Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Job 22:21 Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.
Knowing God for Who He really is has a wonderful changing effect on people.
The reason is that most people have a completely wrong idea of what God is like. The cause of that? Our whole culture is working against us. We weren’t born in a society of saved people. Our neighbors, the people at work, our school teachers, tv shows, newspaper stories, many church leaders, perhaps our parents, have been teaching us falsehoods about God since the time we first began to understand words! If they knew Him as He really is, they wold be serving and enjoying and loving and devoting themselves fully to Him. But since they aren’t, you have been most (or all) of your life living in an atmosphere not conducive to acquiring the right picture of God.
Our culture is a lot like what Paul described in Romans 1:25
Romans 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever…
Such people “bring God down to their level”, and think they can deal with God as equals.
And Satan is encouraging them to think that way.
2 Corinthians 4:4 … the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
So how to correct the picture? Where do we start?
Begin by looking at what He says about Himself in the Bible. Life’s experiences will bear out what God says in the Bible.
Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.
Psalm 33:5 He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
Psalms 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation…
Once you let God reveal Himself to us through the Word, life’s experiences begin .to affirm what we read.
A closing point: Evaluate life’s experiences in the light of the Word. This is important, because we can easily get the wrong lessons from life due to the distortions fed into our minds by Satan. We’ll be asking the perennial question “Why did something bad happen to that family? They’re so obedient to God.”
Job suffered, but didn’t ask such a question about why evil was befalling him.
Joseph was accused by Potiphar’s wife when he kept himself pure in the face of her immoral advances.
Start with Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. See the power and goodness and wisdom of God in the life of Jesus.
In the light of that understanding, read what happened to Job and Joseph, to Abraham and Lot, to Hannah mother of Samuel, to Zachary and Elizabeth.
You will understand that God is able to bring a greater good out of trouble, that makes the trouble more than worth our while to endure it.