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October 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“But He is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever His soul desires, that He does.”—Job 23:13 (NKJV)
Pain is an interesting thing. We all have an instinctive reluctance to its presence in our lives. After all, who signs up for suffering and agony? Yet pain often contains certain benefits that we truly need. One such benefit is a sense of focus.
Have you ever had a hard time focusing in life? You know there’s something that needs to be addressed but your thoughts and priorities are scattered. You’re procrastinating on a task that has to be completed or a goal that needs to be accomplished. But then pain comes along, and it takes center stage in such a way that you’re forced to focus on that thing. Pain produces a sense of focus in ways that nothing else can.
That’s what we are seeing in the remarkable record of Job. Pain has invaded his life in an unwelcome way. He didn’t ask for it. However, as we have the privilege of reading his words, which reveal the inner-most condition of his heart, we see the intensity of focus that pain produces . . . a focus on the nature of God.
Now, we know that Job had a strong and deep relationship with God before the events of this book took place. But there were certain things about God that were brought into sharper focus through this season of suffering. Job unearthed some powerful realities about God as a result of His pain.
For example, just look at his words here: “He is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever His soul desires, that He does.” Job is conveying a profound sense of resignation to the providential control of God. He’s essentially saying, “There’s no one like God, He can’t be controlled by anyone, He fulfills His will, not ours.”
Don’t breeze past these words, because they hold the power to direct the trajectory of one’s life. When someone shifts their outlook on life from it being about them to it being about God, everything changes for the better. But sometimes it takes pain to bring this into focus so this shift can happen.
Suffering allows us to see things we need to see that we otherwise wouldn’t see. Job saw something essential about God amidst his pain, and so will we when we allow it to focus our hearts and minds in His direction.
DIG: What benefit does pain often bring?
DISCOVER: When has pain allowed you to see something essential about God? How can this reality prepare you for what lies ahead in life?
DO: The next time you find yourself in a season of suffering, lean into the sovereignty of the Lord. Allow yourself to let go of that illusion of control and surrender to His will and His purposes. Allow the pain to bring your heart into proper focus.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.