Through Disappointment and Success

Job lost it all.  All of his children, his wealth and his health. All that was left was a nagging wife who told him, “Curse God and die.” Thanks a lot.

Job 13:15  “Though He slay Me, I will hope in Him.”

HUH?

How do you get to that point?  How do you accept life’s punishment without growing bitter?

Job had lost everything and yet he still trusted. I can have a crisis of faith over the smallest thing. I remember one of my greatest struggles early in ministry came over a broken down clothes dryer.

Amy and I were newly married and struggling to make ends meet. She was still in college and I was an under-paid Youth Minister. I worked through the bills for that month and told Amy, “We can make it if nothing breaks.” So we got on our knees and prayed together, “Lord, we are out here on the ragged edge serving you. Finances are hard and we need your help. Please, just protect our possessions and don’t let anything break down.” Two days later the dryer went out. I was so disappointed and my disappointment was directed at the Lord, “God, I feel like I can’t even trust you for a dryer!”

I know it sounds trivial now, but at that moment, it was an enormous issue, and it nearly put out my fire.   That dead dryer became a defining event in my spiritual journey. I wasn’t Job, not even close, but God was asking for Job like surrender. He wanted to know if I would serve him through disappointment and success. Would I come to a point where, like Job, I could say, “Even though he slays me, yet I will hope in him.” The central question was this, “Who will be sovereign?”

Will I trust the lord even when things don’t go my way?  Will I still hope in him when my life turns out harder than I expected?

It doesn’t have to be Job sized problems.

Sometimes all of the little things can coalesce into this gigantic wet blanket that dampens your enthusiasm and steals your joy.  The car won’t start, the computer goes down. The toilet won’t flush. The traffic won’t flow. I had a friend once say, “Sometimes it feels like I’m being pecked to death.” Man, is that ever true.

You get discouraged and disappointed and start to wonder, “Why me Lord? Can’t you at least take care of a dryer?”

Yes, He can.

But He wants us to love Him even when he doesn’t. And hope in Him even when the way is unclear.

There’s a word for that. Its called Faith.

Job had it. We need it.

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