Can God be trusted in the midst of our storms and harsh circumstances?
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:21
Haruki Murakami, a Japanese writer, said this, “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
I will bring to your attention a good and wealthy man who lost all he had in a matter of minutes or hours and bounced back two times more blessed at the end. What was the secret of his victory over adversities? When many people end up in depression and suicide, what is that kept this man going and obtain double blessings?
In the land of Uz lived a man called Job. He was a perfect man, blameless, feared God, upright character and avoided all kinds of evil behavior and actions. The man had seven sons and three daughters. Pretty big family. He also owned 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 yokes of oxen and 500 donkeys. On top of all these, he had a large number of servants. He was wealthy, famous and greatest man among all the people lived in the East.
His children held feasts on their birthdays, and they ate and drink and be joyful. Job made sure after each birthday feasts the children are purified from all blemishes. He used to rise early in the morning and offered sacrifices of burnt offering for each one of his children thinking his children may have sinned and cursed God in their hearts. Such a good man was Job.
However, Satan, the accuser of believers blamed and challenged God and said you have blessed Job and put a hedge around him and his family and everything he possesses and that is why he is following you. But if you remove all he has from you, then he will surely curse you to your face. In short, Satan was saying Job is following you only because of your blessings and protection and not because he honors and loves you.
The Lord accepted the challenge and allowed Satan to send troubles on Job but said do not lay his fingers on the man’s life. In other words, God knew Job well and recognized the sincerity of his faith.
One after another Job lost everything in one day. All his children died due to a severe mighty wind struck the house they were having a birthday feast. Imagine all ten children killed in a matter of minutes. Sabeans attacked and got all his oxen and donkeys. The Sabeans killed his servants as well. The three raiding parties of Chaldeans swept all his camels. All this happened one after another on the same day.
Beloved, I don’t know such horrible things happened to anyone so far one after another. All ten children, all wealth and finances and all servants all lost in a matter of few minutes. When the stock market crash happens, people could lose their wealth in a matter of hours, and that is possible. However, they would still typically lose everything like happened to Job.
Beloved, we know now what was the reason for all such horrible things that happened to Job, don’t we? He was in a severe trial allowed by God to prove his faithfulness and devotion. However, keep in mind Job did not have any clue what was happening to him at that time.
Then come our today’s insight. At this time when all these horrible things happened one after another, what did Job do? “Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said,
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart;
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised. In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”
Did you notice it said, “Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing? Instead, he fell to the ground and worshipped. He proved he put His trust and faith in God not for the benefits, but because of who God really is.
Satan accused Job’s sincerity and integrity again harshly and said to God if you strike his flesh and bones, he will surely curse you. God allowed Satan to touch his skin but did not permit to touch his life. Satan afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Job took a piece of pottery and scrapped himself and sat among the ashes.
At this time his wife came to him and said these harsh words, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” See, the man is on big emotional and physical torture and pain. The one who was expected to be with Job to comfort him also turned against him and said such cruel words. But Job replied to her and said, “you are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
Beloved, I do not know what terrible trial or tragedy you are facing today. If nothing else is taught, Job surely admonishes us this – even in the midst of tragic, horrible, dangerous, hopeless and confused times; we can endure, preserve and come out victoriously if we focus on the loving Lord and keep our faith in Him. He only knows why things are happening the way it happens and we do not know the whole story because, like Job on his severe trial day, we too are very limited in our understanding and knowledge. However, one day the Lord will reveal the truth behind it all. That day the good and faithful Lord will reward you the crown of life because you loved God in the midst of your trials. (James 1:12).
Of course, Job was a man like us. He had times of despair, hopelessness, many complaints, doubts, and irrational questions. However, through it all, Job kept his faith in the Lord God and never sinned against Him. When we come to the final chapter 42, it says there; The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part with a double portion of blessings. He had 14000 sheep, 6000 camels, 1000 yoke of oxen and 1000 donkeys. He had seven more sons and three more daughters. Job’s daughters were more beautiful than all the other women in the land. Job lived 140 years and saw his children and their children to the 4th generation. He died as an old man and full of years.
Now, you decide can God be trusted in the midst of your seemingly harsh circumstances? Let me ask you a different question. Do you really think you can trust anyone else in the midst of your storms and harsh circumstances? If you read the book of Job, not only he lost all, but even his wife spoke to him unkindly. Moreover, his friends who visited him in his sorrow to comfort him turned against him and started accusing him of doing evil. They even spoke lie about him. Humanly, they could not figure out what is happening in Job’s life.
My friend, in the end only God is faithful and He is the only one we can trust find peace, comfort, and deliverance. No-one else would do it and nowhere else would you find it. 2 Timothy 2:13 reminds this, “if we are faithless, he (God) remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” Bible says in Isaiah 40:29-30, The LORD God “gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. The will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
The secret of Job’s success- he knew who God is and he had an intimate and personal relationship with God and no matter what nothing could break his tie with Him. Job plunged into the heartbreaking sufferings but emerged with a renewed confidence and a deeper thirst for God. He said chapter 42:5, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” The pages of the Bible have several life histories that teach the fact that sufferings and harsh circumstances can disturb the peace and well beings in us but can create a double portion of confidence and can emerge out of it with a much deeper faith and thirst for God for the remaining years of our life. (Job 19:25)
Do you know God intimately and personally? How do we know God personally? Is it possible? Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:9, “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” You see, God calls us to have fellowship with Him. He invites us into his fellowship and the way we can have fellowship with God is through our fellowship and friendship with Christ Jesus, His Son. Don’t try to make it complicated. It is that simple!
Hebrews 1 this, God spoke in the past in many ways through His prophets. However, in these last days that we live in, He has spoken to us in His Son, Jesus Christ. Christ is the radiance of God’s glory and He is the exact representation of His nature. Not only this, but He also made the solution to our sin problem, that separated us from the holy God and His fellowship, by paying for our sins. This is accomplished by His death in our place for our sins on the cross of Calvary. Jesus was then buried and rose again from the dead. The only open tomb we will see on this earth is Christ’s and it is still can be seen empty in Jerusalem. The heaven declared this regarding Jesus on that day of resurrection, “He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.” (Matthew 28:6). God solved our sin problem by putting all our sins on His Son, Christ Jesus. Now you and I can know God personally and have an intimate relationship and fellowship with Him by accepting His Son, Jesus Christ, the only savior of the whole world, into our hearts and lives. This who have Christ in their lives have fellowship with God. This can be accomplished by a small prayer with me today.
Beloved, God a moment for today’s prayer? “Father in heaven, I trust you in the midst of my heart breaking trials because you said you will never leave nor forsake me. I trust in your wonderful promises. Lord give me strength because I am weary and weak. I call upon your help and deliverance. I know you loved me and gave Jesus Christ for my sins. I accept your Son, Jesus Christ, as my savior and Lord. I pray in Christ’s name. Amen.”