JOB 6:14 - Berean Lamp Memory Verse - (Mar 6-13)
The Berean Lamp Memory Verse for this week is:
“For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty” (Job 6:14).
We weren’t created to suffer, yet there are many ways to suffer in this world. We can suffer loss of something we had, we can suffer deprivation of something we feel we need, we can suffer emotional or physical injuries, and on and on it goes. Depending on the depth of our pain, our natural resilience, or the grace God affords us in it, we may be able to still function and have a “normal” life. Others may be so completely overwhelmed that they are completely consumed by it and must devote all their energy to relief.
Often, suffering nurtures in us a sense of betrayal. We instinctively know suffering isn’t right—it isn’t how it should be. Why did God, our loving and just Father, create us in a world that could harm us? Was that his plan? If we know the Gospel, we know it was our rebellion against Him that brought suffering into the world. And that God's will has never been suffering. What is more, He is going to end all suffering one day in eternity. Yet, this can be small comfort when we are suffering.
Furthermore, we know God is capable of healing us and it would not take any effort for Him to do so, so why does He allow us to suffer? The truth is that suffering is simply the reality of the rebellious world - one which will be corrected under Jesus's rule. In the meantime, we are called to endure suffering for doing good. And we have this promise that just as Christ was glorified through what He suffered, we will be too.
Still, in the meantime, no one likes to be in pain, and we look for relief and repair. And when it doesn’t come, we can despair. And in that despair, we are tempted to accuse God, tempted to forsake the fear of the Almighty. Satan is behind these attacks, as our suffering is the perfect opportunity to accuse God to us. The devil's oppression through suffering can be very great, for our hearts and minds are fixed on God and yet we often must endure it for some time. Our emotions can lash out at God because we don't understand what is happening or why it is happening. All the while, satan is accusing God to us and oppressing us. Suffering for doing good (or being a Believer) is persecution. But God's Word tells us that The Lord understands our suffering - more than we could possibly know through Jesus Christ. We have help in times of trouble through Him.
Let's look this week at what the Scriptures say about the oppression of suffering in this life.
Suffering is a terrible part of this fallen life - not something to be minimized or generalized. May we endure the oppression of suffering, giving our minds and hearts to our Savior, rather than to the accusing whispers of the deceiver. And may we overflow with kindness to the suffering. May we encourage and support and empathize with those who are oppressed, so they are not hurt further. Amen.
Other verses to consider:
WAIT ON THE LORD
“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:13-14).
THE PAIN OF OPPRESSION
“He has driven me and made me walk in darkness and not in light. Surely against me He has turned His hand repeatedly all the day” (Lamentations 3:2-3).
“I will say to God my rock, ‘Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?’” (Psalm 42:9)
“Why do You hide Your face and forget our affliction and our oppression?” (Psalm 44:24)
“For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, their poison my spirit drinks; The terrors of God are arrayed against me” (Job 6:4).
“Know then that God has wronged me and has closed His net around me. Behold, I cry, ‘Violence!’ but I get no answer; I shout for help, but there is no justice. He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass, and He has put darkness on my paths. He has stripped my honor from me and removed the crown from my head. He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone; And He has uprooted my hope like a tree. He has also kindled His anger against me and considered me as His enemy. His troops come together, and build up their way against me and camp around my tent.” (Job 19:6-12)
“Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Am I the sea, or the sea monster, that You set a guard over me? If I say, ‘My bed will comfort me, My couch will ease my complaint,’ then You frighten me with dreams and terrify me by visions; So that my soul would choose suffocation, death rather than my pains. I waste away; I will not live forever. Leave me alone, for my days are but a breath.” (Job 7:11-16)
“Do you intend to reprove my words, when the words of one in despair belong to the wind?” (Job 6:26)
“I am the man who has seen affliction because of the rod of His wrath. He has driven me and made me walk in darkness and not in light. Surely against me He has turned His hand repeatedly all the day. He has caused my flesh and my skin to waste away, He has broken my bones. He has besieged and encompassed me with bitterness and hardship. In dark places He has made me dwell, like those who have long been dead. He has walled me in so that I cannot go out; He has made my chain heavy. Even when I cry out and call for help, He shuts out my prayer. He has blocked my ways with hewn stone; He has made my paths crooked. He is to me like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in secret places. He has turned aside my ways and torn me to pieces; He has made me desolate. He bent His bow and set me as a target for the arrow. He made the arrows of His quiver to enter into my inward parts. I have become a laughingstock to all my people, their mocking song all the day. He has filled me with bitterness, He has made me drunk with wormwood. He has broken my teeth with gravel; He has made me cower in the dust. My soul has been rejected from peace; I have forgotten happiness. So I say, ‘My strength has perished, and so has my hope from the Lord.’” (Lamentations 3:1-18)
“But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue with God...Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him...Behold now, I have prepared my case; I know that I will be vindicated.” (Job 13:3, 15, 18)
“My enemies without cause hunted me down like a bird; They have silenced me in the pit and have placed a stone on me. Waters flowed over my head; I said, ‘I am cut off!’ I called on Your name, O Lord, out of the lowest pit. You have heard my voice, ‘Do not hide Your ear from my prayer for relief, from my cry for help.’ You drew near when I called on You; You said, ‘Do not fear!’ O Lord, You have pleaded my soul’s cause; You have redeemed my life. O Lord, You have seen my oppression; Judge my case.” (Lamentations 3:52-59)
“Even when I cry out and call for help, He shuts out my prayer. He has blocked my ways with hewn stone; He has made my paths crooked” (Lamentations 3:8-9).
“If I called and He answered me, I could not believe that He was listening to my voice. For He bruises me with a tempest and multiplies my wounds without cause. He will not allow me to get my breath, But saturates me with bitterness” (Job 9:16-18).
TURN AGAIN TO GOD
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32).
THE LORD HAS NOT FORGOTTEN YOU
“Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. The Lord performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel” (Psalm 103:5-7).
“Who made heaven and earth, The sea and all that is in them; Who keeps faith forever; Who executes justice for the oppressed; Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free” (Psalm 146:6-7).
“He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him” (Proverbs 14:31).
“The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble; And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You” (Psalm 9:9-10).
“For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:19-21)
“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes will see and not another. My heart faints within me!” (Job 19:25-27)
“But it is still my consolation, and I rejoice in unsparing pain, that I have not denied the words of the Holy One” (Job 6:10).
“Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he should bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone and be silent since He has laid it on him. Let him put his mouth in the dust, perhaps there is hope. Let him give his cheek to the smiter, let him be filled with reproach. For the Lord will not reject forever, for if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness. For He does not afflict willingly or grieve the sons of men.” (Lamentations 3:19-33)
“Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him. This also will be my salvation, For a godless man may not come before His presence” (Job 13:15-16).
“I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.’ I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:2-6)
JOB AND THE PROPHETS ARE AN EXAMPLE TO US
“As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful” (Job 5:10-11).
JESUS KNOWS MORE ABOUT SUFFERING THAN ANYONE
“He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:3-4)
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16).
“My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me” (Matthew 26:38b).
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46b)
THE PROMISE OF RELIEF IN THE RESURRECTION
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).
“For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:5).
“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:8-11).