“Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, and said, naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Job was an extraordinary man, husband, father, and leader who served God faithfully. It says in the very beginning of this book of him that he was: “perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed (avoided) evil.”
His faithfulness to God in prosperity was a powerful testimony, but His faithfulness to God in the face of death, pain, and despair was even more powerful ….
Did Job doubt and question God? Absolutely!
Did Job openly and honestly grieve his loss and weep in his pain?
Yes! But what is important to note is that Job remained faithful to God, even when he did not understand why God would let him endure such suffering and sorrows ….
Job stood firm in his faith, even when his heart and body was broken. And God was pleased with Job and rewarded him for his faithfulness: “So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning…” (42:12), and as we see at the ending of this book, God not only replaced what the devil stole, but blessed Job double with all that he had originally ….
You are no stranger to trials. The lab report came back malignant…. The school called, demanding that you pick up your child who has just been expelled…. Your husband informed you that he no longer wants to be married to you…. Your boss called you into his office to let you know that you are being fired…. Financial disaster seems certain while dependable friends seem to vanish…. You can’t seem to get a handle on your emotions and depression, fear, and anxiety are crashing over you ….
Yes, storms will come, and bad things will happen; even to fully devoted followers of God. Jesus told us: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
There is an antidote to fear. It is courage. To have courage is to stand strong in the face of the storm, to know the worst, and to discover that in God’s world, the very worst can’t really hurt you if you are rooted and grounded in His Word. When we stand planted firmly as a tree, with our roots in Him, the winds may blow, and certainly we will sway and bend; but we will not break. The bible says, “having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)
God doesn’t always deliver us immediately, but He DOES deliver: “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.” (Psalms 34:17)
God doesn’t always deliver us in a logical way, but He DOES deliver: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them ALL.” (Psalms 34:19)
God doesn’t always deliver us like we want to be delivered, but God ALWAYS delivers us. It is always in His timing and His way, not ours. The Lord says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
If we count on strength from anyone or anything other than God Himself, we will be miserably disappointed. He is our safe place. It is His hand alone that can save us and deliver us. As it is written:
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.” (Isaiah 59:1).
(Jeremiah 16:19) offers a beautiful prayer of assurance and thanksgiving for God’s hand of deliverance: “O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction.”
Trials are an important part of life, for they teach us valuable lessons and instill great virtues necessary for our journeys: patience, perseverance, and endurance. We desperately try to avoid any and all pain. When a crisis hits, we search frantically for the nearest exit. Instead, we need to learn to embrace pain and harvest the truth it holds, and we have the beautiful promise: “he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13).
The most beautiful life is often the most broken life. The ashes of death may very well be the fertile soil from which a new life of victory and promise will grow. God is forever covering each pain with His infinite love and mercy, bringing hope and encouragement where there was once only despair and death. There is a promise of this which is beautifully stated: “to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3)
In closing; where is God when the winds pick up and the churning waters pummel your rocking boat?
May you know today that God is where He has always been and where He always will be: right there with you in the midst of every stormy circumstance. Run into His waiting arms when you are afraid. Trust Him and rest in the amazing truth that He loves you and is with you. He is your safe place. Seek Him today, for He is waiting this very moment to comfort you ….
“Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.”
“Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near:
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon…. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” (Isaiah 55:6-7,10-13).
Let us pray ~
Father, I am so guilty of looking for the easiest way out of a painful circumstance instead of looking for Your hand at work. Help me not to look on my circumstances with my natural eye, for You are not a natural God; but supernatural. Please help me learn to trust You enough to keep my focus and my gaze on You and my glance on my circumstances. And even when my faith is weak, please teach me to place that faith in You alone.
Lord, You are the God of peace and love in Whom I place my trust; give me a peaceful heart that rests in You and a loving spirit that pours fourth Your love to others ~
Lord, You are the God of comfort and rest in Whom I put my hope; give me a heart that abides in You so that Your comfort may stream through me to others who need comfort and strength ~
Lord, You are the God of hope and joy in Whom I stand secure; give me a spirit of devotion that worships only You so that I may be a worthy witness that points to Jesus; for in Him is all peace and love, healing and comfort, rest and hope, and joy and love; and I do love You Jesus and I trust You Lord. All this I pray in Your mighty name Jesus, Amen ….
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.”