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How to Trust When You're Troubled

June 15, 2009
by Charles R. Swindoll

Some of you are facing what could easily be called an unsolvable problem. It’s you I hope to encourage today. Often the situations with no human answers form the basis upon which God does some of His best work.

This is illustrated beautifully in the life of Job, who, in my opinion, is a living example of unsolvable problems. Job’s biography includes a clipboard full of questions about suffering.

Is God fair? Is this situation just? What is a person to learn when going through deep waters of suffering?

In Job, we have a unique and rare look within the veil of heaven and behind the scenes on earth.

The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” (Job 1:7-8)

What would God say about you if He were to address Satan right now and tell him about your life? “Have you considered _______,” and then He calls your name. As he describes you, what would He say? With some of you, it might fit very closely to what He said about Job—“blameless and upright.”

Job’s life was a wonderful model of courageous living. Job trusted God in the good times. Now the scene was set to determine if Job would trust God in humanly impossible situations.

The next chapter of Job’s life is a dark one. He endured loss like few have known. His home . . . destroyed. His family . . . perished. His health . . . ruined. His finances . . . wiped out. His friends . . . questioned his godly reputation.

In the long process of working through his questions and struggles, Job finally resolved to trust God—no matter what. He had worshiped. He had humbled himself. He had sat in silence. He finally responded to his wife, “I accept what God has sent. I have accepted good, now I accept adversity.” Read that once more. It is the secret of his stability.

I find three real reasons Job could respond like this. First, he looked up and was comforted by God’s sovereignty. He saw more than God’s actions; he saw His heart. He accepted what God gave and took away. He saw God’s sovereign love, and he said to his wife, “Should we not receive both without question?”

Job also looked ahead and was reminded of God’s promise. In chapter 19, Job said,

“I know that my Redeemer lives, / And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” (19:25)

Job was reminded of God’s promise that at the end all will be made right. Looking ahead, he felt spurred on.

Lastly, Job looked within and was shaped by God’s instruction. Job 42:6 states that he looked at his life, and he repented “in dust and ashes.” He saw that God had instructed him in his suffering and illness as in no other way. He said, in effect, “Lord, for the first time, I honestly can say, ‘I give myself to You as never before.’”

It’s a courageous thing for a believer to give himself to a sovereign God while facing impossible situations. Perhaps that’s exactly what you need to do right now. I recall what a wise and surrendered person once prayed:

Lord, I am willing to receive what Thou givest. I am willing to lack what Thou withholdest. I am willing to relinquish what Thou takest. I am willing to suffer what Thou inflictest. I am willing to be what Thou requirest. Lord, I’m willing.

My friend, if your days have been difficult and nights have been like a tunnel, dark and long, find your comfort in God’s sovereign control and everlasting love. Your Savior knows your breaking point. The bruising and crushing and melting you are enduring are designed to reshape you, not ruin you. Your strength and courage increase the longer He lingers over you. Remembering Job’s secret can make all the difference.

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A worthy read and reminder about God's love from a brother in Christ Marty Kessler who is a gospel preacher in Oklahoma.

Have a great day!

 

For my fellow Bible students..... 

The Bible teaches that we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.  The very thought of standing before the one who knows me as I actually am, is terrifying, because I know I’ve done a lot of stupid, ungodly things for which I have no excuse.

But I am not afraid.  I am not afraid because of his son’s cross.

“…..having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross”, Colossians 2:13-14

I am not afraid because he takes my weak, faltering faith and counts it as his own righteousness.

“But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness…..”, Romans 4:5

I am not afraid because God loves me in spite of my past.  His love for me is not dependent on me being good, because I can’t.  Instead, his love is based solely on his eternal goodness, and therefore completely reliable.

“And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.  God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.  We love, because He first loved us”, 1st John 4:16-19.

Life without fear is freedom.

 

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DB and LAD:  This follows along with your posts above.  And DB, great post, by the way!

Linda

 

Turning Point, with Dr. David Jeremiah

Monday, 5/21

 

Thought Therapy

 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

 

It begins with a thought. Peter thought he would drown and looked away from Jesus. Moses thought he was inadequate and looked away from God’s calling. The disciples thought the soldiers were more powerful than Jesus and fled into the night. Every one of our actions flows from a thought: conscious or subconscious. Often our thoughts are automatic and reactionary.

 

What area of your life do you want to improve? Just take a moment and think about that. In what area would you most like to grow? With God’s help, you can improve your one corner of the universe. What it really takes is the power of God in our lives, and there is a passage of Scripture on this very subject.

 

 It takes effort to examine the thoughts running on repeat in our minds. A thought repeated becomes a belief.

 

This explains why God’s first words to His people time and time again are, “Don’t be afraid.” He knows our fears and anxious thoughts. He only asks that we bring them to Him and replace them with the truth of His power, love, and wisdom. Although each of us will face challenges and deep loss, God invites us to trust Him. As we do, our anxious thoughts are replaced with His peace. He is with us. He loves us. He is working on our behalf.

 

Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.

Elisabeth Elliot

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