WE should all seek to acknowledge all people who feel like Job, for chances are, we will all get a taste of such a diabolical state of life at some point. And those that do, wish they had never been born. That is the threat of the Joban effect.
We could say that anyone who lives a relationally faithful life, and who’s also beleaguered by loss, has amazingly courageous faith. If they keep going, they will get blessed! We have to say this, for there is no hope otherwise. And, still, we would not camp in a bad hope; such a hope that believes in a good to come out of passing well through hell can only be a good hope. And every bit the way faith is stretched, and made stronger; more malleable.
People who are going through a Joban season are actually blessed, just to be stepping by faith. Many cannot. Even those who feel they can’t, but are, as a fact of their not giving up though they wish they could; these are stepping by faith through the arid bed of the abyss.
To step by faith is to step tremulously and to step in such a way is to be blessed, though it will never feel like a blessing at all. It feels more like a curse!
But faith and hope are actually born and raised in such temerity. When life has the sheer audacity to turn against us, we have the impetus for growth, but pain is the agent that initiates the birth sequence that compels the seeds of faith and hope to rise and therefore revive us — if we don’t give up.
There is good news for you if you face a Joban experience. God is with you. He knows you can get through this. The key is learning a steady reliance on God.
The strongest faith is painted vividly over the backdrop of darkness.
Maybe we had no operational faith until this conquest for our souls came upon us. Perhaps it lay there as mere potentiality until the storm broke. Possibly it’s only now, in the fullness of a crucifixion-like experience, that we truly have to trust and rely.
Long Suffering + Patience = Faith = Hope
Here is a formula to conclude with: longsuffering that is endured patiently produces faith, which produces hope. That is not to say that the processes of faith and hope aren’t painful. They will be. They would not be faith and hope if they weren’t.
Faith and hope are awakened in distress. Faith and hope grow in, and are the only way to get through, pain.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.