When the answer’s delayed, remember to pray and praise

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Thanksgiving is almost here; but sometimes, when we’re in a season of suffering,
it’s difficult to find things to be thankful for.

Many of you are going through an extreme season of testing.

I hope and pray that by studying the book of Job we can learn wonderful insights
on how to act and react during the difficult times.

When we suffer, it teaches us how to be loving and an encouraging to those who are hurting.

The Bible say…comfort the feebleminded, support the weak,
be patient toward all men. 1 Thessalonians 5:14

Job was in bitter anguish from the trials he was enduring and began
to complain in the bitterness of his soul.

Who could blame him…he had lost his 10 children, his livestock,
most of his servants, and his flesh was clothed with worms and
clots of dust.

He had become loathsome to his friends and family, and no
one would give him words of comfort or offered to pray
with him.

His sickness went on for many days and in the night his sleep
was disturbed by terrifying dreams and visions…so he would
have rather chosen strangling and death rather than life.

Job confessed he was a sinner and still no answer came from
God as to why the hand of adversity had come upon him.

He searched his soul and could find no reason why God would
deal so harshly with him and not forgive his sin.

Job’s friend Bildad became irritated with his friend’s endless
complaining and spoke harsh words of correction saying…

How long shall the words of your mouth be like a strong wind?

Does Almighty God pervert judgment or justice?

If your children have sinned against him, he has cast them
away for their transgressions.

If you were pure and upright, the hand of the LORD would
not be upon you; for he will not cast away a perfect man,
neither will he help the wicked.

Our days on earth are but a shadow and of yesterday we
know nothing.

Our brother Job did not realize God was allowing the adversity
to test and try him.

He knew he was a sinner and that in the eyes of God, he could never
be found guiltless…but he had fallen into a pit of self pity and
not one of his friends loved him enough to encourage him or
pray with him.

They spoke unkind things to a man who had just lost his beautiful
children and were unjust in presuming they knew why the
hand of God had come against Job’s family.

Today you may be suffering from adversity and your friends
and family have turned against you.

God loves you so much precious one, that he allowed his only
son Jesus to die on the cross for your sins and those of the
whole world.

There are times in life when God corrects us for sins and other
times he allows trials and tests to come upon us to conform
us to the image of his son.

He says in his word…

My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be
weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he corrects:
even as a father the son in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:11-12

We all experience seasons of adversity to help us grow up and
prepare us for our mission in life.

Jesus suffered more than any of us will ever have to endure,
leaving us an example to follow.

A mature man or woman will search their heart asking God
to reveal any unrepented sin which is upsetting our fellowship
with him.

If no answer comes, then it is wise to praise and thank him,
in the midst of our suffering.

Don’t spend hours whining or worrying.
Bow down and worship your loving Creator and his Son Jesus.

We know he loves us and will not allow more to come upon us
that what we are able to bear.

Refining takes time and develops patience and compassion in us.

If you have a friend who is suffering, I pray you will lift them up
in prayer and let them know how much God loves them.

Don’t badger them with endless speeches, analyzing why they are suffering.

This could cause them to give up hope or become bitter against God and you.

Don’t assume you are wise enough to know God’s plan and purpose
for their life.

If God gives you a word of correction and revelation, deliver it with
a humble and loving spirit.

Our goal is to be like Jesus. He carefully chose words to lift people up;
not cut them to shreds with accusations and harsh criticism.

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray…
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the lord shall raise him up;
and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another,
that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer
of a righteous man avails much. James 5:13,15-16

Remember beloved, we love you and are praying for you.

Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning…

O merciful Father in heaven,
How thankful we are for the stories of Job to encourage our
hearts and give us hope. Forgive us for grumbling and complaining
when seasons of trials and testing come upon us. We know you
have promised to never leave or forsake us and that all things will
work together for good, to those who love you.

Friends and loved ones may desert me, but you proved
your love for me by laying down your life to save mine.

Guard our lips from speaking any evil. May our mouths
be used to praise you and pray for our brothers
and sisters who are in pain. Flood our souls with
inner peace and give us your hope and joy.

We lift up prayers to you all have lost homes and loved
ones in the resent storms, earthquakes, from violence, and war.
Open the hearts of your children to be supportive of our
brothers and sisters so they may heal, rebuild, and be fed
and clothed. With you all things are possible.

Thank you for abundantly supplying all our needs
and being our ever present help in times of trouble.

Thank you for the bountiful rains, sunshine, and abundant crops.
We ask you LORD, to forgive our sins and heal our lands.

We wait expectantly for your Spirit to revive, help, and
enlighten us.

In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves
likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men,
but to the will of God. 1 Peter 4:1-2

Have a beautiful and blessed day!

Valerie Rousseau

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