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August 3, 1998

Handling the Inexplicable Hardships of Life (Part Two)

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Then Job replied: “If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales!” JOB 6:1-2
It’s comforting to know that God will use the hardships we experience to draw us closer to Him. But how do we deal with them on a day-to-day basis?
The first step is to verbalize our questions and concerns to God. Job did not mince words when he did this: “I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul,” he said. “I will say to God: Do not condemn me, but tell me what charges you have against me” (Job 10:1-2). Job didn’t have the energy to sugarcoat it; he was in trouble, and he wanted to know why. His brutal honesty might make us a little uncomfortable, but he had nothing to hide.
Next, we have to acknowledge the difference between verbalizing a question and demanding an answer. God does not have to tell us why. He might, but He’s not bound to. So we have to resign ourselves to depositing the mysteries and hardships of life on His shoulders, recognizing that we’re not enduring life alone.
Finally, there comes a time when we just have to let it go. We’ve tried to fix the problem long enough. We’ve fretted about the cause long enough. We’ve agonized and pondered and cried long enough. Eventually, we just have to accept the fact that the hardship could very well be here to stay and learn to live with it.
Letting go doesn’t mean our faith is weak or that we don’t believe God can answer prayers. It simply means that it’s time to devote our energies to something else. Our friends, family members, and coworkers may think we’re giving up—that we’re throwing in the towel—but as Job’s life proves, it usually doesn’t matter what other people think.
Are you experiencing a trial that doesn’t seem to go away, no matter how many times you have asked God to take it from you? Then do what your faith walk with Jesus calls you to do; that is, to cast your burdens on Him, for He will never stop caring for you (1 Peter 5:7).

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