Life is filled with ups and downs. It ebbs and flows. Job was a man who suffered great loss. Though heart broken; Job leaned on God for understanding. Job says that God gives and God takes away (Job 1:21). Job gives us his philosophy concerning God and suffering, he states “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” Job never showed anger towards God for the loss he endured. Job could have blamed God for the bad in his life. Think about it. It’s easy to praise God in the when our bank accounts have a little extra, the refrigerator is packed, and the gas tank is full. It’s a whole other story when there isn’t enough to go around; when there is more month that money and mayonnaise sandwiches are on the menu because there is nothing else to eat. I’ve been there too.
We are tempted to say in the lean times “If God cared…”, “If God is so loving…”. Here is the fallacy of such thinking; God IS caring, God IS loving, and God IS sovereign over all things. Now swallow real hard and reread that last line- God is sovereign over all things and situations. Jobs, finances, resources, time, health, etc. You name it; God is in control of it. So, why does it seem like God is silent in the midst of our chaos and calamity?
Maybe the reason we don’t have what we need is because you haven’t asked. Jesus said in Matthew 7:7-8 (ESV) 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Now we are getting to core of the matter. The Bible tells us that our hearts are desperately wicked. Left to our own devices; we are self centered and care only for what makes us happy and secure with no regard for the will and purposes of God. In order to be in harmony with the heart of God we must let God reprogram our hearts. I don’t mean like some robot without our own free will. We can all change our behavior; but I’m speaking of something much different than ‘acting’ different. I’m speaking of being transformed from the inside out into a new creation. When a person accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior they become a new creation by the grace of God! The grace and love of God is the key to transformation. As with any key; you have to put the key in the keyhole and give it a turn to unlock the door. Lucky for us, God does the work if we allow Him to.
When God saves us, He gives us the Holy Spirit to live inside us. As the Holy Spirit leads us we are transformed more and more every day into the likeness and image of Jesus Christ. We become new creations! Now, as we allow ourselves to be transformed by God’s power we unlock the door that leads to His presence and blessings in our lives.
A disclaimer is in order here . By blessings I mean the presence of God in your life. A peace that surpasses human understanding in hard times. A right standing before God. A new heart and a new outlook on life. An eager excitement and anticipation for the return of Jesus. A joy to God’s will and fulfill His purpose here on earth. These are permanent blessings bestowed by a loving and caring God! I do not mean by blessings that you will receive money, wealth, material possessions as these things are temporary.
If you are attempting to follow Jesus for the material blessings your heart desires you will miss the greatest blessing; His closeness with you. The material things you chase after under the guise of following Jesus will consume and control you. Make no mistake; God knows your heart. God will not nor can He be manipulated to fulfill our sinful desires. His only desire is to have a close personal relationship with us. A relationship based upon love and a desire to know Him fully as He knows us.
Back to prayer for a minute. By allowing the Holy Spirit to transform your heart and mind into the likeness of Jesus; you will pray with your heart inclined to the heart of God. As you pray this way; you will see the power of God explode in your life. You will see God work things out that you thought were hopeless. Lost loved ones will come to saving faith in Jesus. God will open doors for you that were previously locked. He will show you that there nothing is too big or too small for the Sovereign God of all things.
So, in good times and bad, God is still in control. Praise God in the good times and bad. When bad times come, and they will, pray for God to show you what He wants you to learn through it. God has ways of stretching our faith. With each rough time God is teaching us to rely upon Him. Someday someone will ask you “how in the world did you get through that?” and you will be able to say “only by the grace of God!” If you allow Him to, He will build something in you that nothing will be able to destroy. The Apostle Paul encourages us in Romans 12:2 (ESV) 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
My prayer for you is for God to show His wondrous power in your life as you seek His heart and allow your heart to be transformed to look more and more like your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen
In His name;