Nothing belongs to us, not even ourselves. Strictly speaking, we don’t even own our private feelings and thoughts. The fact that God asserts his absolute ownership at this point in this book is significant how we understand personal loss or pain. Bitter as this
pill may be to swallow, we have to acknowledge that God doesn’t owe up a thing. Whether He gives or takes away, Job 1:21, or even if he allows our bodies or minds to be wracked with pain, we are to praise and adore his name. This is not to stay that we are necessarily to thank him for pain or calamity (though this may sometimes be appropriate ). But he does expect us to praise him in spite of and through the hard times.
What would it mean for us to truly live in the light of God’s absolute ownership, to live out in our daily lives the knowledge that we have been
bought at a price (cff. Psalm 24:1); 50:50; 1 Co 6:20;7:23
Best selling author Philip Yancey has delved deeply into the problem of pain. He addresses the quintessential human question: Where Is God When It Hurts? Yancey’s final thoughts from his book by the same title:
He has been there from the beginning, designing a pain system that still, in the midst of a fallen , rebellious world, bears the stamp of His genius and equips us for life on this planet.
He has watched us reflect His image, carving out great works of art, launching mighty adventures, living out this earth in a mixture of pain and pleasure when the two closely coalesce , they sometimes become almost indistinguishable.
He has used pain, to teach us, asking us to let it turn us to Him. He has stooped to conquer. . .
He has let us cry out and echo Job with louder and harsher fits of anger against Him, blaming Him for a world we spoiled.
He has allied Himself with the poor and the suffering, establishing a kingdom titled in their favor, which the rich and powerful often shun.
He has promised supernatural strength to nourish our spirit, even if our physical suffering goes unrelieved….
He is with us now, ministering to up through His Spirit and through members of His body who are commissioned to bear us up and relieve our suffering for the sake of the Head.
He is waiting, gathering the armies of good. One day He will unleash them. The world will see one last explosion of pain before the full victory is ushered in. Then, He will create for us a new, incredible world. And pain shall be no more.
Think About It
Why do people sometimes feel that God owes them something? What is it in human nature that leads people to question God? How is it possible to praise God in and through your pain?
Pray About It
With a friend or in a group, as the body of Christ, lift up each others pain and sorrows to God in prayer.