"...even if he killed me, I'd keep on hoping" (Job 13:15, The Message).
In our day and age when threats are so easily pronounced and promises are just as easily broken, there are those who will probably turn their noses up at the words of Job. They may even say, "Yeah right, big words!"
But the words spoken by Job were not just empty words. They actually echoed the choicest oath of a man who was dealt by life with the hardest blows, yet remained faithful to his God no matter what.
In the Old Testament, God introduced to Satan His servant Job as a righteous man. True to his evil form, however, Satan chided God and claimed Job was only good because God was good to him. Knowing Job like no other, God allowed Satan to put this servant to test ~ even do anything to him except take his life.
And so Job was immediately battered by one tragedy after another! In a day, he lost all his children and all his earthly possessions – and was left only with a nagging wife who later on deserted him too when his entire body got covered with ghastly boils. Job's friends came, but they only weighed him down further by their accusing words.
Then in the midst of Job's external pains and internal turmoil, God met him. By asking him questions too wonderful for him to respond to, Job finally began to see his nothingness before the Sovereign and Almighty God.
"Job answered GOD: "I'm convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, 'Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?' I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head. You told me, 'Listen, and let me do the talking. Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.' I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears! I'm sorry—forgive me. I'll never do that again, I promise! I'll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor" (Job 42:1-6,
The story of Job points us to three compelling truths on why hoping in God always makes sense:
God intimately knows us. He knows us through-and-through. He knows our strengths and weaknesses; He knows our potentials and limitations. He knows all about us, even the number of our hair (Luke 12:7). He even knows us more than we know ourselves. Yet He still loves us for who we are. There is no use putting our best foot forward around Him. Pretense is something we cannot cloak ourselves with when we come to Him in praise and prayer. Surely, the only thing that we can do in His presence is to be truly honest with Him. For apart from Him, we are nothing (John 15:5). Separate from Him, nothing good will come out of us (John 15:6).
God is in sovereign control. When it comes to anything that concerns us, God will not let anything happen to us that are beyond His will or past our ability to bear. Like a master goldsmith, He knows exactly when the refiner's fire ultimately has served its purpose and has made us ready to be taken out of the fiery furnace. As we go through life, doing His will and serving His purpose, we must remember that our God is a just God; He is not a capricious God. He does not act on whim, rather He makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
God works things out for our good. If we truly trust God, we know for certain that everything that happens in our lives is for a good purpose. God promised us in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." In fact, God is so mighty in His redemptive grace that, if we will only truly turn to Him in repentance and humility, He can turn around even the destructive results of our own disobedience around. Yes. Even that which the devil has meant for evil, He can turn around for our good and blessedness (Genesis 50:20).
This 2009, we are faced with a new year of uncertainty that is exacerbated by the worsening worldwide economic meltdown. While we may easily cower in fear and doubt, we may also choose to hope, even if it is against hope, like the patriarch Job did.
Surely, we need not go through life beaten and defeated; we only have to cast all our cares unto Jesus for He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). He cares so much for us that came in the flesh and lived amongst men (John 1:1,14) so that in His life, death, and resurrection, He may give us abundant life ~ a life unto overflow (John 10:10, Amplified).
Welcome the New Year 2009 with renewed faith the Almighty! We are blessed in Christ!