This past week, in two different resources, I was asked the question, “Where do you find it difficult to trust God?”
One of these offered some areas to prompt a deep-thinking. Suggestions including finances, relationships, and health were listed.
As I looked over each one, I didn’t feel any strong areas of lacking faith but then, right now, I don’t have any threats in those areas either.
If I let my imaginings take over, I can paint some “what if’s” but overall I am not currently experiencing trust issues because I do not have lack issues.
But I have in the past, and the fact that I can get worked up over the possibilities my mind can stir up, reveals that faith is not tested in times of plenty and joy.
Faith is tested and tried in times of stress and sorrow and hard questions.
This past week I was working through the book of Job. A godly man who was blessed with all the material and physical things that we still associate with the good life.
He had wealth, a successful business, a good reputation in the community, a big family that got along well together and good health to go with it all.
Then in a game of cosmic proportions that is difficult to understand, all is lost in a matter of days.
From there we see friends show up to commiserate and then to offer commentary and judgment and some serious sermons on how to fix things.
As they wrap up their dissertations, Job decides to put God on trial and demand Him to explain Himself.
Finally the youngest friend speaks up to point out that maybe demanding for God to justify Himself and His character is not the wisest of moves.
The commentary in The Message suggests that while the last friend’s advice and counsel is probably the best and closest to the truth, when a friend is down and out and wiped out, that may not be the best time to deliver a sermon.
However, that does not negate the truth of the words spoken by the man and for me, distanced from being Job, I can apply the words of truth to my own tendency to put God on the witness stand from time and explain to me just why He has allowed this or that to happen.
One nugget of truth I grabbed today was this:
“Here’s what you said.
I heard you say it with my own ears.
You said, ‘I’m pure – I’ve done nothing wrong. Believe me, I’m clean – my conscience is clear. But God keeps picking on me; he treats me like I’m his enemy. He’s thrown me in jail; he keeps me under constant surveillance.’
But let me tell you, Job, you’re wrong, dead wrong!
God is far greater than any human.
So how dare you haul him into court, and then complain that he won’t answer your charges?
God always answers, one way or another, even when people don’t recognize his presence.”Job 33: 8-14 The Message
I have cringed numerous times as I have read this book again.
It’s like a page out of my own journal at times as I have asked God to tell me why this or that has happened to me or to someone I love.
I have listed all the reasons why we should have been spared, given forth our record and pointed out how others have not done good in His eyes and yet have been seemingly rewarded.
If you read the rest of Chapter 33, Elihu gives several examples of how God speaks to us all. And as he says, whether we are aware it is Him or not, He is actively involved in His creation, offering us always a means of being reconciled to Him.
Elihu says he speaks through dreams, through adversity, through a painful health crisis, through consequences for our reckless choices…always in the effort to bring us to the place where we will turn to Him.
This past year has offered us a global opportunity to witness how quickly and easily all that we were putting our trust in can be swept away.
I hope and pray we, as followers of Christ, do not glibly toss our masks into the garbage, declare victory over the demon Covid and totally miss that God just gave us a beautiful chance to evaluate where we have falsely placed our trust.
Repentance and returning are the answer to a life of health, peace and prosperity…not as the world defines it, but as God has ordained it.
Blessings my friends.
You are deeply loved <3