try to stop me or to turn me away.
I don't know. I find this all to be daunting and knowing much of my own faults, it’s difficult to believe that God would use me in such a grand way or use me at all for His work. Maybe you can relate to that feeling. The truth is that God is able to use us in whatever capacity, for whatever duty He wants us and that is something I am learning.
Yet, I and others wonder about the move of starting a ministry. I believe that the HS nudged me towards the time I spent working with the Youth Dept., but it wasn’t a call from God. To go from barely doing much as a volunteer to starting and running a ministry… who am I to do that?! Then I think about people who receive Christ and are on fire for Him right away that they dive into ministries. If God can use a new Christian to spread His word and start something, why should He be unable to use me?
I’m still shaking my head, saying, “What are you doing, God?” I also pray that when God does what He does, I won’t miss it!
Well, I still feel like I don’t really understand much about all of the dialog between Job and his friends. I already had an idea about the beginning and ending of it. I don’t know if I’ll seek out an extra source to get through Psalms. I would like to understand Proverbs better, so I think I might read Psalms just from the Bible itself and then get into Proverbs. We’ll see.
And let me know if you can recommend a source on Job- I’m gonna grasp a little more of it someday!