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Perplexing Providence!

“Because of your wrath, there is no health in my body; my bones have no soundness because of my sin. My guilt overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly. I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning.”

– Psalm 38: 3-6. (TNIV)

I am so glad the Lord has seen fit to include the book of Job in his canon of inspired Scripture. Job’s personal experience of God’s perplexing providence helps me to see and understand that my suffering may not necessarily be my fault! Sometimes my loving heavenly Father will bring problems and difficulties into my life for a reason (s) known only to him, and he calls me to trust him, anyway.

As the author of Hebrews reminds us: “Now FAITH [TRUST] is being SURE of what we hope for and CERTAIN of what we DO NOT SEE.” (Hebrews 11:1). Nevertheless, in today’s verses, David reminds me that even when my suffering IS my fault – the consequence of my OWN SINFUL action (s) and folly – my loving, merciful, gracious God does NOT abandon me. Rather, he desires that I take the opportunity to CRY OUT to him for forgiveness and relief.

As David said in Psalm 32:1-5: “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night, your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer, Selah. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’ – and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.”

How comforting this truth is for a sinner like me! The Apostle John takes up this same thought when he writes:

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar, and his word has no place in our lives.” (1 John 1:8-10).

What a wonderful God we serve: He faithfully CARES for us even when we CAN’T understand what he is doing in our circumstances; and when we CAN understand that we are experiencing his wrath as the consequence of our own foolishness, we can still cry out to Him for forgiveness and be assured that it is all happening within the constraints of his sovereign control.

In fact, he is a God who sent his Son to the CROSS in order to absorb all his wrath against those who humbly look to him in repentance and faith.

Hallelujah, what a Saviour!