Read: Job 1
It is very important to remember that whatever God sends to His children, it is always good. What earthly father would give his children only candy for food - and not give carrots and spinach and peas because these are repulsive to his children? What earthly father will only and always praise his children - and never rebuke nor chastise them?
When our heavenly Father sends what we might not like, it is not to punish us for some sin we have committed. Jesus has taken on Himself the guilt of and punishment for our sin. That's the wonder of the cross. But God does chastise. We still have the "old man," the old nature, as long as we live on this earth. We often need correction from our heavenly Father to remind us of our calling to flee sin and seek righteousness.
Sometimes, we do not see that what we receive is needed - we can think of no specific sin for which God is chastising us. The Bible presents a striking instance of this in the Old Testament saint, Job. He had an abundance of material things, much cattle, many servants, and ten children. He was very godly - he offered sacrifices and prayers for his children. Suddenly, God took all of that away from Job. It must have been devastating. Would Job's Father in heaven do that to one so obviously serving God rightly? Yes, God did. It was not to chastise Job, but to shape and prepare him for his place in glory. Satan had challenged God to take all these things away - and then Job would no longer serve God.
But Satan was terribly wrong. Job was strengthened in his faith in the way of afflictions. He refused to follow the advice of his wife to curse God and die. He acknowledged God's Sovereignty in confessing, "The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the LORD" (Job 1:21b). Job did not simply confess some dogmatic truth, but experienced in his heart and life the truth of that confession.
So it must be with God's people. God sends many difficult things in the lives of His people. In Rom 8:28 we confess, "All things work together for good for them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."
That's the confession of faith of the Christian. He knows that whatever befalls him, his heavenly Father knows what is best. God’s design must be realized. If we do not understand why some thing befalls us, we know that finally in glory we shall understand and thank God for what He sends.
Rev. G. Van Baren (Wife: Clara)
Ordained: October, 1956
Pastorates: Doon, IA - 1956; Randolph, WI - 1962; First, Grand Rapids, MI - 1965; Hudsonville, MI - 1977; Loveland, CO - 1994
Emeritus: 1999Website: www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakeronly=true&currsection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Rev._Gise_Van_Baren
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