“The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
We never truly understand the strength of our character, and the strength of our faith until we walk through the fires of trouble in our lives. It is during these times that we cling with hope to the truth that God is absolutely sovereign, and he is accomplishing his plan for our best interest. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.”
It is so easy to sit in my church pew and claim this promise, and yet so hard to walk in the shoes of anguish and grief wondering how this promise can ever be fulfilled in my situation. I believe that it is no accident that God chose to use the oldest book in the Bible to address this very topic. I believe it was His compassion for our anguish that compelled him to focus on the message of his sovereignty first; and we find that message in Job.
In the space of a moment, Job lost everything (all 10 of his children, 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 donkeys, and an untold number of servants). Job was a blameless man who experienced an unparalleled tragedy; and what was his response? “Then Job stood up, tore his robe and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshiped, saying: Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will leave this life. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of the Lord (Job 1:20-21).
Here, Job demonstrated for us the ultimate understanding of God’s sovereignty. “God gives, and I will praise him. God takes away, and I will still praise him. My praise is not dependent upon my situation. My peace is not dependent upon my circumstances. God will be praised, and I will lead the way. God gives me peace because I do not question his sovereignty. I do not try to interfere with his sovereignty. I do not try to bargain with God in an attempt to get him to change his mind. I trust God in every situation. I trust his plan for my life. That is a hard position to take, especially if your name is Job.
When God promises that he is working all things together for our good, he is viewing our good from the perspective of eternity. When he created the plan for your fulfillment, he created it with eternity in mind. But there is one more thing that you should know. God has never had a plan that he did not fulfill. He has never had a promise that he did not keep. God always accomplishes what he sets out to accomplish. God’s plans are never foiled. I don’t care how sneaky Satan is, or how many demons he uses, or how many people take legal action to stop him: God’s plans will not be thwarted!
So rather than asking that oh, so tempting question: Why is this happening to me? Try asking these questions instead. God, what do you want me to learn from this situation? God, how do you want me to pray about this situation? God teach me how to yield control to you in this situation. God teach me how to wait on you in this situation. God help me to be still and know that you are God in this situation. God help me to glorify you in this situation.
May God’s grace, mercy, and peace fall on you today.