Job said “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.” I have had reason as of late to really ponder those words. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t compare my life to Job, that would be silly. Compared to the persecution of our brothers and sisters all over the world who are literally dying for Christ, my life is of no comparison. Yet we would all agree that life often gives us great difficulty, much of it beyond our ability to handle. So when that happens what do we do?
The most typical response is to blame God or worse, to run from Him. I think we have all had moments where we’ve done this. Yet there is a profound lesson to be learned from Job’s life. With all he went through, he said that no matter what life dealt him, he was intent to follow God and trust in Him alone. Easier said than done right? All I know is that when life deals us the worst, God is there the most. If we cling to Him during the worst of it, we will find Him like never before. We will hear from Him in ways we never knew previously and we’ll find a strength and comfort that without it we’d be utterly defeated.
Does God bring us difficulty? Does He bring tragedy? Those are honest questions. Many cliche’s are uttered during dark times which quite frankly make things worse. “Everything happens for a reason”. “God won’t give you more than you can handle”. Crap, crap and more crap! Both of those lame cliche’s basically say “God did this to me”. If everything happens for a reason, then God must have done this terrible thing to you “for a reason”. Uh…no. God is not the author of tragedy. Will he use the worst circumstances for good in your life if you look to Him? Yep, but that’s not the same as Him doing bad things to you for some higher purpose. The same goes for “God won’t give you more than you can handle”. The Bible doesn’t teach that. In fact, the Bible teaches that we will go through things that quite frankly, we can’t handle. If we could handle it all on our own, we wouldn’t need God! But remember, it’s LIFE that deals us more than we can handle, not God. God is our strength to deal with what we cannot handle. Without Him we’d drown in our problems and eventually disconnect from Him in a fit of anger and resentment.
Many people ask me as of late “Tom, how do you do it?” Look, I’m no one special. I’m just a man. And my life often deals me situations that I just can’t handle. But I know who my salvation comes from. I know who my rock is. My responsibility is to live as uprightly before Him as I can no matter what happens…to serve Him at all costs. When I was young and living a life of sin, I was unable to live for anyone but myself. But when I found Christ, I became a new creation…a forgiven, cleansed, blood covered child of God. The past is wiped away, forgiven, and cleansed. Knowing all this gives me the strength to trust in the one who saved me. It reminds me that no matter what happens in my life, He’s got my back and working in my life in a redemptive way. He is my safety. Though I suffer, even if He slay me with the worst life can throw at me, I will hope in Him because He alone is my hope.
When we determine to serve God “At all Cost”, we find a new peace and strength that only comes from our creator who loves each and every one of us as if we were the only one on Earth. I am struck by God’s words in Jeremiah 17…
5 Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6 He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. 7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. 8 He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 10 “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” 11 Like the partridge that gathers a brood that she did not hatch, so is he who gets riches but not by justice; in the midst of his days they will leave him, and at his end he will be a fool.
12 A glorious throne set on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. 13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water. 14 Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. 15 Behold, they say to me, “Where is the word of the LORD? Let it come!” 16 I have not run away from being your shepherd, nor have I desired the day of sickness. You know what came out of my lips; it was before your face. 17 Be not a terror to me; you are my refuge in the day of disaster.
God is our refuge and strength. He alone will save us from the day of disaster. Trust in Him and everything about YOU will change.