Have you ever felt alone in a situation, wondering if God cares about your struggles? Have you ever felt like just when everything was going good in life, everything went wrong? That was the case with Job, a man considered blameless, upright, and one who feared God.
Job had great possessions, servants, sons and daughters. He was considered the greatest of all men of the East, so much so that God said to the devil, “For there is no one like him on the earth.”
Listen to this account from Job 1:6-12, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 7The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” 8The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” 9Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10“Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11“But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” 12Then the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.”
Many of us know the story of the loss and afflictions Job endured at the hand of Satan, but he continued to praise God anyway. At the end of the story in Job 42, we read these words, “Then Job answered the LORD and said, 2“I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”
If we could only be more like Job, knowing and believing that God can do all things and that His plans for us are good. We read in Jeremiah 29:11 the following promise from God, 11‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’” Notice we have a responsibility in this, to search for Him with all our heart, and when we do this He promises to be found by us and to bless us.
I’d like you to consider the ways that God goes before us, with us and after us. Proverbs 16:9 says that in our hearts we plan our course but the Lord determines our steps. God’s got our back. He goes before us to pave the way, to open doors, to put things before us that will bless our lives, and then He goes with us as we step out in faith and walk through those doors. Even when doors close and things don’t pan out to all that we had hoped for, God is still with us and will still make something good of the situation. Remember His promise in Romans 8:28 which says, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Here again He lays out our responsibility along with His promise to us. We are responsible to love Him, and He promises to make all things in our lives work together for our good. He calls us according to these promises.
I’d like you to think about another thing I believe God does for us and that is that He goes after us. I don’t mean that he follows us and then makes good things of our mess, although He certainly can and does do this. What I want you to think about are times in your life when you strayed from God, times when you perhaps walked in direct disobedience to His word. Did you turn back to Him? Do you believe he was “going after you” to draw you back? I know from personal experience a time when I was walking just that way and I know that my Lord loved me too much to leave me there in that sin. He lured me with His love for me, He called me back into His presence and into a right relationship with Him again. Even in this, though, I had responsibility. I had to recognize and repent of my disobedience and rebellion and ask Him to forgive me, and that was all it took to get right with Him again.
Thank you Father that you do go before us, you go with us, and you go after us. Thank you for loving us even when we are most unlovable. Walk with us this day and help us to never stray from you again. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen