2000 years ago, a child was supernaturally conceived and brought forth in the cold of the night, in the city of David. He was wrapped in long narrow strips of cloth, laid in a manger as there was no room for his parents in the inn to lodge. I believe you know the story.

In the night that he was brought forth, the angels heralded a message which is key in understanding the purpose of the child: ‘...behold, I bring you GOOD TIDINGS of great joy which shall be to all people’ they said to the shepherds watching over their flocks...Glory to God in the highest, and on earth PEACE, GOOD WILL towards men." The birthing of this child was a distinguishing token of God's good will, a firm foundation for true happiness and an anchor of peace in the heart of humanity.

In a time and world where there was a distorted view of God: an era where rules and regulations precede relationship; performance derived attitude towards God the order of the day. And... Yes, in a time where your sickness and suffering is interpreted as a sign of God punishing you for your sins or his act of teaching you character.
John 9:1-2 ‘As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
The Son was revealed to change the perception of the people towards the Father, that contrary to how they perceived him, he is about relationship not rules and regulations. He is love and will never inflict with sickness in recompense for sin nor to teach character. Yet, today, in the 21st century we have drifted backward not backward as in 2000years ago, but years before. We still carry that distorted view of God. A view inspired by the story of another man(Job) missing the fact that, the story of Job is not really about a good man suffering great tragedy but about a good God who's always there to help us in the midst of peril and bring us out.
Learning to look at the bright side of life is a necessary requirement for leading a peaceful life devoid of delusion, and we can only see the bright side looking through the lens of the finished work of Christ. Our world is broken; today one disaster breaks forth cutting short the life of many and tomorrow one good news transform the life of many. As there is good, so is bad. But we put the good in our pockets and paint the walls of our heart with the bad. While we are contemplating on the bad, we are forced to say, 'why did this happen to me?' And in the end, we point our fingers towards God.

Maybe he's testing my faith, maybe he's punishing me for my sins or he's trying to humble me and teach me something. Delusion has stepped in. At this point, it is however very difficult to shed light on such belief system and even if you do, they'll tell you ‘God is a mysterious God’ to back up their claim. And, by mysterious they mean, difficult or impossible to understand, explain, or identify.

My question, is God mysterious? Is he difficult to understand or identify? Definitely not! He is not mysterious. He is known to us in the person of his Son. Jesus said, 'if you have seen me, you have seen the father.' Jesus is our perfect outlook on the father. The father we saw in Jesus is a loving God. He is love and love doesn't inflict with suffering, sickness neither does it give and take away.

The story of Job is one of such stories in the bible that has reinforced this delusion. Job a man from the land of Uz, a very wealthy man at that, more like the Bill Gate of his days. He woke up one morning and his entire world turned upside down. He lost everything at a glance, he's wealth, livestock, children etc. Job blamed God for the calamity that has befallen him. He thought God was hostile towards him and accused God of being unjust.

On hearing the news of what has befallen him, his friends Eliphaz, Zophar and Bildad came to comfort him though their words weren't comforting at all. Eliphaz the Temanite who most scholars suggest is from Taman in Edom; a place noted as the center of Edomite wisdom, was the first to speak about how Jobs calamity was as a result of his wrong doings and suggested that God was visiting him with suffering to teach him. (See Jer 49:7, Job 4&5)

Were the words of Job and his friend’s true of God? No! In the later end of the story when God turned Job's captivity, he said unto Job's friend that they did not speak well of him:
Job 42:7 'After the Lord had finished speaking with Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite: I am angry with you and with your two friends, for you have not been right in what you have said about me, as my servant Job was.'

In conclusion: Friends, God does not give and take away; his gifts are irrevocable. He doesn't use pain to teach humility; he takes away pain. He doesn’t recompense sin with suffering because he keeps no record of sins. Live everyday conscious of this truth that God gives, gives and gives again. He is for you and not against you.

Photo Credit: Diadem Imagery

Grace to you.

About Jemine James


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