Let me be brutally honest.
Life is hard.
It’s hard to be alone every week. It’s hard to watch all my friends post pictures on Facebook and Instagram of their beautiful children. It’s hard to accept that some people don’t want to rekindle friendship with you and your husband. It’s not fun to wake up and be on the road before the sun in the morning, every morning, and arrive back home – to a husband-less household – after the sun has gone back to bed.
But in spite of all of that, and any other circumstances I may have glossed over, people continually remark at my cheerful demeanor, how happy and carefree I seem to be…and I can honestly say it isn’t my doing at all.
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Have any of you recently read the book of Job? I’m currently reading and studying this book of the Bible, and if you haven’t read it closely, WOW, Job had it pretty bad. I feel almost embarrassed to complain about anything in my life because, well, there but for the grace of God go I!
Job was not only the wealthiest man around; he also was “…a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” (Job 1:8 ESV) He was blessed with ten children, numerous servants, countless livestock…probably the nicest tent on the block! And not only these material possessions were taken away, but his health fell away too. Job 2:8 (ESV) says, “And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.”
Here is a man who was on top of the world, and now he sits on top of ashes, where his belongings had burned. His children are gone. His servants are gone. His livestock is gone. And he is covered from head to toe with itchy boils and sores covering his skin, and all he can do is scrape at himself with a shard of pottery, broken in the midst of everything.
Job’s wife, almost understandably so, says to him, “…Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” Job 2:9 (ESV)
But his response to her is a lesson for all of us:
But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. 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 (ESV)
Job trusted God. He praised God, and he accepted his circumstances.
Not that my own circumstances come close to those of Job, but I have found in praying about and trying to find reason and comfort for many of the things going on in our life, if Jesus calls you to experience something, He gives you everything you need to get through it. And not only survive, but to do so with JOY and PEACE.
John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give it to you. Let your heart not be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
It’s the very thing that allows persecuted Christians to get out of bed every morning: their worlds may be falling apart around them, but they are BLESSED with a RELATIONSHIP with the CREATOR – “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
It’s amazing what Jesus can do with circumstances in our lives that seem to be only painful at first glance. I am so blessed to be asked to share Jesus with so many people simply because they hear a part of our story and are amazed at the peace and calm and joy in our lives.
The Lord gives his people strength.
The Lord blesses them with peace. Psalm 29:11 (NLT)
That peace, strength and JOY is Jesus and our relationship to Him, my friends. It’s nothing short of amazing, and He is all you need.