What My Dad Taught Me (Part 1)
Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (ESV)
On Sunday, my Bible Fellowship class discussed Job. It got me thinking about suffering. Job did not experience suffering because he had sinned. Although many times the choices we make lead to suffering, we cannot always equate our suffering with sin we have committed or someone else has committed against us.
Also, Job did not suffer because God was angry with him. In fact, chapter 1 of Job tells how God bragged on Job. God mentioned Job to Satan as an example of a faithful and righteous man. Satan, in turn, attacked Job on every front in an effort to make Job turn his back on God.
What if, and stay with me here, this is the rule and not the exception? What if God brags on His children more than we realize? This does not seem so far fetched when we consider that God sees His children through the blood of Christ. Scripture does not reveal many conversations between God and Satan, so maybe the few that are revealed are meant to show us a normal exchange between them.
What if our suffering is related more to what we are doing right than what we are doing wrong?
My dad, David Lingo, is one of the most godly men I know, and he is battling dementia. I shared details of the disease’s progression and how it has affected our family in an earlier post. He is a man who has spent his entire life serving the Lord. He was a missionary kid who grew up to go to Bible college and return to the mission field. He was a pastor and professor who spent 20 years training college students to go to the mission field once God called him back to the United States. Now, when he should be enjoying his retirement, his mind is dramatically impaired. What if God is allowing this suffering to show Satan who the truly faithful are? What if God said to Satan, “Have you considered my servants the Lingo family?” To which Satan replied, “If you take David away, the whole family will crumble.”
I know I have taken some creative liberty here, but if there is any chance that this is a test of my faithfulness, I will not fail! If there is any chance that Satan is using this suffering to show God I will not remain faithful, I will prove him wrong! If there is any chance that God has bragged on me, I will do Him proud! I shudder to think of the alternative.
I encourage you to stay the course, and I ask for your prayers that I will stay mine. Run the race you have before you even when it is hard, even when it is heartbreaking. Remain faithful to God because He will prove faithful in the end. One day I wish to stand before Him and have Him say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
2 Timothy 2:11-13 “The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful–for he cannot deny himself.” (ESV)