Inspirational Thought of the Day:
The disgrace of hardship that threatens to silence us in our shame can be used by God in beautiful ways.
Scripture of the Day:
“My relatives have gone away; my closest friends have forgotten me. 15 My guests and my female servants count me a foreigner; they look on me as on a stranger. 17 My breath is offensive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family.”
In the place of affliction, the last thing we need is for others around us to pile on or shun us. The shame we endure becomes a reproach and deep place of pain.
Job did not just suffer physically – he suffered spiritually and emotionally. he endured the judgment of those around him who should have been his comfort. Even his breath stunk, for cryin’ out loud. His precious wife recommended he curse God so he could die and put an end to his suffering. Wow. Not feelin’ the love there.
Why is it that when we suffer, people seem to criticize us all the more or leave us, altogether? No one wants to be around discomfort or pain. It’s not like it is contagious or anything, but it requires empathy and caring to truly walk beside someone who is suffering.
But the disgrace of hardship that threatens to silence us in our shame can be used by God in beautiful ways.
Humility. When I realized I no longer had “a perfect testimony” and that I was one of those – the people who failed because their marriage did – I felt like a second class citizen. This was not supposed to be my life. And the sting of my ex-husband’s sin? Forget any chance of ministry again. Or not. My greatest sorrow was not going to be wasted, it was going to help others. It humbled me greatly, but this was not a bad thing, after all.
Revival. The greatest pain of my life showed me my deep need of God. It created a desire for God’s word that was insatiable. God used what I detested to restore me in His Word. Had I not walked through such suffering, I would not have tasted of the deeper truths in God’s Word.
Purpose. I longed for Christ’s return in a way I had not before. This helped me to put aside things that truly just didn’t matter anymore and to live with intentionality on a mission from God.
Shame and rejection from others has a way of keeping our calling hidden. We dare not step out – we are trapped in our past that we let define us. But slowly God transforms us if we are willing to lay aside the opinions of men. Job, too, pressed on toward God – past the voices of those around him – and was doubly blessed in the end. He did not stay in that place of pain. We don’t have to, either.
Lord, thank You for how you use every circumstance in our lives to bring us to You, for our good and Your glory. Take our shame and use it to help us rise above