WHEN LIFE CAVES IN
Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting.
2 Chronicles 7:3
Job's life couldn't have been any better. He was godly, healthy, wealthy and wise. He had a wonderful family (a wife and 10 children), a huge ranch, a prosperous business, and was greatly respected in the community. But all of that changed in a moment. Job lost his children... his wealth... his health... and his good name. Life literally caved in on him. The pain was excruciating. His wife told him, "Curse God and die!"
EVER HAD A CAVE IN?
I do not believe any of us have ever had a situation as intensely bad as Job's, yet we can probably relate to the feeling that life has caved in. We have all experienced trouble with a "Capital T." In fact, Job said himself, "Man, who is born of woman, is short-lived and full of trouble" (Job 14:1).
I have found that it is very easy in the tough times to throw in the towel on God. It is very easy to follow the advice of brokenhearted Mrs. Job and simply curse God for the cave in. What is a bitter person? It is someone who has gone through a terrible situation in life and turned sour on God as a result.
THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE
A great, life-changing truth is found in 2 Chronicles 7:3, "Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting. When life caves in, it is CRITICAL to cling to the truth that regardless of the present circumstances, God is still good, and He does everything in love.
You and I must remember that God does not see our lives the same way we do. We see our lives in daily increments while He sees our lives from beginning to end. A parade looks very different from a helicopter than it does from street level. God is certainly at work behind the scenes doing things we cannot see or fathom... so don't be too quick to pass judgment on your life, calling it a bust. It ain't over till He says it is. In the cave in, the Lord assures us, "My child, just trust Me. I know what I am doing. I love you so much and would never allow you to suffer needlessly."
Job would certainly echo that sentiment. He saw God do so much in his life as a result of his suffering. Job drew much closer to God through it all ("the Lord is near to the brokenhearted"). He learned things about God that he would never have learned outside of his fiery trial. And to top it all off, after his cave in was over, God rewarded Job with restored health, ten wonderful children, twice as much wealth and respect as before, and satisfaction to the full.
For Job, all the suffering was worth it. The cave in definitely had a happy ending. A good and loving God certainly did work all things together for good... just like He promises (Rom. 8:28).
PS. For those of you who watch on TV, we now have sermon notes available so you can follow along at home. Go to www.fromhisheart.org to download yours for this Sunday's message, THE POWER OF WORSHIP.
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Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast. Click here to become a ministry partner.