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Can God be Trusted with Our Troubles?
Let’s talk about TROUBLE!
All of us have trouble and troubles.
Most of us think that we have MORE trouble than we really have. And most of us think that we have MORE trouble than the other people around us.
However few of us, perhaps none, have ever had the trouble that a man named Job had.
And in the midst of his troubles, his sorrows, his difficulties, his perplexities, his heartbrokenness, his bewilderment, he makes an incredible statement.
Job says concerning Jehovah God,
“Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him.”
Truly, we know that God is necessary, and we know that we really can’t live without Him.
But we all still often wonder, is God enough?
Also, we all know that God brings blessings, but we have to admit that God allows troubles.
The great question today is this: Can God be trusted with our troubles?
Who was Job?
Job lived in the land of Uz.
Indeed, Job was a righteous man. He was upright, God-fearing, and a man who turned away from evil.
Further, Job had seven sons and three daughters and almost limitless wealth.
Even more, he was one of the greatest men living in his day.
But the devil was suspicious of Job’s motives.
The devil said that the only reason Job served God was that God had been so good to him.
Moreover, the devil said that God had bribed Job and bought him off.
Further, the devil said that God had set around Job a hedge of protection and blessed him in every way imaginable.
So, Satan threw a challenge into the face of God.
In Job 1:11, we read the challenge, Satan said,
“Stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”
Essentially Satan was saying,
“God, he doesn’t love you.
He doesn’t care about you.
He’s not trusting you.
Just let me through that hedge to give him some real problems.”
And God permitted him.
Then Satan plunged Job into darkness, causing him unthinkable loss and suffering, and pain.
Perhaps you’ve heard this story before? Perhaps you can relate today.
Three Questions about this question – Can God be Trusted with Our Troubles?
For this devotional, I want to ask you three questions.
If you can answer “yes” to all three of these questions, you have the same kind of faith that Job had.
These thought-provoking questions come from a sermon preached by Pastor Adrian Rogers.
I think you will be both challenged and encouraged by these questions.
Can God be Trusted with Our Troubles? QUESTION ONE!
Here’s question one… Can God be trusted when you are submerged in suffering?
Job lost everything. He lost his family, his finances, and his fitness. He lost his health.
Also, Joe was covered from the top of his head to the soles of his feet with huge ulcers and boils that wracked his body with fever and pain.
Finally, he went out to a dump heap to scrape away those things with a broken piece of pottery.
And as he suffered, three friends came and told him that his pain was resolved as the result of some secret sin.
Job had lost everything, even his reputation for righteousness. And in the midst of all that, Job still praised God.
Can you and I do that?
Don’t think that faith is the way to get out of suffering.
Faith may more appropriately be a way to endure our suffering.
Today, you may be submerged in suffering:
Maybe you are dealing with an unfaithful spouse.
Or, you are hurting over wayward children or grandchildren.
It may be that you are dealing with a health issue like cancer.
Or something else painful.
Perhaps today… you are just extremely lonely and discouraged.
No Matter What
No matter what is going on in your world today, can I encourage you, to look up to heaven and praise God for being God?
Turn up the praise music.
Read praise verses, and tell God that you still love Him no matter how much your world hurts today.
I’ve got a podcast that I recorded that’s all about worshiping God, no matter what.
You may want to go over and listen right now – “Get Your Smile Back.”
So, the first question is this… Can God be trusted even when you’re submerged in suffering?
Can God be Trusted with Our Troubles? QUESTION TWO.
Now, here’s a second question… Can God be trusted when you are forsaken by your friends?
This one is tough! Really tough!
Job had three friends who are supposed to be his comforters.
Instead, all his friends did was give platitudes and criticize him.
Joe can only cry out in Job 19:14,
“My relatives have failed, and my close friends have forgotten me.”
Can you trust God when you’re forsaken by your friends?
Are you going through it right now?
Has your husband forsaken you?
Have your children or grandchildren abandoned you?
Has a trusted friend turned on you?
Maybe a co-worker or close friend?
Even when our closest people forsake us, we can still trust God.
In fact,… I can tell you from my own life and the testimony of so many people that I respect this truth.
Sometimes when we are most forsaken by others, we experience the nearness of God as real and as powerfully as we ever have.
The pain of rejection by other people presses us into the arms of God.
Have you experienced that?
I have! It’s a real thing!
Can God be Trusted with Our Troubles? QUESTION THREE.
Finally, let’s consider a third question… Can God be trusted when you’re dismayed by the darkness?
God allowed Job to be tested.
He didn’t do this to prove that Joe would fail.
Instead, God did this to prove that Job would not lose his faith and give up on God.
You and I know the outcome of this story, but Job didn’t know any of that at the time.
Job hadn’t read the Book of Job! He didn’t understand all of this that was happening to him as he was in absolute darkness.
He didn’t have a clue what was going on at the time!
It Must Have Been So Hard!
During all of this… Job thought God owed him some answers, but God let him walk in darkness instead.
God didn’t answer Job for a long time.
Not a single reason for all of the pain.
When God finally did answer Job, He didn’t have an answer to a single one of Joe’s questions.
Instead, God just reminded Job that He was Almighty, sovereign, sufficient, and enough.
Then Job responded with humility, reverence, and praise.
Job bowed down and worshiped God even when he didn’t have a clue what was going on or why all of this was happening!
Sometimes, we are not going to understand.
Sometimes it’s just going to be dark.
When it is dark, will we still trust God?
Can we trust God even in the middle of the darkness?
Can we trust in the name of our Lord and rely on our God?
We all have troubles!
All of us!
Today, if you find yourself in the middle of a troubling season, I want to encourage you to look for the treasures.
What do I mean?
There’s a wonderful little verse tucked away in Isaiah 45:3. It says this,
“And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness— secret riches.
I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.”
What if Today??
What if today – you asked God to show you the treasures in the darkness – the secret riches that can be found in this season of your life?
And, what might these be?
Troubles take us to the utter depths of our God.
Truly, in the hard moments, we dig deeper.
We pray with more passion and fervor. And, you and I will study the Bible and find things we never found before.
Even more, we gain insights and compassion, and wisdom that we never had before. In times of trouble, we seek guidance from people who love Jesus, and we learn from them.
We become more like Jesus – who greatly suffered for us!
Like Deep Sea Diving
It’s like my friend Larry and Shari who enjoy deep-sea diving. They like to load up with all of their gear and swim down into the deep places in the ocean.
Because (according to my friends) the treasures are down deep where it is colder and darker.
To get to the treasures, you have to DIVE DEEP!
So, today, I want to encourage you to dive deep with the Lord!
Invite Him to show you some beautiful treasures and some riches as you are plunged into the depths of trouble.
Another Great Example When Considering: Can God be Trusted with Our Troubles?
One of my longtime friends went through a terrible bout with cervical cancer. In the middle of it all, she shared something with me.
She explained that in her sickness and pain, she experienced God in a fresh, new, and amazing way.
Truly, God walked with her and understood her when none of the rest of us really could! She learned to trust God more and find the treasures in the darkness of cancer.
You and I can too!
I remember a great quote from Pastor Adrian Rogers:
“You will never learn that God is all you need until God is all you have.”
Let’s Repeat Those Questions:
First… Can God be trusted when you are submerged in suffering?
Second… Can God be trusted when you are forsaken by your friends?
Third… Can God be trusted when you’re dismayed by the darkness?
I pray for you and me that we can answer all of those questions with the YES…
Even if it’s a hard “YES” to give.
Remember This Song?
The words to an old hymn come to mind as we close.
Maybe you know it?
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him,
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er,
Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more.
‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, Louisa M. R. Stead, 1882
Here’s my Prayer for you and for me today!
“Lord, would you give us the incredible grace to trust You more?
We want to trust You more than we ever have!
In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
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