“A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.”Proverbs 11:13 NLT
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.”Psalm 37:5-6 NIV
“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Genesis 50:20 KJV)
Joseph endured a lot due to things that others did to him. I’m sure that while he was going through the many trials he faced he must’ve wondered why God allowed the things He did. What really strikes me is how Joseph praises God for the things he endured in Genesis 50:20; instead of lamenting, Joseph says what was done to me was done out of evil intentions but God used that for good.
I think we often wonder why the Lord allows some of the things to happen in our lives that He does. And I think it’s okay to wonder and even expected by Him that we will. What I figure most of us are less apt to do is to thank Him for those things. I know that I can’t always see or understand the “why” but I have the promise that it is ultimately for good. I also know that when I have the perspective that time allows from an event in the past to the present things are often much clearer, as was Joseph’s in the passage I mentioned.
Ultimately we have to learn to trust completely in God’s goodness and righteousness. When we don’t understand how He is working things out or along is the time that our trust and faith are both exercised and grown the most.
Walk by Faith, Not by Sight
by Charles R. Swindoll
Read Job 1:1–12
Without Job’s knowing it, a dialogue took place in the invisible world. As the Lord and Satan had their strange encounter, the subject quickly turned to this well-known earthly man. The Lord calls Satan’s attention to Job’s exemplary life, and Satan responds with a sinister sneer. “Of course, who wouldn’t serve You, the way You’ve prospered and protected him. Take away all the perks and watch what happens; the man will turn on You in a flash.” God agrees to let the Adversary unload on Job.
And so, in today’s terms, the Lord bet Satan that Job would never turn on Him. Philip Yancey refers to that agreement as the “divine wager.” Satan instigates a sudden and hostile removal of all the man’s possessions, leaving him bankrupt. Within a matter of minutes, everything he owned was gone.
This brings us to the first lesson worth remembering: we never know ahead of time the plans God has for us. Job had no prior knowledge or warning. That morning dawned like every other morning. The night had passed like any other night. There was no great angelic manifestation—not even a tap on his window or a note left on the kitchen table.
In one calamity after another, all the buildings on his land are gone, and nothing but lumber and bodies litter the landscape. It occurred so fast, Job’s mind swirled in disbelief. Everything hit broadside . . . his world instantly changed.
You and I must learn from this! We never know what a day will bring, whether good or ill. Our heavenly Father’s plan unfolds apart from our awareness. Ours is a walk of faith, not sight. Trust, not touch. Leaning long and hard, not running away. No one knows ahead of time what the Father’s plan includes. It’s best that way. It may be a treasured blessing; it could be a test that drops us to our knees. He knows ahead of time, but He is not obligated to warn us about it or to remind us it’s on the horizon. We can be certain of this: our God knows what is best.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
This evening we came home from visiting some relatives to an odd experience: It was the first time Morkie wasn’t there, at the top of the stairs, waiting to greet me. It was a sad and kind of somber thing realizing that he never would be at the top of those stairs, waiting for me to rub his head, again.
In a way only God can do, He has made this sad event much more meaningful to me. Mork went so fast and unexpectedly that is has really brought the thought of one’s mortality to the front of my thoughts. Any person I know could go like that; be here one evening and then be gone the next afternoon. The biggest difference? I know Morkie isn’t in Hell but some of the dearest people in my life would be if they went tonight.
I praise God for easing my sorrows. And I thank and praise Him that I see a greater lesson in this sad event: I must be vigilant in seeking to save that which is lost.
I ask you to remember me in your prayers that I will always keep this lesson fresh and in the front of my mind. That I will proclaim the Gospel Truth whenever He gives me opportunity to.
I have been blessed to see the Lord work in a mighty and powerful way in my life and my family’s live over the last few weeks. And I have learned a lesson that I already knew: God works best when we get out of the way.
As hard as it is at times, we have to back away from what we think ought to be done and just be obedient to His way and time. It will ne perfect if we will do that, as His ways and times always are. Scripture says that obedience is better than sacrifice. Sometimes we still need to make the sacrifice but we need to do it on His terms and times for Him to bless it, thus being obedient before sacrifice.