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The value of hard times.
I would like to point out just one reward we receive when we go through hard times.
There is a word used often in the Old Testament, especially in Proverbs, which is also used in the New Testament; "Wisdom."
I have heard people describe Wisdom in all kinds of interesting ways that sound very good. However, if you would really examine the context of its use in most cases, it is simply God speaking. Perhaps more than that it means being so close to Jesus that you are continually hearing Him speak.
"but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and [Christ] the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:23,24).
"that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him" (Ephesians 1:17).
In the Proverbs the word Wisdom is considered a personality who was with God at creation. Wisdom did certain things and said certain things.
So where do we find this Wisdom. How can we increase our hearing abilities? There are things to do and habits to form, sure, however there is more.
Have you ever noticed that often people who have been through much suffering have fantastic discernment? They just seem to be able to see through everything, and their abilities to hear from God are amplified. I have some good friends from Africa that fall into this category. There are even certain ethnic groups that have historically been through suffering who seem to be tuned in better.
So where do we find this Wisdom?
Look what the Book of Job says in Chapter 28
In the first eleven verses of Chapter 28 it states that men go to great trouble and toil to mine for precious metals. It seems like they might have even used explosives back then.
Then it says in Job 28,
"12 "But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?
13 Man does not know its value, Nor is it found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, `It is not in me'; And the sea says, `It is not with me.'
15 It cannot be purchased for gold, Nor can silver be weighed for its price.
16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, In precious onyx or sapphire.
20 "From where then does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living, And concealed from the birds of the air."
Notice all the places is it not. It is not in the sea, it cannot be purchased, and it is not in the land of the living.
But there is a witness, a place that speaks that at least says, "It may not be here now, but it came through here and I have seen Him."
22 "Destruction and Death say, We have heard a report about it with our ears."
That is all Destruction and Death can say about Jesus. He came, stayed awhile, and left.
23 "God understands its way, And He knows its place."
28 "And to man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding."
My fear of the Lord, or dependence upon Him, always increases during a hard time.
It is stated clearly that Wisdom is not found in the land of the living, but in death and resurrection. Our hard times are a blessing. God is using these explosions to dig a deep mine in our souls.
They give us the privilege of taking up our cross and dying. In this death and resurrection, we come out with greater Wisdom, closeness to Him and greater ability to hear Him speaking continuously.
In the animal world, the same species can be closer to one another. In the spiritual world, one needs to be crucified to be the same species as Jesus.