Ever wonder why we go through what we go through? After our son died, I was left with a lot of questions, “Why?” “How could this even happen?” When bad things happen in our lives, we can question if God is a good God then how could he allow something like this to happen?
I’ll never forget when someone gave me a little story book called, “Water bugs and dragonflies.” I wondered, ‘why would someone give me a children’s book after our son just died?” As the story goes, there was a family of water bugs. Every so often the water bugs would venture off up the stalks of grass, above the surface of water to never return or be seen again.
When it was time for the water bug, narrating the story, turn to leave, he discovered when he went to the surface, something amazing happened. He gained wings! In his excitement he realized, ‘wait, I have to go back to tell my family!’ Then he realized he couldn’t because of his wings, and in his transformation, no one would recognize him anyway. He would have to wait until the rest of his family went through their transformation to see them again.
He Makes All Things New
When life hurts and we think God’s promises have failed us, one person in the Bible reminds me that God never leaves us and uses everything we go through for his greater purpose. Job was a man of great wealth, blameless, upright, feared God and turned away from evil (Job 1:1). He had a big family, a big house, lots of cattle, and servants. Everything Job touched was blessed.
Then Satan comes along and wants to test Job, put him through trials, to see if he would still praise God and stay faithful. God granted Satan access to Job to be allowed to test job in ways that were beyond imaginable, knowing whatever Satan did, Job would never turn away from Him (Job 1:8-12)
Satan’s first set of attacks on Jobs targeted his family (killing all his children) and cattle (all were taken and stolen from his property). Imagine losing all your children and cattle all at once. The depth of despair and loss must have been heavy and great. Despite this Job still cried out to God and said, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong” (Job 1:21-22).
Satan’s second set of attacks, targeted Job’s health leaving him with sores all over his body (Job 2:7). Job’s wife even said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die” (Job 2:9). But he said to her, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:10).
In other words, life encompasses good and bad. Are we to only embrace the good parts of life and not the bad parts?
Jobs’ his life had been good up until this point, just because bad things were happening now, does that mean God wasn’t good?
When Job’s three friends heard of his suffering and turmoil, they came to support and mourn with him. For seven days they sat in silence, wept with him and comforted him (Job 2:11-13). After those seven days, Job starts opening up about his heartache and hardship to his friends, questioning, ‘why was he even born?’ or ‘why must he go through all this suffering?’
Then his three friends chime in and given their own opinion and reason for Job’s suffering. If Job was the target of all this suffering, he must have done something in his life to deserve all this. Job’s circumstances must be a result of not being right before God and he needed to repent of any sin to make his suffering go away (Job 4).
“As I have seen, the who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same” (Job 4:8). His friends believed somehow God was judging Job’s character and he was now reaping the consequences. It is true there is a law of sowing and reaping in Galatians 6:7 and 2 Corinthians 9:6, whatever effort we put into things we sow what we reap.
'We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are' (Romans 3:22 NLT).Click To Tweet
To turn that around and apply this concept to God implying he punishes and condemns us for our past mistakes is not the truth. God is a loving forgiving God.
Yes it is true God allows certain circumstances to happen in our lives, but that does not mean God is evil and wants us to suffer. There is nothing we can do, that would make God Not LOVE us. We can be forgiven no matter what we’ve done, how lost we are or how far away from God we are. His love is for everyone and anyone has the choice to be saved and forgiven.
The part of Job’s story I love the most, is how he remained faithful and praised God despite is horrible circumstances. I love what Job says,'I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted' (Job 42:1)Click To Tweet
In the end, God restored Job’s fortunes and blessed him with twice as much as he had before.
Our past does not define our future. #quote Pastor Rick Warren
Job may have endured a lot, but he persevered because:
- He praised God even in his darkest moments
- He didn’t listen to naysayers (his friends)
- He held onto the goodness of God and trusted what God had for him was greater
God may allow us to endure hardships, but will use them to refine us and rid of us anything getting in the way of His greater purpose. Job never turned his back on God and allowed his story to be all for God’s glory. God can do all things and no amount of evil can ever stop God’s purpose and plan of what He’s already done for us.
No trial, no heartache, no struggle is ever wasted. Just as a woman goes through the pain of labor, God doesn’t allow anything to happen in our lives without something new to be born.
“And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” (Revelations 21:5).
I love how God can turn the most tragic circumstances into His greatest plans ever. Just like the water bugs, God makes all things new.
Have you ever had a trial or hardship in your life that God used for his greater purpose?
How has God made things new in your life?
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