I have been reading “The Light and the Glory” by Peter Marshall and David Manuel. It chronicles God’s hand in the founding of America. We just celebrated Thanksgiving. The starving Pilgrims had a ration of 5 kernels of corn each that first winter of 1661-1662.
God’s manna provision for them was an Indian that spoke English. His name was Samoset. He then introduced them to Squanto. Squanto lived with them and taught them how to plant corn and live off the land. The first course of their second Thanksgiving was a plate with 5 kernels of corn on it as a reminder to them of God’s manna provision.
The Lord has manna provision for us as well. It often comes in an unexpected answer to our prayers. In March of 1977, I was reading in Philippians 1. As I came to verse 20, I fell on the end of my bed and cried out to the Lord. I wanted Him to be magnified in my body whether by life or by death. Two weeks later I fell headfirst into a 6 foot ravine. I didn’t remember that fall for 3 1/2 years.
How did the Lord answer my prayer through that fall? I was bedridden and unable to work for 6 1/2 years. Though I accepted the Lord as my personal Savior in 1958, He wooed me into an amazing, not equaled on this earth, intimate relationship with Himself. He also gave me a new asset: brain injuries that remain to keep me dependent on Him.
Our trials have manifold benefits. Ephesians 3:10 says that through them He displays His manifold wisdom. James 5:11 says that there is an end intended–that He might demonstrate His mercy and compassion as He did with Job. 1 Peter 1:7 says that our fiery trials purify our faith to prove it genuine.
Job was tested. His first response in his cascading trial reveals his heart to us. Job 1:21 says, “…The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Verse 22 says that Job did not charge God with wrong.
Next, Job lost his health. With his wife’s words, ‘Curse God’ ringing in his ears, his second response also revealed his heart. Job 2:10 says, “…Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”
This morning I read Job 23:8-9. It says, “Look, I go forward, but He is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive Him; when He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; when He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him.” Job was longing to see the Lord in his circumstances. Yet, his faith words are recorded for us. Verse 10 says, “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.”
The Lord tests our faith so we can see what is in our heart. I recently listened to a Voice of the Martyrs interview with Andrew Brunson. He is a missionary pastor in Turkey. I was so taken with his tried-faith. Though it was an imaginably hard trial, his faith remained. He would say, ‘The Andrew is Christ can…’ Though he was fighting fear daily, was emotionally spent, and he felt on the edge of insanity at times, his standing in Christ carried him through his two years in prison.
Lord, I ask You to help us discern and accept what You are doing in the trials that You allow in our lives. According to Your word, they are intentional and beneficial. Help us not resist but embrace all that You have for us in our trial. May we comprehend and grasp how our faith is truly steadfast in our standing in Christ, no matter what our circumstances are.