July 19: The Uncomfortable Truth About Trouble: God is Complicit!

Read: Genesis 37:26-28 & Genesis 45:4-5; Job 2:1-8; II Corinthians 12:7-10; I Cor. 2:7-8

This is our second day of venturing out into uncomfortable waters concerning the connection between God and trouble. Yesterday we contemplated God’s sovereign control over everything. Today’s truth is perhaps even more uncomfortable! It is that – there’s no escaping it – God is complicit in our trouble.

JOB
The best place to start is with the story of Job, the quintessential story of faith under fire. Was Satan free to strike Job at will? No, Satan had to ask permission from God, and God set boundaries on Satan’s power to harm.

joseph3

“You intended it to harm me, but God intended it for good…the saving of many lives”

JOSEPH
It was Joseph’s brothers who betrayed him. THEY sold him as a slave to merchants traveling to Egypt. But many years later, when his brothers came to the horrifying realization that Pharaoh’s official was none other than their little brother Joseph, Joseph said an amazing thing to them:
“And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” (Genesis 45:5)

Years later he would reaffirm this conclusion to his brothers: “Don’t be afraid. You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish…the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:19-20)

PAUL
God entrusted Paul with direct revelation and knowledge unlike any other man outside of Jesus. So to keep him from becoming proud, God gave him a “thorn in the flesh,” also called in the same verse “a messenger of Satan.” (II Corinthians 12:7)

JESUS
And the most beautiful gift ever given, our salvation, which brings us richness and joy every day, is the result of the most horrific suffering and vile crime ever committed, when Satan struck Jesus on the cross. (I Corinthians 2:7-8)

While there are aspects of the mystery not to be grasped this side of Heaven, what is abundantly clear is that the forces of Heaven (good) and Hell (evil) come together in pain. Trouble is where these opposite forces meet to work for entirely opposite ends: God to lift, bless and strengthen; Satan to bring down, kill and destroy.

Who wins? That, my friends, depends on us. Better or bitter. Which will it be?

THOUGHT TO PONDER: Does knowing that God and Satan meet together in trouble influence how we view it? How?

– barb

What do you think? Please leave a comment!

About barbwooler

I have worked as Encompass World Partners staff since 1985. I served among the Bayaka Pygmy people of the Central African Republic as well as with orphans and widows. I am presently serving as Director of Crisis Response where I get to see God at work through hardship. I love the outdoors and among my favorite hobbies are cycling and bird watching.
This entry was posted in 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Crucible of Crisis, Genesis, Job and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to July 19: The Uncomfortable Truth About Trouble: God is Complicit!

  1. Over the years of ministering to those who struggle with addictions, the majority visit, stay awhile and leave. The challenge is how to keep them interested long enough to experience freedom from the drugs that dominate their lives. Recently one of our men took his life, he was surrounded by Godly men offering their help, a Counselor, a Pastor, he attended numerous recovery meetings in a week. When Peter briefly took his eyes of Jesus in Matthew 14:30, to see the wind, he faltered and fell into the water. Spiritual strength today requires constantly keeping our eyes focused on the only one who brings us thru the daily hurts, hang-ups and habits we see everywhere!

  2. kelleepel says:

    i would say it could influence how we view our trouble. On one side, if we are a follower of Christ, we know that He is in ultimate control and power and we trust His workings. On the other side, just like Peter said, if we only focus on our circumstance and not Jesus, we will
    Begin to waiver and head into doubting His goodness. That is why,
    I believe, clinging to Jesus in both good and bad is the only answer. It’s only then, our perspective is His.
    I’m reminded of Philippians 2, when Paul says “12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” ; note, “His good pleasure” does not mean my comfort or my timing; therefore, I must cling to Him, knowing that even in “trouble”, He knows and He cares of what I’m going through and has a plan through it all.

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