I love how Ecclesiastes says there’s a season for everything and there’s a time for every matter under heaven because that’s the definition of life. Life is a continual cycle of changes; some good, some bad but all are developed for purpose.
If every season of Life is purposed for growth, and God has made everything beautiful and has appropriated everything in His timing; how well do you trust God when dealing with change? What happens when these changes come through the form of pain and suffering? I’m talking about struggles that are beyond your control where human efforts are limited in changing the course of what has been set in motion.
What does God’s word says when giving up isn’t an option?
There are some seasons, we just struggle with, and it’s nothing that we did per se, but somehow it feels like we are just being tried, tried in our character, tried by people, tried in our situation, and particularly in our faith.
Psalms 105 say that God takes care of His People. It’s easy to feel that security when everything is going right but what about when life switches up on you when you least expect it or when you deal with certain struggles you never dealt with before, then what? What if I were to tell you, the very thing that was intended to break you, God allows you to go through to make you stronger, to build your character to a higher capacity in His strength with His knowledge that would eventually prepare you for greater things to come in the next season of life changes.
He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him. The king sent and released him, The ruler of the people let him go free. He made him lord of his house, And ruler of all his possessions, To bind his princes at his pleasure, And teach his elders wisdom.
Psalms 105:17-22 KJV
There is something very interesting about this scripture: The pslamsist says that Joseph was laid in iron. However, in the the Hebrew context this meant that his soul came into iron (Baker & Zodhiates, 2008, p. 773).
What did the Psalmsist mean "his soul came into iron"?
You see Genesis tells how Joseph was mistreated, sold into slavery by his brothers and later falsely imprisoned for a time. Like Joseph, when we go through a situation where we feel that we have been taken advantage of and have been mistreated or when we go through trials that feel extreme in hardship yet still choose to rely on God to provide it is said that our soul comes into iron.
When the Bible talks about the soul, it's referring to our mind, our emotions, our intellect, our personality. So our mind in the way we think goes under a reconstruction process during the time of hardships as we learn to be more co-dependent on God.
The word iron signifies two interpretations for me: One being the strength of an iron rod that brings correction and the other being the representation of a sword signifying the power that comes from God's word, yet both having the ability to manifest a supernatural strength in the ability to overcome that surpasses any human capacity to endure.
What does scripture say about how we are to get through this process of being developed when we go through seasons of hardship that it feels as if our soul is coming into iron?
The pslamsist begins with " Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore" Psalm105:4
It is during these moments of feeling imprisoned in our mind of being held captive to our own thoughts and our emotions where we come to the determining factor that giving up isn't an option and we actively choose to fight our way through the voices that scream for us to give up. Rather than wallowing in self-defeat or being angered towards God because of hurt emotions, it is the determination of desiring God’s presence daily in the midst of your most difficult hardships and that is the type of endurance that provides an understanding of what‘s meant “iron coming into the soul.“
During seasons of emotional heartache and struggle that is the time under the heavens to pour your heart out to God, emptying all your grief, anger, frustration, and even doubt before Him so that you're completely empty of self and surrendering total reliance on to God to see you through. It's these very moments in life that it is even more crucial to seek God even more:
-Read His word daily/regularly/whatever it takes, just get it in
-Pray daily/regularly/whatever it takes, just get it in,
and if the pressure of life is too heavy for you to do any of those things,
-Worship Him with songs of praise right where you are
Actively choose to pursue another day with God despite the circumstances, despite the situation at hand, despite the report, despite the season you're in.
During the process of iron coming into the soul let His Word take control
During the process: the word of God cuts and reveals in preparation for spiritual growth. The word of God tries our character by purifying our minds through the testing of our faith that determines how we respond vs. how He wants us to respond. The word of God corrects so that we may be respondent through His knowledge in how to execute His wisdom when the time comes for us to act.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Without God’s word and without the process of going through trials of affliction, how can our character and our faith be tried? How can we gain the appropriate tools to reap the harvest the God intended for us to have?
Every season we face is intended for growth.
The hardship that Joseph went through was to mentally train him up in spiritual growth. The difficulties Joseph went through allowed God to use him in such a powerful way that if he hadn't of gone through the process of his soul coming into iron he wouldn’t have had the mindset to accomplish the things God intended for him to achieve.
You see in Genesis 50:20 Joseph is speaking to his brothers but actually I believe he was speaking to his Hardship
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people."
I want to encourage you today, if you're going through a trying season of hardship right now, remember it is only temporary, and every event in life is orchestrated with a purpose to help you grow in His wisdom. If you allow Christ to be with you in the midst of every life cycle of change, scripture promises that God will take care of you and whatever you're going through. So don't beat yourself up when your faith feels a bit faltered at times during those difficult times in life because we serve a Mighty God who remains faithful even when we feel weakened in ours. Scriptures declare that He remains faithful because He is faithful, He cannot disown Himself. Therefore, let Christ see you through, let God's word remind you, all that He has done for you, and let your time in worship proclaim that there is no problem in life too big for God to handle. Again, God will see you through, and you will overcome, and that thing that intended to break you will make you stronger and position you for advancing His Kingdom for His glory in due season.
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Baker, W., & Zodhiates, S. (2008). Psalms 105 . In The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.
Text2Pic. (2017, October 10). Retrieved from http://text2picapp.com.