“He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10, NIV).
Job faced uncertainty, terrible hardship, and utter despair. Each one of us will also face hardships that spring up to rock our world. Sometimes we don't understand why God doesn't hear us and explain. Crying out in our despair, we yearn to hear from Him and for a promise of peace from the pain of each moment. The truth He does hear and speak to us, but our pain gets in the way. James tells us that we are to “consider it pure joy” when we go through trials because those trials have the potential to produce faith (James 1:2-4). Most of the time, I consider any trial in my life as a lesson, and look for the positive aspects that create greater faith. But sometimes life unexpectedly throws an overwhelming hardship at me that hangs on and hangs on to the point that I feel I am going under. During such a time as this, I long to hear something more than this trial will make my faith stronger. I need to believe that someday it will end―that one day there will be peace. Jesus said that we would have hardship in this world, but we can rest assured that He has overcome the world (John 16:33). In a moment that is too much, I need Him to overcome my world.
Years ago the Lord gave me a verse in Isaiah that encouraged my heart. “'Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?' says the Lord. “'Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?' says your God” (Isaiah 66:9). The Lord always delivers from pain―in His perfect time. When the time for delivery has arrived, the Lord doesn't close up the womb! Release from the intense pain will come. The labor, with its pain before delivery, is my lesson to be learned. The intense joy that comes at my moment of delivery is the promise. He protects me from the pain that would be too much for me to handle-from the pain that would utterly destroy me. “Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son” (Isaiah 66:7). What I may consider the most devastating pain is not as harsh as it might be. God has protected me. He has made my labor easier than it might have been, and has brought me to the point of delivery from it all.
My trial holds the promise of peace. The tribulation which overwhelms my heart promises release. “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised” (Hebrews 10:35-36). I shall be confident of His promise of peace. I will hang on and find His will. I shall believe that His promise is real, and that He will richly reward my diligence. During my time of labor I will discover His truths that will encourage my faith in Him, and trust that the delivery will come. I choose to believe that my weeping lasts for only a night, and that His joy comes with the morning (Psalm 30:5b). I choose to forget the former things, and believe in the promise He has for me (Isaiah 43:18-19). I choose to let go of the former things which have defined me, and believe with all my heart that He has something new for me.
God always knows the way that I take. He is always with me, and I will be delivered. He has not closed up the womb. In His refinement, I am remade in Him―molded as He wishes. Victorious over what might have have destroyed me, I will know that He has overcome my world with His peace. I shall come forth as gold.