Job 1:20-22 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.
How many times have you been face with death of a loved one, loss of financial status, loss of a job or just a very stressful situation and gotten on your knees and praised God for it? You have to admit Job was pretty amazing. He lost his livestock, his livelihood and all of his children. Yet, his first response was to praise God. He recognizes that God gives him everything he has, and it is God’s right to take it away.
Pete and I have been face to face with difficulties throughout our marriage. I cannot say that my first response was to praise God for them. I can specifically remember changes in jobs, transfers to different areas of the country, children’s health issues, loss of family members, stresses of adding children into a marriage, different religions, financial issues and so many more. Over the last 17 years, many wonderful things have happened to us, but intertwined within that have been some pretty big struggles.
Through it all, our marriage has been strengthened because God has remained at the center of all of it – good and bad. God is our strength and thankfully we both recognize that.
All of that materialism – financial status, size of your house, money in the bank, position of your career, and kind of car you drive – that all can be taken away as fast as you can snap your fingers. God has that power. So think carefully about what God has given you – what will you do if it is taken away?
Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.
Through all struggles, I think God does know our heart. He searches through all the bad to find the good within us. He loves us through all of our choices. Through our trials, He sees our anxious thoughts and offers us peace. Thank goodness for that. There have been many times that I have begged God for peace and release of worry. He not only offers us peace, but he provides us with a way out of the hurt and pain of the struggle. He grants us perseverance. The key is we have to accept that offer. Let me tell you, I have rejected it many times before. I have tried to find my own way out, and it never works. I always end of turning back to God for help.
Job seemed to recover from his losses. He regained his livelihood and even went on to have more children. He trusted that God would find a way out of all this hurt for him. He knew that God would be there to offer peace.
James 1:4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Yes, perseverance always equals a stronger faith life. ALWAYS. You will be able to look back on how you handle difficulty and realize that you ran through the hardest race of your life and you made it. You did it with God leading the way.