God is incredibly gracious to those who experience tribulation. Though our trials are real and valid, God understands we are all but dust. In these difficult times, His love can still be fully seen. He doesn’t leave us alone in our tests nor chasten us without a connection to Himself. God’s amazing grace is evident in all of our tribulation.
The Tribulation of Job
You see this very clearly in the trials and testing of Job. This man was tested beyond most anything I’ve ever heard. And though it happened before the Law of God was given, and prior to the grace we now live in, God was still present for Job. It didn’t alleviate the pain of Job or lessen the effects of his tribulation, but God was nonetheless present. And after God lays out His case for Job, look at God’s defense of Job’s life to his friends. Those who judged and counseled Job in their opinions are required to entreat Job’s own prayers to clear them of their opinionated judgments.
After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, He said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken accurately about Me, as My servant Job has. So take seven bulls and seven rams and go to My servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf. I will not treat you as you deserve, for you have not spoken accurately about Me, as My servant Job has.”
Job 42:7-8 NLT
God honors our process and reverences our person. He doesn’t mock us in our tribulation, nor does He scorn us within His chastening. He loves us through them. And often we will find that His nearness is incredible during these times. God’s use of tribulation in our lives is never happenstance.
The Tribulation in My Life
In my life I have been chastened, I’ve experienced trials and tribulations, and even faced judgment. One thing I can say across the board is that I was very aware of God throughout each of them. And even if He remained silent, His presence was still there. I wasn’t left alone in my pain and He didn’t scorn me in my suffering. God wasn’t attempting to frustrate me through my tribulation; He was using it to bring me closer to Himself.
I have relayed some of these experiences to you on this blog, like juicing off my finger. I experienced God in such a dynamic way, I will never recover. I’ve many experiences of tribulation where God’s love was not only present, but dramatically so.
Our God uses trials, testing, tribulations, and chastening as opportunities to make Himself known, and why wouldn’t He? Our attention is fully engaged. Look back at Job’s life. He became richer and his knowledge of God was expanded because of his distress, not in spite of it. The grace of our God is such that He, knowing that we are but dust, blesses us in our adversity and hardship.
Tribulation: Friend not foe
When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence. And if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem he has only to ask God—who gives generously to all men without making them feel foolish or guilty—and he may be quite sure that the necessary wisdom will be given him.
James 1:2-5 Phillips