Paul is thankful for this man who creates more stress for Paul while Paul has enough to think about while being in Prison. Why is Paul thankful for this additional work? What can Paul celebrate in the midst of his circumstances? What does this teach us about a true grace-centered and Gospel-centered joy?
We can interview numerous people, we can comb the Scriptures, we can dig into the earth, but where is wisdom? This is a rather profound question that Job seeks to answer. The answer to the question may not be as simple as just reading some Scriptures, or interviewing some people. So, what is the answer? Is Job ready to embrace the answer as he feels it being pressed upon him?
Job has made the case that life does not always go as planned and the Lord does not always deal with the wicked as we would like the Lord to deal with the wicked. Eliphaz now takes another turn to persuade Job that Job is not seeing these things clearly. What does Eliphaz have to say to Job? Are these going to be encouraging words about how one finds their path to peace in the Lord?
James tells us that we are to be joyful in the midst of our suffering. What kind of system of belief is Christianity? Is it possible to find joy in the midst of suffering? Is this something that is optional where maybe we find joy 10 percent of the time and the rest of the time we claim an injustice? What does James mean and how can we possibly have a perspective of “joy” in the midst of suffering?
Thanksgiving is a time where we find our joy by counting our blessings. There is nothing necessarily wrong with counting our blessings, but what is the basis of our blessing? Peter challenges us to see that there are trials that we can be thankful for as well. Why would be thankful for trials? What hope does Peter give in calling our attention to thankfulness even in the midst of trials? Or is Peter just telling us to be happy because the Lord commands us to be happy?