Monday, August 13, 2007

August 13, 2007

"And we know that all things work together for good to them who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

If you have been in church any length of time, you have heard that verse and probably heard numerous sermons on it. you believe it? Do you REALLY believe it? How is it possible for horrible circumstances in our life to be good?

It is really difficult to SEE that when we are in the midst of the circumstances. Our vision is usually much better down the road....weeks or months or sometimes even years later. Then we can see that God truly WAS in the midst and that He did orchestrate all the details to bring good about in the end.

A perfect example is Job. Job experienced something NONE of us would ever want to go through. It is so horrible that I cannot even fathom it! He was a strong man just to survive the pain of such devastating loss. I don't think I would have. He lost everything in the matter of just a few days. He lost all of his children, all of his livestock, all of his servants. He even lost his health. He lost everything but his wife (and after the way she nagged at him afterwards, he probably wondered why God didn't allow her to be taken, too!) Yet, Job 42 tells us that "the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had 14,000 sheep, 6000 camels and 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 asses. He had 7 sons and 3 daughters. The Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before."

I saw a story on Oprah last week about a woman who had 4 children. She got up one morning and went to run with her friend as she did each morning. While she was gone and her children were still in bed asleep, her estranged husband came and murdered each of them and crawled into bed with the youngest and killed himself. I cannot imagine the horror that woman experienced when she returned. She had to have felt like Job. That was 3 or 4 years ago. She has since remarried and has recently had twins. God is rebuilding her life.

In our Sunday School class, there is a young woman who recently discovered she has cancer...a devastating diagnosis that none of us want to hear. She has already been through surgery and will begin chemo tomorrow. Yet, yesterday she shared with eyes shining brightly and a huge smile on her face, that God was already bringing good out of this experience. Her relationship with her mother, which had not been very close, has been strengthened through this. Her son, who was living with his Dad and had turned completely away from God saying he was not sure there even was a God. He had also cut himself off from her for over a year and her heart has been so grieved over him. Now since her diagnosis, he has done a 180 and come back to the Lord and their relationship is being rebuilt! Now I don't think she would say she is glad she has cancer, BUT I think she would say that she is excited to see what God is doing in the midst of this! It has increased her faith, strengthened her walk and given her a greater assurance that He truly IS working all things for her good! She even said "I could die right now, and I'd die happy!"

Today if you find yourself in difficult circumstances, remember that you are not alone. God is in the midst of those circumstances WITH you. Remember too, that no matter how dark the skies are today, God will break through and the sun will shine again. He WILL work ALL of your circumstances for His good in HIS time. "For weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30: 5 "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has annointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness that they may be called trees of righteouness, the planting of the Lord, that HE may be glorified [the object of the exercise!]. Isaiah 61: 1-3

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