It's time for another pastoral talk:
I'm back to visit and I hope you are finding your strength in the Lord as your deal with so many health issues along with the troubles they have brought into your life. It's natural to hate pain and the isolation that sickness and suffering brings.
Today, I want to share with you the case of Job - that all time renowned sufferer who stands out in the Bible as a model of patience in suffering. Poor job went through such a roller coaster of problems day after day. He was reduced from being a wealthy, powerful family-man to a lonely suffering-soul sitting in dust and ashes with a body full of sores. But surprisingly, the greatest pain he felt was from the cruel accusations of his miserable comforters who had the idealistic and simplistic view that good men do not suffer, and that bad things happen only to bad people.
They didn't think that bad things can happen to good people. Thus, they concluded that Job had somehow sinned in secret and was not the pious man he professed to be. All of these thoughts arise in your heart when you go through deep periods of illness and suffering. Sometimes your worst accuser and your harshest critic is yourself. You start questioning and quizzing thinking that God is punishing us for doing some wrong thing. When you are so accused, it is vital to know that Job's so-called comforters were all wrong in their conclusions about Job. God had said Job was upright and He was. What his friends stated about trouble arising from hypocrisy and Job leading a double life was all wrong, for it didn't apply to Job at all.
Poor job endured the pain of his illness and the grilling of his friends who tormented him with a series of undeniable truths, but they had no application to Job, yet they continually forced the application upon him. Only time vindicated him as a true man, and his time of suffering worked to make him a better man. Someone said, Job is the story of God making a good man an even better man. If only we knew that God is doing this with us when we endure our trials, then suffering would be easier to bear, for it would have a purpose and the outcome would glorify the Lord.
On the other hand, where sin does reign in our hearts and sin has brought us into a place of hardship, we need to confess it and plead the cleansing power of Jesus blood. We know that bad things do happen to bad people, as God's way of getting their attention. The worst possible thing that can happen to a bad person is for them to prosper thinking that their evil doesn't matter, or that God is oblivious to his or her sin.
If God has gotten your attention to realize your sin through this time of suffering, then it is time to repent of that sin and turn unto the Lord for mercy. It is wise advice that when you do examine your heart and life for any sin that has offended God that you don't stop the examination process until you take that sin to the cross of Christ for cleansing. Where sin is the problem you must apply the remedy of the gospel. You need to turn to the good news of the gospel that Christ died for sinners to save them from God's judgment for their sin. It is the message that there is a way back to God from the dark paths of sin and it's at the cross of Calvary where we begin, when we come as a sinner to Jesus. For example, the Lord said through Isaiah,
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18).
You must lay hold on this gospel offer of complete cleansing from sin through the power of Jesus' blood. He died to save His people. Faith in His blood will justify you. It will clear you from all the guilt of sin (Romans 3:25) I end with the advise of Rev. Robert McCheyne: "For every one look to self take ten looks to Christ." If you can do that, especially in times of suffering, you will be delivered from every accusation against you.
Let's pray: Father I thank thee for the remedy of the gospel for sin. I thank thee that the blood of Jesus cleanseth me from all sin. Whatever I am going through in this time of suffering, I think thee that I am not suffering for sin, because Jesus suffered all that was required when He died on the cross and the blood of Jesus sets me free from sin's consequences. O, Lord, send the Holy Spirit to quicken these gospel remedies to my troubled heart. When I tend to be troubled with so many negative thoughts remind me again and again of what it means to be under the cleansing power of Jesus blood. Help me to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. Let the apostle Paul's great statement assure my heart, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus." Father, stop every false accusation saying that you are against me when I know that you are for me. Lord, give me stronger faith in the gospel so that I may know the peace of your love flowing into my heart. I ask this in the wonderful name of your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.