Reading Job is at once humbling and encouraging. "Who are you," God (basically) asks Job, "to think that you can criticize me or judge me for the way I do things? Were you there when the universe was created? Do you control the weather? Do you know how everything holds together? NO. So let me be God and you just trust me to take care of you." That kind of sums up the several chapters of God lecturing Job.
That really got me thinking. A journal/scrapbook my friend Sara made for me includes several quotes, pictures, poems, Scripture verses, etc, with room for me to add my own. At the top of the first page it says "Psalm 103." I looked that up and read it, and came across this verse:
"The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love." Psalm 103:8
He is ALWAYS compassionate and gracious. That doesn't change, ever. It's not necessarily our definition of compassionate and gracious. But God always shows us his perfect love. I wrote at the bottom of that page in the journal,
"Trust in God is not conditional. He doesn't say, 'Trust me when things are going well. Trust me if you have everything you think you need. Trust me when life is easy.' No. Trust is based on faith, and faith trusts always. God says, 'Trust Me.' Period."
Jon Acuff wrote on his blog today,
"Since the dawn of time, the enemy has tried to play just one trick.
Though it has a thousand different variations and a million different manifestations, it boils down to the same lie every time.
God is not good.
He's holding out on you.
There is something more you are missing.
Time and again, this is the trick the enemy comes back to."
I commented on the post,
"So true. God always blesses us. Not in the ways we THINK we need blessing. Not usually in the ways we expect. But he gives us what HE knows we need.
I'd add one thing. God never guaranteed that following him would be easy. We ARE called to give up ourselves when we follow him. The disciples gave up everything in order to be Jesus' disciples.
But they never went without food. They never went without shelter. They always had clothes. They always had what they NEEDED. But life wasn't easy.
I've been realizing lately that the best gifts God gives aren't ones with monetary value. They're things like family. Friendship. Being hugged and kissed by one's spouse. A sweet summer breeze. Love. And most importantly, God's forgiveness, love, and grace. When a person has all that...what more do they really need?"
My mother-in-law posted a verse of a beloved hymn on my facebook wall this morning:
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus;
look full in his wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
in the light of his glory and grace."
When life is frustrating and confusing...when circumstances are out of our control...when things seem hopeless and there is no end in sight...
We can trust God.
Because he is always good and he always has our bests interests in mind.
And in the meantime...
we can focus on what he's already given us.
Because it's SO much.
We already have everything we need.
And when we focus on Christ,
the things of this world seem less important.
Because they are less important.
When we have Christ, and his love, forgiveness, mercy and grace... (and we do)...
we have all we need.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time." -1 Peter 1:3-5