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  • Virginia Brown

We Have a Choice

A fellow pastor recently shared this profound insight with me regarding the story of Job: “Job’s suffering was not caused by his sin, but Job sinned in his suffering.” Here’s how the Lord has applied this comment to my own heart.

Bad things happen. Whether it’s cancer or criticism, this world is not my home, and suffering is a guarantee (Acts 14:22). Like Job, some tragedy may befall us that lies completely outside of our purview. We cannot control much of the suffering we encounter. It simply happens to us, and so in some sense we are powerless to stop it. However, this observation does not mean that we are powerless in how we respond to suffering. For Job, he did not control what befell him, but he did control his response to what befell him. What God has impressed upon my heart is the simple idea that I have a choice in how I response to the bad things that happen to me.

In short: life is unfair but that doesn’t mean I have to sulk about it. By the grace of God, we can respond to adversity in a godly manner. The victimhood culture will tell you that you can’t control life or your response, but that’s not true. While the Bible teaches that some evil may occur to us that we have no ability to stop, we can always, in every situation, express thanksgiving (1 Thess 5:18). Don’t lose sight of this essential Christian teaching.

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