I Know that My Redeemer Lives

Everybody faces adversity in life.

Some adversity we bring on ourselves by our own poor choices. Eating too much and exercising too little for most of my adult life have led to type II diabetes and way too much weight for my body to be healthy. That is not God's fault, and it is not the devil's, either.

Some adversity is the result of others' poor choices. A drunk driver crosses the center line and causes an accident that maims or kills a driver coming the other way, minding their own business and driving responsibly. Actions have consequences, and the consequences can affect others, not just ourselves.

Some adversity seems targeted. It's amazing how often I drive from Dayton to Lafayette along SR 38 and hit red lights at four of the six traffic signals at I-65, in front of the Subaru plant and at Veteran's Memorial Parkway. It's like my car is targeted. Shirley can drive through there and hit every light green. It seems like some red-light demon is attacking me and my schedule by all the stop-and-go driving.

Of course, there is much greater adversity that hits our lives than stopping at some traffic lights. Illness, betrayal by someone we love, a financial loss, flooding or tornado or a house fire, the death of a loved one. Life can leave us battered and scarred, and wondering "why?"

Why can't the world be good and safe? Why do bad things happen? Why doesn't God do something? Worse yet, is God angry at me and causing this bad thing to happen?

The Bible character Job faced more calamity in a couple of weeks than most of us do in a lifetime. His property and livestock were stolen or destroyed. His servants were murdered. All his sons and daughters were killed when the roof of his son's house collapsed on them. Then he was afflicted with painful sores all over his body.

Some "friends" came to "comfort" Job, and ended up accusing him. Surely Job must have sinned in some way and brought all these calamitous things on himself, they reasoned. Even Job's wife told him he should just curse God and die.

But Job held on to his faith in the living God. "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand on the earth," Job proclaims against the tragedy and pain. (Job 19:25 NIV)

In the midst of the troubles of life, it can be difficult to hold on to our faith. We just want God to take the pain away and make it all better. Or we want God to protect us from the sources of the pain in the first place. From some primal place in our hearts we reason, "I love the Lord and I'm doing my best to serve Him. Surely that means He will protect me from evil."

But everybody faces adversity in life. No one is exempt. No one skates through life without troubles and trials. Because this world is fallen and sin affects everything.

God's perfect kingdom of peace, without illness or sorrow or death or pain, is coming, but it is not here, yet. With Job, we have the opportunity to remember in the midst of every hard thing that our Redeemer lives, and some day He will stand on the earth! And when He does, He will right every wrong and heal every hurt.

In the meantime, life is messy. And God is good. And Jesus never forsakes us. And the way we face adversity makes a witness to the world of how faith makes a difference and how faithful the Lord is.

Bring the pain and the "why" to Jesus. He understands. He will give grace to not only survive, but to come to victory. The Cross and the sealed tomb were not the end of the story. I know that my Redeemer lives! And in the midst of whatever adversity comes in my life, that is enough.

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