A month ago, we said good bye to 2012 and as I reflected on the year, I was thinking, “This was a pretty good year. Finally, no hospitalizations, no real trauma, life is good.” I don’t think I was smug or proud; just thankful for 12 months of relative calm with only a few spins along the way to keep me focused on who is really in charge, God who controls all things. So far 2013 has not been a cookie cutter of 2012. Maybe you’ve experienced the same, and you’re calling out to God too, like I have been. Sometimes, I’ve even yelled at God. “Do you see me here, God? You must have me mixed up with someone else. I’m not your girl that likes the roller coaster, God. I’m the one who likes merry-go-rounds.” And God reminds me, gently that “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:19
As I descend the pinnacle of the ride, and things coast to a level platform, I catch my breath and look around – whew! Still here, and thankful that despite the frustrating circumstance and emotional pain, I’ve gained a slightly stronger faith muscle. During the time of trial, I have to remind myself of 1 Peter 5:8 – “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The enemy of my soul wants to destroy my faith; the enemy of your soul wants to do the same to anyone who has faith in God.
I was reading Job awhile back, because I know from Bible stories that Job went through impossible trials – he lost everything. Do I know what it means to lose everything? No, and I pray against that fear of loss every day of my life. Literally – every day. In Job, even his wife told him to curse God and die. Really? I love this – Job 2:8-10 – “Job’s wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” In all he went through, Job’s faith and his integrity was unfaltering. Job knew God could change things. He admitted in Job 42:2 – “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” But Job didn’t lose hope or faith.
So what about our lives today? God is still God. The Bible says He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 3:18 God is able to do amazingly above all we ask or think. Ephesians 3:20. When trials come, it’s so easy to ask, whatever happened to all things happening for our good? Does it say somewhere that good will come out of our circumstances? Even those that cause us grief? Well, yes; in fact we can go there now and read Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” When we read about the good to come, do we also append the part about ‘loving God and recognizing that we are called to a purpose’? Sometimes I forget that God allows bad things to happen because it is His way of working out His purpose in me.
My job is to be faithful, and not lose hope. If you’re going through trials and your days are so dark it’s hard to find your way out, I encourage you to go toward the light. John 8:12 says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Don’t let the enemy of your soul wind the battle. Satan is a thief whose only goals are to rob you of joy, persuade you to lose faith, and give up on God. John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Are we ready for today? Let’s do this together!