Faithfulness in Hard Times
God’s plans are always perfect and He can use all things for good (Rom 8:28). While we’re able to believe that readily when times are good, when things are not, our doubts certainly kick in. That’s ok. It doesn’t surprise God (nothing can). Even David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam 13:14, Acts 13:22), lamented during bad times. Many of the psalms are lamentations; Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations, and we’re all familiar with the story of Job.
While not known exactly, Job is believed to be the oldest book in the bible, written about 2000 BC. If you recall, Job suffered extreme calamity (Job 1:13-19) losing seven sons, three daughters, 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 1000 oxen, and 500 donkeys. He lost just about everything, practically all at once. If you re-read the passage, you’ll likely notice how it says three times that, as a servant was delivering bad news, “while he was still speaking…” another servant arrives with more. Talk about hard times! Did he grieve? Absolutely (see ch 3), but his first response was to honor God:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” - Job 1:21
He also trusted in God’s sovereignty and goodness and recognized His provision:
“His lamp shone over my head, And by His light I walked through darkness.” - Job 29:3
Adversity and challenge are some of the ways God can draw us closer to him as we seek understanding and comfort. It’s perfectly natural to not desire challenges in our lives, but we serve a great God who is absolutely faithful and worthy of all our trust even at the toughest of times. When the bad times come, we should be like Job and first honor God for His faithfulness and also trust in the Lord.
We all have stories of challenge. Just yesterday (as I write this), I was informed that my position at my company was no longer needed and that I am now out of a job. It’s nowhere near the level of Job’s experience, nor is it Satan testing me (that I know of), but it certainly was a blow. Rather than let it devastate me, I will have faith in the Lord and faith that this is part of His plan. It was simply a step I wasn’t anticipating.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the LORD.
Seeking His glory,
Mike Peay | RBC Lay Elder