Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Parenting in the Real World

Leslie Basham: Walking with God doesn’t mean you’re exempt from walking through trials, but even when we know this to be true, it’s still easy to wonder what we’ve done to deserve suffering. One listener named Sheila wrestled with God over this very thing.

Sheila: Why did I go through so much pain in my life? And He simply said, “Sheila, the things that you consider ‘bad’ in your life are not necessarily bad to Me. Some things are very good.”

Leslie: We’ll hear from other women like Sheila about the purpose of suffering today on Revive Our Hearts podcast Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Adorned, for September 19, 2018.

Over the last couple of days we’ve been in Job chapter 1. We’ve focused on what this passage has to say to parents about raising children in a confusing world. But we also have given perspective to anyone facing tragedies in their lives.

Some women have been listening to this series along with us and many of them know what it’s like to experience pain as parents. We’ll hear their stories, but first Nancy’s going to review some of what we’ve heard this week.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Over the past couple of days, we’ve talked about Job chapter 1: Wisdom and Perspective for Parents (and non-parents as well) from Job chapter 1. Let me just review a little bit of what we talked about, and then I’d like to hear from some of you how the Lord applied these truths to your heart.

We saw at the beginning of Job chapter 1 that Job was a man who walked with God. By God’s description of him, he was a godly man, he had a reputation for integrity, and he was greatly blessed. He was prosperous. He was prominent. He had a lot of wealth, and he was well-esteemed. He had ten precious children. . .

And for a season Job’s family, including his children, enjoyed close relationships and trouble-free lives. As Job’s children grew into adulthood, he continued trying to influence the spiritual condition of his children.

He didn’t assume that his children were all okay, that their hearts were all okay. You can’t always tell what’s going on in a child’s heart by just what’s happening outwardly, can you? I mean, sometimes it’s real obvious, but sometimes a child may look very compliant but, in their heart there are issues: idolatry or issues of . . . I see a lot of heads nodding here.

And this can be true of us, too. What’s on the outside can look good, but there are things stirring in our hearts that really need to be dealt with. So as Job’s children got older, he would pray for them, he would consecrate them to the Lord.

They had this regular thing they did where they would get together at one of the kids’ houses, as they would celebrate special days—maybe birthdays. So, ten kids . . . that’s a lot of parties during the course of the year. But it seems to be that it was a wholesome thing.

But then when they were done, Job would pray, he’d consecrate his children to the Lord, and he would let his kids know this. He would say, “God, I want to make sure that they haven’t sinned or cursed You in their hearts.” He was concerned not just about their behavior, but about what was in their hearts.

And so here’s a man who was influencing the spiritual condition of his children, and he’s doing it continually. He felt what John the apostle felt in 3 John 4: “I have no greater joy than to [know] that my children [walk] in the truth.” So he didn’t stop. And we said to parents, “Don’t ever stop praying for your children and your grandchildren!”

But then we said that Job’s walk with God and his spiritual concern for his children did not make him—or them—immune to crisis. In fact, in a sense, it actually made him—and them—a target of the works of the enemy.

There’s a battle going on in the heavenlies that we can’t see, we don’t understand it fully, but we know it’s going on. Job didn’t know it, but we know it as we read the first chapter of Job and we see that Satan was going up and down throughout the earth. He was active; he was alert; he was aware of Job’s walk with God.

Satan was out to undermine God’s right to rule the universe. So, what’s the best way to get at God? Well, it’s to get at somebody who’s loyal to God. And so Satan asked, and received, permission from God to bring affliction into Job’s life.

With God’s knowledge, with God’s permission and even, in a sense, with God’s prompting, Satan went after Job—within limits! God said, “You can go this far and no further.” Keep that in mind.

As Warren Wiersbe has said, that great Bible teacher of the last generation, “When God puts His children in the furnace, He keeps his eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat.” That’s what we see in Job chapter 1. God knows how long, how far, how much He’s going to allow the enemy to do.

But Satan’s cruel! He caused considerable, profound loss and pain. He comes to “to steal . . . [to] kill and [to] destroy” (John 10:10). And Job’s faithful prayers for his children didn’t keep that disaster from striking.

A godly life is a good thing, and it will protect you from some natural consequences of sinful choices, but it’s not going to protect you from experiencing sorrow or suffering or loss. And these trials in Job’s life, I think it’s important that we remember this . . . and that as parents, you remember this when you’re heavy-hearted for your children who need a work of grace in their lives.

Remember that these trials—the loss of his children, the loss of his possessions—they were not the result of some sin or some defect in Job’s life or in his children’s lives. That’s important to remember!

Now, that doesn’t mean that anybody has ever been a perfect parent, including Job. There’s no such thing! Job needed to be sanctified; you need to be sanctified; I need to be sanctified. God uses pressures and problems as a tool to do that. But these trials were not the result of some sin or deficiency in Job’s life or his children’s lives.

So then we see Job’s response. He had prayed that his children would not curse God in their hearts, but then when he got all of this taken away from him, his temptation was to curse God in his heart. Now to curse doesn’t mean, necessarily, that you lash out in some outward, angry way.

It could mean just to think less of God, not to think well of God, to think lightly of God, to overlook God, to just wall yourself off from God (that’s sometimes what we want to do in times of affliction, right?).

It could mean to resent God or to be angry with Him. Even Job’s wife said, “Why don’t you just curse God and die?” (see Job 2:9) “Maybe He’ll put us out of this misery!” She was a hurting woman, too.

But Job, “in all [of] this did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:10). He did not curse God. He did not charge God with doing wrong—even though there was no way he could begin to understand what God had done, or why.

Job trusted that God was writing a story that Job could not see. It wasn’t about Job. It was about God, His glory and His story, and about blessing and strengthening Job’s faith—and ours now, generations later. Job let God write that bigger story.

And then we saw that in the end—in God’s way and in God’s time—God more than restored what Job had lost! Nothing brought those ten children back, but Job and his prayers and his life example, I believe, had prepared those children to die.

Now, we don’t know that they were believers, but I look at the man that Job was and the way he had prayed, and I think they certainly had had every chance to believe in God—and maybe they had. “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25 NIV). That’s ultimately what, sometimes, you just have to say. That’s what we trust.

But God gave him ten more children. You say, “I want the children I had! I don’t want ten more children!” You’ve got to trust God to write your story. We have to trust God to write our story; Job had to trust God to write his story.

So in the middle of pain and confusion and difficulty, James 5:11 (we looked at the it at the end of the session yesterday) says that we look at the steadfastness of Job and we see that, in the end, he saw “the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”

It didn’t seem like a compassionate, merciful God in Job chapter 1, did it? But we know that He is compassionate and merciful and that He is purposeful in all that He does. So Job was steadfast in holding to God when he could not see God, could not see God’s purposes, could not understand what God was doing.

And then it says, in James 5, “Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast.” Job was a blessed man. We talk about Job as a man who suffered greatly—the anguish, the pain, the heartache he went through. Is “blessed” an adjective you use when you think of Job? The Scripture says he was blessed.

And the lesson to us is those who are steadfast in trusting the purposes of God—that He’s compassionate and that He is merciful—will be blessed. And do you notice how it says there, “You have heard of the steadfastness of Job” (James 5:11).

Job lived thousands of years ago, but today we’re sitting and talking about his life, his witness, his prayers, his godliness, his trust in God, his steadfastness under pressure. That’s what we’ve heard about him.

Now, we could be hearing something very different if Job’s response had been different. So the question is, “What will people hear about you, about me, a year or two or ten or a generation from now?”

If they hear about our life circumstances, will they hear that we were steadfast, will they be able to look back on our life and say that we saw the purpose of God—how the Lord is compassionate and merciful and that we were blessed?

So, in just a few moments, that’s a big look at what we talked about over the last couple of days. I know as we were talking that God was speaking to hearts, that things were going around in your minds and your hearts.

You were picturing yourself in certain circumstances, things you’d experienced; some of you shared some of that with me. So I’d love to have an opportunity, now, for you just to share out of your own journey what you’ve experienced along these lines.

How have you proved God’s Word to be true and His ways to be true? How have you experienced that in your own journey. Colleen came up to me after the session and shared something I thought was very meaningful as an application of this passage, so we’ll start with her.

Colleen: One of my life’s verses after I became a mom was: “I have no greater joy than to [see] that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 4). That’s been my heart; it’s been a blessing. When the Lord got hold of my heart, I just counted it a high calling.

It’s all part of the biblical womanhood that it’s the real deal. I wanted to live authentically and for them to know the Lord, not just to know about Him, but to see that through my example.

So I poured my life (and my husband, too, we were on the same page there) into that. And things were all going well, and our kids were raised. Our daughter, our oldest, was in college.

When she was twenty she was helping at a therapeutic horse-riding place. She was helping to see whether or not a horse was going to be suitable. It wasn’t. She got thrown off the horse and ended up just breaking a wrist. But as a result of that, she ended up developing a really rare pain disability called “reflex sympathetic dystrophy” or “comprehensive regional pain syndrome.”

They don’t know why it happens. It’s a chronic condition. They went to gallant efforts to try to get her into remission. That’s what they initially tried to do, to get her brain to turn off this pain signal.

She was able to, for about nine months, go back and forth from college to home having these treatments. But subsequently it started creeping up her arm, and it didn’t go away. It’s debilitating. She describes it as “being on fire, wrapped in barbed wire.”

She ended up having to drop out of college. We were very aggressive in pursuing getting her treatment for that—which didn’t happen. It just kind of continued to spread. She was in hospitals and, I mean, we were probably four or five days a week (I kid you not, for a couple of years) going to different therapists just to really try to treat this condition.

She ended up having to drop out of school. At one point she was in a wheelchair, not able to be in an apartment, moving back home with us. She’s still back home with us now. And so we’re walking out: “Where is God in the midst of this?”

She was actively involved in Christian organizations in college. And then seeing your friends . . . It’s part of a process where you have a lot of friends initially, but life goes on. So it’s very lonely. It’s a lonely place. Then trying to go forward and trying to see God in the midst of the affliction. She’s the Job.

In fact, as you were sharing, I just opened my Bible to Job and saw I had written on June 25, 2010 and I had put my daughter’s name next to it. It’s Job 30:16-17, and it says “And now my soul is poured out because of my plight; the days of affliction take hold of me. My bones are pierced in me at night and my gnawing pain takes no rest” (NKJV).

And that’s what it is. She has just this chronic pain. So trying to come alongside her and encourage her when there is no “cure” for this. But God knows.

In our family we have experienced miraculous healing of another sort, and so we know God does heal. But He’s chosen . . . We have to come back to remember, this isn’t God’s Plan B. This is God’s Plan A.

I remember when she was in Cleveland Clinic for a long period of time. I heard a sermon, and it was talking about this miraculous healing vs. the Corinthians passage about the thorn in the flesh and the sufficiency of God’s grace.

The pastor had said, “I ask you this question: is it a greater miracle for God in a single moment of time to miraculously heal somebody or to supply them the sufficiency of His grace, His power in the weakness, to live day after day after day in affliction or in a difficult place?”

We talked about that a lot. We talk about appropriating the grace of God, because that’s the promise that she has in the midst of her affliction. And I tell her, “You’re in the middle of your testimony. God’s writing your story.”

But we’re still in the wilderness, and my most honest prayers have been (my husband and I lying in bed), “You know, God!” It comes from that place of the Holy Spirit gripping you. We don’t even know what to pray in the midst of that for her, but He does know.

His grace is sufficient, and so we don’t know the end of the story yet for her, but it’s just been so good . . . this passage in Job where you were talking about that a godly life will not protect you from experiencing sorrow and suffering and lost. And just not allowing that to lead us to that embitterment, because sometimes it can, when we’re doing fine and then we have setbacks.

But continue walking obediently, and it can’t be from afar, because nobody has any answers, so it has to continually be pressing in to the One who knows and the One who sustains and the One whose grace is sufficient.

Nancy: From a mama’s heart . . .

Colleen: Oh, yes! Sometimes if you’re born with a disability, then it becomes part of the norm. But, you know, you’re healthy. Your life’s all in front of you, and then all the sudden you have this what appears like . . . It doesn’t make sense to her, and so just trusting God in the midst of what we don’t understand.

Nancy: I’m thinking about Job’s perspective, that his life was on an even keel and going really well, and then swoosh! All this disaster comes, but he recognized that God was the Giver of every good gift, and that God had the right to give and to take away.

That’s why instead of cursing God in his heart—thinking less of God or worse of God—he could say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

Karen: Several times today I’ve heard the phrase: “the story that God is writing in our lives.” In my Bible I have a little sticky note with a quote on it. (I don’t know the origin of this quote.) It says, “Disappointment with God is nothing more than a premature conclusion causing you to stop breathing before the end of the story and thus in feeling your ability to pray.”

I was thinking about the prodigal situation. When we first realized that our son’s young adulthood was not going to go the way that we had hoped and envisioned, we were so devastated and confused and disillusioned and hurt and ashamed and everything that goes along with that.

The pain was just unbearable! That’s one of the things that really took me down in the depths of the despair in the mid-90s. But there came a day, later on—much later on, after I had had such a renewal with the Lord—that the pain and disillusionment and shame and feelings of betrayal changed.

I had such a heart for my sons to know the grace and freedom and the joy of walking in forgiveness. Since then, that journey has taken on a whole different perspective. When it first started we thought, Oh a few months of this, and we’ll fast and pray, and things will turn around. It will be good.

I’m always kind of hesitate to share this part for people that might be early on in a journey, but it turned into a year and then two years, then five years, and now thirty years. But this past year, I’m seeing glimpses of hope and restoration in our family. I don’t know exactly how God works all things and how they all fit, but I do know that He has probably changed me more than He will ever need to change anybody else in my family.

And through that and the patience and perseverance and the difference in the way I feel toward my sons and the situations that we’ve had, I can say that now . . .

I used to say, “I’m just so weary of this. I can’t do this anymore!” And now I’m saying, “You know what? I’m doing this ’til my dying breath. I don’t have to see it.” In Hebrews it talks about those who walked in faith didn’t get to see all the promise.

I feel stronger and more determined in these last years than I ever thought possible with that. And now, of course, I’m seeing the glimpses of hope and restoration that is pretty amazing to me right now.

Nancy: Praise God! Yes. Thirty years seems like an eternity to a mother with a needy child, but in the scheme and scope of eternity, it really isn’t. It’s trusting God to write your story in His time and in His way.

I don’t think anything does that any more powerfully in a woman’s life than to have this waiting on a husband or a child to see the light. To pray and exercise faith and to wait on the Lord, saying, “If I don’t ever see the answer to these prayers, I’m going to be faithful in doing my part, crying out to the Lord.” I know that He doesn’t owe us anything, but He hears those cries, those prayers, of those pleading mothers.

God is not silent; He’s not absent. He is at work in ways we cannot see. He is moving; He is working. That’s where the faith springs up in a mom’s heart and the sanctification takes place. And then sometimes God will give the joy!

Some of my friends have seen that joy, some haven’t, as they’re waiting on the Lord to come through on behalf of their children.

Woman: Well, now that Karen’s got me emotional (I don’t want to be emotional but), our journey with the prodigal is fairly new—in terms of thirty years. After multiple years of unfaithfulness, our son left his little family a year-and-a-half ago.

I want to be like Job. Iit says that even though he tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground, he worshiped! And that struck me today, that he lost everything precious to him, and he worshipped. He chose worship!

I loved the thoughts from the second session (and Colleen talked about this a little bit). The godly life that we poured into our children . . . My husband and I the whole time we had our children and poured into them the best we knew how and taught them about Jesus and His love.

Then to see one of your children walk away from that and abandon everything that they’ve ever known about God . . . But I don’t want this to be wasted. I love the thought that even though we live a godly life, it’s not going to protect us from pain and sorrow.

I love the thought that nothing gets past God! He is the ultimate sovereign over every circumstance that He gives us. All His attributes are present in His sovereignty: His goodness (and we can testify to that), His faithfulness, His mercy, His grace. . .

In this season of my husband and I just bowing before the Lord with . . . we don’t even know what to pray anymore, we still see God’s goodness and faithfulness. One way we’ve seen this is in a renewed relationship with our son’s ex-wife, now, and her two sweet, little children. We see blessings in the midst of trials.

I wrote it down: “Trust God to write my story!” That’s what I want to be. I just want be trusting and faithful to serve Him continuously, even in the midst of pain, and that somehow our story can be used to encourage and bless another family.

Nancy: And it will. Thank you for sharing that.

Sheila: My name is Sheila, and I was a prodigal daughter. I suffered from alcoholism for over six years, and I remember a specific time when my mom was really desperate. Hurtful words came out of her mouth towards me.

At that end of it all she said, “God, You’ve blessed me with everything else! I am reaching everything else, but You’ve taken my daughter away. Just take all my success and bring back my daughter!”

I’ve never forgotten that. I’ve been in and out of rehab (this is my third time). I’m still at the SPA women’s ministry, which stands for “Spiritual and Personal Adjustments.”

My third time around, experiencing God is kind of different now. I remember there was a time I was in the basement and I was doing my homework. I asked God, “Why did I get molested at six years old? It’s such a tender age. Why did I go through so much pain in my life?”

And He simply said, “Sheila, the things that you consider ‘bad’ in your life are not necessarily bad to Me. Some things are very good.”

And I’m like, “Wow! Me being molested at six or me suffering from alcoholism and hurting people and using people is good to You!?”

He said, “Well, think about this: now you have a burdened heart to reach out to others that are suffering because you’ve experienced Me, you’ve experienced healing. Yes, you were molested, but you don’t want other children to go through that.”

And you know, He gave me so much peace and freedom. Every day I believe I’m walking in some sort of freedom I don’t think anybody can walk through that unless you experience God Himself. And Romans 8:28: He will work out everything good for those who are walking in His purposes.

So, God is good. To all women who are kind of losing hope, God is really good every day! He’s changing my life every day, and I love Him!

Nancy: And I bet your mother is really encouraged, because God’s bringing her daughter back

Sheila: Yes, yes!

Nancy: She prayed for that; she prayed for you. And God’s opening your eyes. Now, we want to be clear that getting molested, molestation, these things that happen in a fallen sinful world, these are not good things. These are evil, wicked things, and God hates that.

God hates what Satan did to Job and his family. Satan is destructive and God hates that, but God is a redeeming God who is able to make beauty out of ashes (see Isaiah 61:3). What the enemy intends for evil, God is able to take and turn for good. It’s a math that doesn’t work in our human thinking, but it’s God’s way of thinking.

You can come to accept the story that’s been your life and to say, “This isn’t the way it was intended back in the Garden of Eden, this wasn’t the way it was all supposed to go. None of this was supposed to be there!” But God has let men live out the results of their foolish choices, and, as a result, we have a lot of the pain and suffering in the world today.

But God is redeeming people and their lives out of destruction. That’s what He’s doing for Sheila. Sheila, you are going to be an instrument. You are an instrument of blessing and grace in some lives of other women because of letting God do that work in your life, so praise God! So glad to have these sisters here with us today.

Deb: At the tender of age of in my late fifties, I became a mother all over again! After raising my family, my mother who had severe dementia and in-stage heart failure, came to live with me. We were in the clinic, and when the nurses were talking to her, she pointed to me and she said, “She’s my mother.”

And I said, “That’s right, Mom. You were my mom, and now I’m your mom.” When you go through a trial, God doesn’t say, “Chill out, Deb! Don’t worry about this. I got this, and it’s only going to be a year, so you’ll be off the hook in a year.” You don’t know what is happening and how long it’s going to happen.

I had always been a very independent woman, working as a nurse for forty-two years, and when I took my mother in I felt like my freedom wings had been clipped! We have a band, and our band goes out and performs.

So I had this mom, who our introduction at Christmastime, was her coming out and screaming, “Shut up!” at the Christmas party that we had. So it was really hard to take! But my mom was a godly, Spirit-filled woman who loved the Lord.

She would sing every song she knew, and she’d get you to sing every song she knew. She was with me for a year, and she died. I was so sorry for ever having any impatient attitude. I always treated my mother very well.

I used to complain when I’d be taking care of critical care mothers of others patients, and I used to say, “Lord, I’m taking care of this mother. I should be taking care of my own!” And He gave me that opportunity for a year. I mean, if I could go back and do it over again . . .

I’m not talking about having a bad attitude out in the open. I’m talking about the inner attitude of impatience and discouragement and wondering when you’re going to get out of this trial. Well, now I would long for one day to be able to take my mommy in my arms again and to hug her, but she’s with Jesus now. So that’s my story.

Woman 2: We never know the result of the furnace until retrospect. He is so at work in the middle of these horrid circumstances that we cannot see the big picture of. That’s why I look at Job and what did he do? He was surrendered before he lost everything, and it was evident in the way he responded.

That’s why, if there’s one thing I adore about the Revive Our Hearts message, it’s, “Yes, Lord!” We wave it [the white handkerchief of surrender]. Then when it happens and we have to actually be believable in our circumstances, we’ve got a little bit of track record with Jesus.

We will stand, by God’s grace. We’re not going to do it alone because there are a few girlfriends out there who are on the same page as we all are. We are going to make it to the finish line, and that’s going to be my life message until Jesus comes back—the “finish well” message!

There are too many Christians who are falling in these Job circumstances, and they’re not standing through it. We have got to encourage each other and love each other through these things!

Nancy: Amen!

Woman 3: I loved what you said, that Satan is cruel, and he caused Job unimaginable pain. There may be no human explanation for this pain. Don’t try to connect the dots—trust God. I was just thinking, We need a really good theology of suffering so that we can be good listeners, and how we respond . . .

We may not say too much to them, or we may not even say anything at first. We may just cry with them and weep with them and encourage and bring them to the Word and help them to see Jesus. But I really loved that: don’t try to connect the dots. We don’t have answers sometimes. We don’t, so we just go to Jesus.

Nancy: Good word!

Marybeth: Verse 5, “And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them . . . For Job said, ‘It may be that my children [may] have sinned, and cursed God in their heart. . .’ Thus [did] Job. . .continually.”

But verse 4, it talks about the feasts that they had and the fun they had! You mentioned it must be a party and stuff. Well, I really enjoyed being a mom of littles, and in verse 5 it said that day’s coming to an end. And then, I can kind of grieve about that.

I didn’t realize, maybe, maybe I held them too tightly. I didn’t know my identity was wrapped up so tight in being a mom. But your words reminded me of verses 5, 6, and 7: Job continued to pray for their hearts as they went in their adulthood. This is what I’ve prayed for since the day they were little. . .

I have a job to do—to continually to know their hearts. Job did it continually. Some days I’ve felt like a bad mom often, because we’ve lost a lot of lives. I’m the youngest. My aunts and uncles died. Since I’ve been three, I’ve known death. It’s like, “Another one went to Heaven!”

But when we lost my father-in-law and my mother-in-law, and they were my kids’ best friends, I kept on saying, “God will either heal Grandpa here or in Heaven.” I’m always preparing them for the next life!

It encouraged me today. So thank you. You encouraged me that my job’s not done; it just looks different. Job did that for me today. Thanks!

Nancy: Great, thank you, Marybeth. Very sweet!

Carrie: I was thinking, Nancy, as you were teaching and talking about how a godly life doesn’t ensure that we’re not going to suffer. I think most of us in the room would agree with that and counsel one another with that truth.

But oftentimes when we get in the middle of a dark place or a difficulty—whether it’s a prodigal child or an affliction in our own spiritual walk—we often go to that place of thinking, What have I done?

And it’s not wrong. I think you said this: It’s a good thing to ask, “Lord, what are you showing me? Is there something in my life that I’m not even aware of?” But I kept thinking, as you were teaching, about a time in my own life when I ended up in a really dark place and, though I would have told you and everyone else, “Just because you’re suffering doesn’t mean that there’s sin in your life.”

I didn’t really believe that. And the evidence of that was in the fact that I kept looking for the sin in my life that would get me out of it. I mean like, obsessively looking, like going through every spiritual evaluation I could think of to find the sin that would get me out of these circumstances of my own “dark night of the soul.”

It was so much so that Dennis came home one night, and I’m reading another book on something that would show me my sin. My husband’s not a violent man, but he took the book out of my hand, and he’s like, “Car! No more!” And he throws the book across the room!

I so wanted to get out of that dark place, and I can’t quote it, Nancy, what you say, but often what we think we believe is true is really revealed in how we respond in the midst of suffering when we’re being squeezed.

I thought today that was a gift. The Lord was showing me that I did have some level of that belief, that if I’m living a certain way then I won’t suffer. But just so many ways that the Lord is, He’s always good! He’s always setting us free of things we don’t even know exist in our own belief system.

Nancy: Affliction is one of the ways God does that. It presses things to the surface that just need to be sanctified. That’s what Job did for his children: he prayed, he consecrated them to the Lord. So that process that God is about is not an easy one; it’s not a pain free one. It’s one that requires steadfastness.

“Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast.You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11).

I heard Pastor John Piper say years ago in a Mother’s Day sermon on the suffering of motherhood, and I’ve never forgotten it. I’ve told many people this in many situations over the years. Let me leave you with this today.

“In every circumstance and situation of our lives, God is always doing a thousand different things that we cannot see and we do not know. You may see one or two or ten things that God’s doing, and you think that’s it. But there’s a thousand things that God is doing that you cannot see and you do not know!”

That was in a message on the suffering of motherhood . . . because there’s no motherhood or parenthood or grandparenthood or Christian life, for that matter, without suffering. But it has purpose!

“You have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” And we just need to keep counseling our hearts with that story until we really believe it and know it’s true.

Leslie: That’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wrapping up a series called "Wisdom for Parents, from Job Chapter 1."

Today we heard from several moms who have walked through trying times as parents. I hope this series has provided you with fresh hope and insight as a parent. As any mom would agree, parenting is tough! And no matter what age your kids are, there are a lot of mundane tasks that come with motherhood. It’s easy to feel insignificant or discouraged when you’re buried knee-deep in dirty laundry!

Author Erin Davis writes candidly about her personal journey as a mom in her book Beyond Bath Time. She shares how turning to God’s Word for answers helped her find purpose and fulfillment as a mom. I know Beyond Bath Time will be a huge encouragement to moms, to help you think beyond the nitty-gritty details of raising kids . . . and catch God’s bigger vision for motherhood!

You can request a copy of Erin’s book and read her story for yourself when you support the ministry of Revive Our Hearts with a gift of any amount. Just call us at 1–800–569–5959, or you can visit us online at ReviveOurHearts.com and request the book Beyond Bathtime.

It seems like every time you turn on the news, people are talking about the important issue of domestic abuse. Tomorrow we’ll hear a pastor giving solid biblical perspective on abuse in marriage and what to make of our current discussion. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts, with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, wants you to find hope in the middle of suffering. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the ESV unless otherwise noted.

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