“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said “My grace is all you need, My power works best in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:7b-9a
Whether you attend church regularly or find yourself there on the EMC schedule (Easter, Mother’s Day and Christmas), it’s highly likely that you’ve heard the story of Job. Job was a wealthy man who possessed animals, land, money and had a big family to share it with (Job 1:2-3). In an instant, however, Job loses everything he’d been blessed with (Job 1:14-18) and what has always perplexed me about is that God set him up for it.
Scripture reads in Job 1:8 (ESV) “And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?” Satan had been roaming the Earth looking for someone he could “devour” and God gave Him a target. Now why would He do this?
I realized quickly that I was asking the wrong question. What I was failing to realize is before any of Job’s trials hit, they had to receive God’s clearance. This encouraged me not to anxiously or eagerly pray away the hard times, something that can be difficult as a young black woman, and to instead ask God what He wanted to teach me through them. Sometimes we can be so quick to think the devil is tormenting us, when in fact, God already determined that He would give the enemy clearance to come against us just to show us something. That doesn’t mean we don’t cry or call out to God in times of confusion and it doesn’t always make the pain hurt any less, but we can find hope in knowing there is purpose behind our tribulations.
I like to believe even Job may have been slightly surprised by the strength he’d been given to deal with losing all his livestock, property and his children. But God knew even before letting the devil pursue him, that this trial would only work to his benefit and in the end, God blessed Job with even more than he had to begin with (Job 42:12-17).
You may be going through something today. Please let me encourage you not to be so quick to pray it away unless you’ve asked what God wants to show you through the season you’re enduring. In the midst of your heartache, He may be drawing you closer to Him and strengthening you for something else that’s coming.
As you look back over your life where do you see the ways God’s power was made known through your weakness?
How can you encourage someone who is going through something you have already dealt with?