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."
Friend to Friend
Job was an extraordinary man, husband, father, and leader who served God faithfully. 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?
Did Job openly and honestly grieve his loss and weep in his pain?
But Job remained faithful to God, even when he did not understand why God would let him endure such suffering.
Job stood firm in his faith even when his heart and body was broken. God was pleased with Job and rewarded him for his faithfulness.
The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first (Job 42:11).
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.
Yes, storms will come, and bad things will happen – even to fully devoted followers of God.
No one would call George Smith a coward. Smith was a daring jet test pilot in the 1950’s when the sound barrier was first being broken. He could face anything – until he had to bail out of a jet going 805 miles per hour. Smith survived, but he was hospitalized for weeks. Smith shared his fear of ever flying again with one of the nurses who had become a friend. The nurse smiled and said, “I have an antidote to fear. It is courage. To have courage is to know the worst, and to discover that in God’s economy, the very worst can’t really hurt you.”
God doesn’t always deliver us immediately.
God doesn’t always deliver us in a logical way.
God doesn’t always deliver us like we want to be delivered.
But God always delivers us.
If we count on strength from anyone or anything other than God Himself, we will be miserably disappointed. He is our safe place.
Jeremiah 16:19 offers a beautiful prayer of thanksgiving for God’s hand of deliverance: “Lord, You are my strength and my protection. You are a safe place for me to run to in times of trouble.”
Trials are an important part of life. 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.
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.
Where is God when the winds pick up and the churning waters pummel your rocking boat?
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 is with you. He is your safe place.
Father, I am so guilty of looking for the easiest way out of a painful circumstance instead of looking for Your hand at work. Please help me learn to trust You enough to keep 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.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read and memorize 2 Corinthians 1:3: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort! Record it in your journal. When the hard times come, remember who God wants to be in your life.
More from the Girlfriends
NEW BOOK from Mary Southerland! Mary has updated the E-Book, Fit for Life, and released it in a soft cover book. Fit for Life addresses the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual areas of your life and teaches you principles that will empower you to bring each area under God’s control.