Tuesday, October 07, 2008

blessing from evil attacks

In Job's story, we see in the end how that even though Job had spoken what was right about God, and his friends had not- and I take it that somehow Satan was behind the words of his friends in their misapplying God's truth and their lack of understanding in it- and in spite of all Job suffered in losing seven children, as well as losing his health, yet through it all God blessed Job, not only temporally (of course he never got back the first seven children), but also spiritually. Job gained new insight as to who God is and thus who Job was, as well. Not merely a head knowledge, but an encounter with God in seeing God through his great works, as well as anew and afresh in his own life.

I want to give a plug for a new blog of a friend of mine at work, Dean Ohlman. He joins Mart DeHaan, who has an equally fine blog, blogs from RBC Ministries. I'm especially excited about Dean's blog, because it addresses a deficiency I have, and a longing. To know God more through his creation. Creation is so wonderful, "the natural world." The older I get, the more I love it. Dean is an amateur naturalist, and a wonderful thinker and writer. Take a good look at his blog and just see the beauty there, both in pics and in words.

Back to Job. God is at work even in Satan's attacks. Yes, Satan was attacking, not God. But God uses all, including Satan's attacks, to work to draw Job closer to himself. Through the encounter, Job sees God and himself in a new way. Though righteous and no one on earth like him before, he is closer to God after this trouble and encounter.

I think this is true for us. It involves both the impact of life itself, which often includes our sin and consequences that follow, be they little or big. And it involves the new way in which we learn to live as a result. Not based on feelings, but based on a relationship with God through Christ in which we seek to live in God's way for us in Jesus. Thankfully grace is there to help us. The goal being that living in the way of Jesus becomes more and more natural to us. That this is more and more who we really are, as we increasingly grow in conformity to the image of our Lord.

Just a few thoughts related to the post yesterday. What would you like to add here?


Diane said...

Hi Ted,

Thanks for doing this series. "Attack" has been on my mind because I love our new home in rural Ohio and sometimes I have to metaphorically pinch myself because it feels so much like "home" and so much like the KOG. And I find myself praying almost without ceasing because it seems natural to do so here. As you noted in your other blog entry, God is so much manifest in nature and I see God so much here, in the mist on the pond outside my window, in the apple trees, the hills ... God seems so present. Yet how can such a move in our lives not be under attack? And I wonder if the attack is not in the form of my worries about the economy ... will my husband be able to keep his job at a boarding school if the economy tanks (as looks likely) and enrollment drops? Then what will happen to us? Will we be cast out of paradise? And it makes me want to try to control the future instead of resting in God's will, makes me want to pressure my husband to work harder, instead of giving him space and time to do his job ... makes me want to "do something" to save the day (Isn't that a little Eve-like and I say that as a believer in woman's rights.) Ted, I'm talking, not looking for answers, but saying I find your posts timely as I pray for a hedge of protection against attack. Thanks for listening.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

So glad you're so immensely blessed at your new place in Ohio. I am thankful for the amount of nature/God's creation we experience here in a suburb, but I long for more of it. So you are blessed.

Also I'm thankful for God's help for us in the midst of evil attacks. I think a growth point for us is to more and more not be taken off our feet when such attacks happen. But to stand firm in resisting the devil, as we live in the power of the Lord and are seeking to draw near to God.

And for me I sense that I want to grow from such attacks, and be changed more and more into the image of Jesus- like Job who ended up despising himself from God's answer to him in his trouble, and repented. I too want to be open to God's voice and revelation to me of himself and of me for change and growth in my life.

The Walk said...

Thank you so much for these timely posts...I really appreciate them.

Your post is a reminder to me to not being tossed about by feelings, but to hold fast to Christ, Who loves us.

I, too, have at times found that an attack can become a blessing...though sometimes it's hard to believe when one is in the middle of it!

I notice that it is because of my struggles that I have been forced to explore what I would rather ignore, I have been forced to ask for help and admit confusion and weakness when I would rather wear a mask of strength.

Though I have failed many many many times, I have also learned, grown, and been humbled in my own struggles to stand firm.

Ted M. Gossard said...

The Walk,
Thanks and thanks for your good thoughts and sharing.

Yes, it's hard to hang in there in faith believing that good can come out of such evil attacks. But surely this is important for us in Jesus, so that we persevere and work through it to find God's answer for us in Jesus.

Patti said...

Hello, I recenlty sent you an e-mail. I do hope you find time to read it. Thanks for your kindness. Please keep sharing what God shows you.


Patti said...

Hello, I recenlty sent you an e-mail. I do hope you find time to read it. Thanks for your kindness. Please keep sharing what God shows you.