Have you ever felt that your work is in vain? Have you ever thought that all the effort, energy, time and money you put into something was useless? I certainly have.
Today we started the 2017 Bible Read-a-Thon. We saw that God had a master plan from the time of creation. He made the skies and the seas, plants and animals, man and woman. And it was all good—very good! He wanted to commune with man and watch him manage well the wondrous world He had created.
But things went wrong. Adam shirked his responsibility. Eve disobey God’s command. Cain killed his brother. . . things went from bad to worse. The world was full of violence and corruption.
Genesis 6:6 says, “The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.”
When I read that today, with the gathered congregation and neighborhood-within-sound-of-our-loudspeakers listening, I felt literal pain in my chest. I almost broke down. God Himself—grieved and filled with pain. Because of my sin. Because His work seemed to be in vain. Because His plan was not working?
Certainly, God understands our frustration—insignificant in comparison—when things do not work out as we hoped. He feels the every pain in our broken world.
Then, in the book of Job, we saw that all Job’s suffering and despair, (all of our sicknesses, poverty and shattered dreams), even though inflicted by the enemy, are not outside of God’s sovereignty. He uses all for a purpose. Life is too complicated for simple answers and we cannot fully understand, but God does. Just as God never let go of Job and vice- versa, may we never let go of God. Job’s relationship with God emerged stronger through all that he suffered; may ours also.
“Blessed is the man whom God corrects, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” (Job 5:17)
“He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:1)