My son once asked me, “If you had been with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, what would you have done?” I know what he was after and what he was thinking, so I answered, “I would have ran like the rest of them.” He replied, “I would have stayed.” I then explained that it was a nice sentiment, but he would have ran too. I told him that you can’t take today’s knowledge and apply it to what you would have done yesterday. However, I also explained that he can take today’s knowledge and pre-apply it to what he will do tomorrow. There will be plenty of times in his life, and ours, where things look bad, and the opposite of what we hoped would happen will come true. There will be times where we’re tempted to blame God and deny Him, but if we decide now how we will handle it, we improve our chances of staying with Him.
Job is a tough book to read. It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to lose everything in a day, including your children. It’s hard to imagine how we might respond when insult is added to injury when we then become too sick to do anything about it. I love that this book pulls back the curtains of what is often happening. Job 1:10-11 has Satan going to God against Job saying, “You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!” (NLT) Satan accuses us by saying we will run from God when bad things happen, but God knows that like Job, if you will predetermine how you will respond, you can endure anything and still worship Him.
Ephesians 6:13 says, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (ESV). We know that troubles don’t come from God, but He allows them and uses them to test us and grow us. Job had to endure a long time with no response from God as to why everything happened. God grew his endurance and his faith in the end because he didn’t run when bad things happened. He stood firm. We must remain in Him and stand firm during the most difficult times. He is our protection, our source of strength and our hope when all is else is lost. The more difficult your situation is, the more your endurance has the ability to grow. Don’t allow today’s circumstances cause you to run. God had a plan and was working things out behind the scenes for Jesus, the disciples and Job. He’s doing the same for you even though you can’t see it. Don’t run.
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