“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 shake our lives. Crying out in our despair, we yearn to hear from Him and for a promise of peace from the torment. The truth is that He does hear and speak, but our pain gets in the way. James writes 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 look for the positive aspects in a hardship which will create greater faith. But sometimes an overwhelming hardship hangs on until the point where I believe I am going under. At that moment I long to know that one day my hardship will end―that one day I will have peace. Jesus said that I would have hardship in this world, but I can rest assured that He has overcome the world (John 16:33). In a time that is too hard for me to handle, I need Him to overcome my world.
“'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, NIV). The Lord brings delivery from my overwhelming hardship―in His perfect time. My spiritual maturity grows as the development of my promise progresses. I will remember that the Lord doesn't close up the womb, but also with delivery comes His promise. “Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son” (Isaiah 66:7). God protects me from the intense pain of labor at the time of delivery. He knows what I can handle and what I can't. He allows just enough hardship during my pregnancy to make me reach a little higher trusting in Him. But He protects me from the hardship that would utterly destroy me. What I may consider the worst struggle in my pregnancy is not. God protects me. He makes my delivery easier than I anticipate or worry about, and brings forth His promise.
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, NIV). 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 richly rewards my diligence. During my time of spiritual pregnancy, 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, 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 otherwise destroyed me, I will know that He has overcome my world with His peace. Like Job I shall come forth as gold.