I never thought my life could become as difficult as it was in 2018. After my dad’s sudden passing life was, and still is, extremely heavy at times. But this year is a different dose of difficulty! For me, and I’m sure for you too, this has to be ranked as one of the most challenging years of all. It almost seems like all the bad things in our lives have been amplified and to be honest, I’m not the best at inviting uncertainty with open arms.
Throughout the Bible there were many times where God’s people experienced times of trials and distress. As I was thinking about this, I was reminded of Job and his life’s story. Job was a brave man of God, full of faith, joy, success, and wealth. When everything seemed perfect, his life suddenly got ripped from him. His livestock, his family, and his health were all taken from him leaving him in agonizing grief and confusion. What I find most astonishing about Job is that when he lost all those things, he maintained and found sustainable wealth through his faith. He held a rich love for the Father, even when his circumstances left him in desperation. In response to his trials he was loyal and trusted in the Lord’s plans for him.
“We bring nothing at birth; we take nothing with us at death. The Lord alone gives and takes. Praise the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21 CEV)
Indeed, the Lord gives and takes, but His promises and goodness will always outweigh the trials.
In his sorrow, Job called out to God multiple times and through his struggles he never cursed the name of the Lord. We are from God and going to God, so while we live on Earth we will be guided and protected by Him. The things of this Earth are important, but not essential to the kingdom of God. What IS essential are the souls that are passing through, aka you, who will live with the Father in eternity. He will never give us more than we can handle because His strength lives within us.
Indeed, the Lord gives and takes, but His promises and goodness will always outweigh the trials. It is important to note that God did not cause the trials to happen to Job, but He did allow them to happen. God allowed the enemy to test Job because ultimately God is the one who is in control. He rules and holds victory over sin and Satan. The Lord does not give and take for enjoyment, in fact He has compassion on us and feels for us when we hurt. We live in a fallen world and that is the ultimate reason why tribulations exist. The Lord allows adversities to happen because He knows that He is in control. In the end His people will be encouraged, they will grow closer to Him, His relentless love will be tangible, and because of His character and integrity, He will be exalted.
To those who are holding uncomfortable, anxious, angry, sorrow-filled, fatigued spirits – take this as encouragement. Be like Job, hold on to the Father and embrace that flicker of hope you feel deep within. Fuel your faith and set your mind on things above (Colossians 3:2). May God’s blessings fall upon you in His perfect timing.
“The Lord blessed the last part of Job’s life even more than he had blessed the first. Job owned many sheep, camels, cattle, and donkeys. He was the father of seven sons and three daughters. Job lived a hundred and forty years after this, long enough to see his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.” (Job 42:12-17 GNT)