Altered Perception

Journal Entry // December 25, 2022

Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me! (ESV)

Job 19:21

In this early part of Job 19, we can see the inner turmoil that adversity and suffering have caused in the mind of Job. He speaks first of a wall that has been built up around him. Not the wall of protection that he had prior to his suffering, but a wall that keeps him hedged into his troubles. On top of this, Job exposes his inner thinking as he recounts how all of his relationships have been affected by his suffering. He shares the depth of his perceived isolation and the skewed understanding of how he is viewed by everyone around him. It may be true that what he is relaying about these broken relationships has a ring of truth in the social circles of the culture at the time, but it is also reasonable that Job is merely unable to rightly view and understand this new dynamic in his depressed state of mind. As I read through this section of Job and I see his anguish over lost relationships and the perceived hurt and disdain that he is receiving from those closest to him, I see my own thoughts of hurt and pain. I remember my own isolation and how it affected my view and outlook on all of my relationships.

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Expecting Adversity

Journal Entry // October 6, 2022

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, (ESV)

2 Timothy 3:12

The writings of Paul are continually reminding us that the Christian life is one filled with trouble, heartache, and adversity. He has a continual theme of persecution nagging the believer as they walk through this world. The Bible continually teaches us that the world is not our true friend seeking to build us up and encourage us in the faith. It is clear in its teaching that our enemy (the world, the flesh, and the devil) are only seeking to destroy us as we are the representation of Christ on earth. And with all these warnings from God’s word we still seek to befriend the world. We still seek to be known by the world. We still seek to be approved by the world. We continually forget that all who strive to live a godly life will be at enmity with the world. The world will always hate the godly.

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Peaceful Tribulation

Journal Entry // April 29, 2021

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 ESV

Tribulation… This is what we can expect from the world. It’s not a matter of if there will be tribulation, it is only a matter of when and to what degree. The world will most assuredly bring tribulation into my life. But Jesus has overcome the world. He does not take away the trials and adversity, but he does take away the power. The world can only go as far as Jesus allows. He doesn’t shelter me from the storms of this world. No, just as he had to walk through adversity and hardship in his life, so too do I need to walk through the struggles.

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Little by Little

Journal Entry // March 2, 2022

Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land.

Exodus 23:30 ESV

There is something good and precious about the adversity and struggle that remains a part of my life. I hate it to be honest. I don’t like the continued trials and heartache and hardships that accompany me along this journey of faith. But these adversities are a blessing to me in my sojourning. For in them I get to not only see the hand of God moving in my life but these struggles and trials keep me humble and push me back to the comforting hand of Jesus. Little by little the Lord is conforming me to the image of Christ.

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Thoughts in the Pit

Journal Entry // February 2, 2022

Then they sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt.

Genesis 37:25 ESV

This morning I was reading through the beginning story of Joseph and his brothers. I have always been fascinated by Joseph for a lot of different reasons, but mainly because of his faithfulness and steadfastness to be content with where God has placed him. In this beginning part of Genesis I see a sort of naivety to Joseph in how he relays his visions/dreams. He does it in such a way that his brothers hate him. They hate him so much that they conspire against him and throw him into a pit. Then, as Joseph is in the pit before them, they sit down and have a meal together.

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Good Refuge

Journal Entry // December 15, 2021

The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.

Nahum 1:7 ESV

The Lord is good… I sometimes forget this simple truth in my everyday life. Not that I ever think the Lord is not good, but I just simply forget the he is good, always good. I tend to lose sight of God’s goodness when I become too self-absorbed and start believing that the whole universe revolves around me instead of my good God. I take every negative moment, at least what seems negative to me in the moment, and twist it to question God’s goodness. As if the negative moments were anomalies not really meant to happen, somehow out of God’s control. I forget that God’s goodness contains these “negative” moments. These negatives are blessings driving into the arms of Christ.

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Delivered by Affliction

He opens their ears to instruction and commands that they return from iniquity.

He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity.

Job 36:10&15

I have been enjoying my reading through Job the last few weeks. It is a difficult book in a lot of ways, but there is some really challenging wisdom in these passages and I want to be careful to think through them all. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have caught all of it due to our covid-19 challenges, but I will try to at least capture the verses I missed earlier this week.

What have I learned this week?

  • Christ is not only with me, but is in me. He dwells within me in my heart. The temple of his presence is my heart.
  • That I “conceal transgressions by hiding iniquity in my heart”. This creates the tension I feel of having Christ in me alongside my secret sin. This does not and can not work. Light and dark cannot both reside together.
  • Job’s failure was that he justified himself rather than God.
  • Christ has redeemed my soul.
  • Adversity and Affliction are the avenues of deliverance for this soul trapped by sin and iniquity. He opens my ears and delivers me.
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