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Getting the Most out of Hardship – 3

A third benefit of hardship, suffering and trials is that they teach us how to worship. In Job, chapter one, we read the account of a godly man named Job. Job was very wealthy and he loved and worshiped God. The Scripture tells us that Satan objected to God that the only reason Job served God was because God had blessed him. Satan insisted that if Job were stripped of his wealth and possessions he would curse God instead. So God gave Satan permission to attack Job in this manner.

We’re told that in one day through a series of horrible catastrophes, Job lost all of us flocks, herds, servants and even his children! His loss and grief must have been beyond comprehension! Yet, look at Job’s response in Job 1:20-21, “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

In spite of Satan’s cruelty and Job’s enormous loss, Job turned to God instead of away from Him. In response to his pain and grief of suffering Job worshiped God.

The writer of Hebrews urges us, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise…” (Hebrews 13:15) In times of suffering and hardship, praise and worship truly feels like a sacrifice because we have spent our reserves. There’s nothing left but to release oneself to God in worship.

This is not some morbid, masochistic appreciation for suffering, but the realization that regardless of our circumstances, God never changes. He is always worthy of our praise and worship. His great love is not measured by our circumstances, but by His character.

After the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York on 9/11/2001, my wife and I met with the college and career group we were leading at the time. We came together than night grieving for our nation, for the families of those who had lost loved ones and we wept over the horrors of evil. As we met, we were driven to pray fervently and then we worshiped God. Our worship of Him welled up inside us to the point of bursting and then flooded out from us. We found peace and comfort in the act of worshiping Him, because the worship of God was the most appropriate response. Worshiping God is always appropriate.

Hardship strips away everything else that vies for our attention and leaves us with God alone. “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” – John Piper

©2011 Rob Fischer