Are you facing challenges today? How can we pray for you?
“Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1)
“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? . . . But I trust in your unfailing love. . .” (Psalm 13:1,5)
Jesus broke into first century religious Jewry when He challenged the view that material prosperity proved God’s blessing and approval. Could it be that Jesus is seeking to break into twenty-first century, Western, conservative Christianity in a similar way? Could He be saying that material comfort, good health, and picture-perfect families are not necessarily indicators of God’s blessing?
In The Voice of Jesus, author Gordon T. Smith writes, “We cannot assume that a comfortable lifestyle is necessarily a sign of God’s blessing… (We must be) alert to the way in which Jesus may want to disturb rather than comfort us… Through the illumination of our minds, the Spirit challenges our basic cultural assumption; the gospel is countercultural.” (Emphasis mine)
Immediately after Job’s friends misdiagnosed his condition we hear the thunderous question of God: Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? I love the way Eugene Peterson so vividly paraphrases it in The Message: Why do you confuse the issue? Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about?
Only after God’s roaring description of His character and actions is Job finally able to say: “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” (Job 42:5) It was Divine Disturbance that finally revealed truth.
Father, Help me not to lose sight of You when I’m faced with circumstances that I do not want to deal with. Draw me closer to You. Amen.
Question: Has God ever used your circumstances to speak to you? Why do we assume that God’s best is the same thing as our comfort?