Life, including pain and heartache, happens to us all, but if we don’t know the essential character of God, we will be tempted to blame Him and run away, instead of running to God when we need Him the most.
Also, read about “the rod of correction” when it comes to parenting and one of the most freeing verses in the Bible.
Job 3 & 4
Running to God When We Want to Run Away
Job 3 & 4:
The Essential Character of God
In chapter 3 Job poured out his grief in very descriptive terms. He had just lost all 10 of his children. His grief was real and powerful. He wished he had never been born.
While today we might not tear our clothing and put dust on our heads, those who are grieving will almost always express their deep sorrow—through tears, wringing of the hands, crying out to God, etc. Strong emotions and outward manifestations of grief are not wrong, but must be kept in their proper place, amount and duration. They cannot be allowed to overtake our lives.
Remember what Job’s first response was after the initial shock and physical reaction (Job 1):
21 And he said:“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
“Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
“In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.”
Though he didn’t understand the “why,” Job knew the essential character of God. If you’re struggling to understand or accept God’s circumstances in your life, don’t run from God; run to Him. Get to know Him better. Learn about His attributes—beginning with His goodness, His mercy, and His holiness. Knowing Him will enable you to trust Him even when life doesn’t make sense.
Today’s Other Readings:
Those Who Abide Under the Shadow of the Almighty
Verse 14 begins with God saying, “Because he has set his love upon Me …” MacArthur defines that word love as “ ‘a deep longing’ for God or a ‘clinging’ to God.”
Is that you? Do you long for God? Do you long to know Him? Do you cling to Him in times of trouble, or doubt, or fear? God isn’t looking for strong, independent people, He’s looking for those who will be dependent upon Him—who will “abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Ps. 91.1).
The Rod of Correction
This is an area where Satan has twisted a great deal of God’s truth to keep us from faithfully trusting in this principle. We have all heard the secular wisdom which says, “If you spank a child he’ll just become more angry and violent.” That sounds perfectly reasonable. I’ve had people say, “If I spank him for hitting his sister, isn’t he just going to think, it’s OK to hit?”
It is true if a child is beaten or abused in some way, there is a good chance he will become angry and bitter and take it out on others. God is not condoning child abuse or even spanking a child in anger. But discipline, including spanking, done in a spirit of gentleness and humility, along with proper instruction in God’s Word and prayer is a biblical command. Our responsibility is to obey God with the proper heart attitude and trust Him to bring about the results.
Hebrews 12.9 says that we respect earthy parents who properly discipline us. Children understand that loving discipline means their parents care about them, though they may not like it at the time.
Chapter 8 starts out with this powerful, encouraging, freeing verse:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
No condemnation! What did Jesus say to the woman taken in adultery, “… neither do I condemn you” (Jn. 8.11). To those of us who have received Christ as our Savior, we have been released from both the guilt and the punishment due us because of our sin! And that is good news!
In the next few days, we’ll look at eternal security, suffering, sin, self-examination, and how to respond when life is hard and confusing. Be sure to sign up so you won’t miss any of these upcoming posts.
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I would also like to recommend several books on parenting: Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp (does a great job of explaining the biblical principles), Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman (will help you put them into practice, especially with young children), Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens by Paul Tripp (for parents of teens and pre-teens), and The Heart of Anger: Practical Help for Prevention and Cure of Anger in Children by Lou Priolo (a book I think every parent should read about dealing with and preventing anger in children). Get Outta My Face!: How to Reach Angry, Unmotivated Teens with Biblical Counsel by Dr. Rick Horne. And Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick. All of these books will help you apply biblical principles to your parentings and will, also, help you in your personal struggles with anger and obedience to God. Click on the links for more information.
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