A fellow servant, Gary Kallio, offers the Words for the Week today from his writing at Fiber for the Soul.
What would you do if a crisis sours your life?
We hear of folk who lose everything in a house fire, or, more recently, of folk who struggle to make ends meet. Tough circumstances draw us closer to God if we don’t whine or complain. It’s hard to trust when our prayers are not answered right away, and even harder the longer we wait. It takes faith to believe the answers will come.
I’ve been reading Job, the oldest book in the Bible. We know Job was the richest man of his era, but in one day he lost every thing he owned. And, he was devastated when all his children died in an unexpected tornado. His wife suggested he curse God and die. Cursing God was something he could not, and would not do. In the depth of his despair, he remarked since God had given him all things, He was entitled to take them all away.
When three friends visited, supposedly to comfort him, Job argued he had done nothing so wrong to deserve losing every thing. When the argument heated up, Job became irritated and his friends stopped talking. They saw he was self-righteous. To his credit, Job said he knew God was quietly behind the scenes though he couldn’t see His steps. He did not know God permitted this test because God trusted him to not curse.
The question comes back: how do we handle ourselves when we lose every thing? Do we believe God knows what is happening, and do we know He hears our prayer?
When Job was at the “end-of-his-rope”, God stepped in to ask: “Job, where were you when I created the heavens?”
When asked a second time, Job surrendered. Humbling himself, he said he was indeed sorry for rambling beyond what he knew. He admitted he had known God only by reputation, but now he knew God from personal experience.
Job learned God lifts us up at our weakest point. Job’s story is not unlike the story in Philippians 3:10, where Paul said what counts is to know Christ from personal experience. After Job’s admission and submission, God allowed his things to be restored and then doubled. Job had 10 more children; he lived another 140 years; and saw four generations of his family mature.
The reward for enduring trials is an amazing maturity in Christ, a deeper relationship with God, where His closeness is our treasure.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching — C.S. Lewis