"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'" Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
I have a question for you. When things are not going exactly great for you, do you think that God is punishing you? That you must be doing something wrong--otherwise, it would be smooth sailing for you. But here you are, going through muck--yuck!
Well, you know, you may be right. Maybe the Lord is trying to make you examine your life and wants you to see something that might need confessing or put aside or brought out and dealt with. But there is also another train of thought. One is that sometimes, we go through stuff, not because we have been "bad", but because God may want to have you help someone else by your example. Do you know what I mean? I like to call it the "Job Connection."
Do you remember Job in the old testament? He had such bad times that he was able to write a whole book in the Bible about it. But was Job being punished because he had done something bad? No. Job was going through trails because the Devil was testing his faith. The Devil was telling God that it was easy for Job to be faithful when all was going so well for him. Just wait if God would remove His favor on him and he started going through trials. Oh, boy! That's when the fur would fly. Satan staked his life on the fact that Job would no longer be acknowledging God as his father but cursing Him.
Is that what happened? No. Job sang the praises of his Father even louder. What a witness he was to those who were watching his life trials! He came through the other side, stronger and more faithful than ever.
So, I would like to encourage you. If you are one of those that are going through hard times right now, please don't assume that it is because your Father is punishing you. This may be cold comfort, but you may be just experiencing a "Job Connection."
How can you know what the Lord is trying to do? Pray. Honestly and openly, pray and ask for wisdom. Ask your Father is there is something in your life that He wants changed, if so, to please show it to you. If it is a "Job Connection" then please give you strength, grace and discernment to know this. This way you can have peace. And please, whichever one it is, and whatever you do, don't let the Devil steal your joy and faith in the Lord during this time.
And whichever one it is, know with all your heart and spirit, that your Father is loving you completely through it.