Devotionals by Marilyn Daniels. Check back every week for a new posting...
|Posted by kelvinbueckert on April 4, 2021 at 7:40 PM||comments (0)|
John 12:27, Mk 14:33, John 14:1, 27
We are in the season of Lent; Easter is upon us. What have been our remembrances throughout this period of time? Have our hearts resonated with the heart of our Saviour? How have we prepared our hearts to worship the God- Man who took upon Himself the sins of the world, yours and mine? What was the cost of His great sacrifice?
We read, in the last 9 chapters of John, that He prepared His disciples at great length for a grief mankind had never known before. Emmanuel would leave this earth after spending 3 short years teaching God’s love and majestic power, in word and deed. As Jesus talked intimately with the remaining 11 men He had chosen to be with Him through His formal ministry, (Judas had left the supper), He knew their hearts faced very troubling times. How would they cope?
“Let not your hearts be troubled” Jesus told them. Why so? His own heart had experienced trouble. John describes it for us (12:27). Greeks had come seeking Jesus. It seemed that suddenly this alerted Jesus to the fact His time had come. “I tell you the truth…” He said as He used a parable to tell them about His death and resurrection. “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24). He went on to explain how this troubled His heart. He is after all fully human, just as He is fully God. Did His followers understand? Did they care?
His following words might form a prayer for when we are faced with terrible trials. He questioned whether or not He should pray that His heavenly Father would save Him from this hour. How can we know the Father’s will when we face abuse, oppression, or rejection; when our hearts are troubled?
As a child I was taught that the Christian life is J.O.Y. meaning Jesus comes first, others second and myself last. Was this exemplified in Jesus’ sacrificial life? When we claim to follow Him, what will be the cost? Do I consider it a sacrifice to give Jesus my will, my time, my energy, my love? Will I render to Caesar that which is Caesar, but to God the things that are God’s? Can I love enough to give all my goods to the poor? Do I care about others within the family of God enough to restore them gently to fellowship when they have fallen?
I have discovered that when my heart is troubled the greatest panacea for healing is to encourage someone else, to draw alongside them and be, as someone wisely said “the only Jesus they may ever see”. What a challenge! This actually puts into practise what Paul experienced. He taught the Corinthian church to comfort others with the comfort with which God had comforted them (2 Corinthians 1:3).
Having a correct understanding of God brings me everlasting joy! My heart cannot remain troubled when I understand He has a plan for my life, one which may allow for moments of suffering, alienation or fear. He has promised He will not allow us to suffer anything beyond our ability to bear it, with His grace, in His miraculous strength! When we sing “Victory in Jesus” do we really mean it?
To struggle is human, to be victorious is Divine! In a sense we have the advantages of both, in that the Holy Spirit indwells the children of God, giving us all we need to endure in the moment. Are we willing to die to self, as our Lord and Saviour did, in order to see others enter into the family of God? Would this trouble your heart, or heal it?
|Posted by kelvinbueckert on March 28, 2021 at 9:35 PM||comments (0)|
Looking at Justice and Mercy first let us define our terms. Justice is seen as the quality of fairness, the principle of moral rightness, the process of fairly using law to judge and punish. It is equal in all cases when deciding what is fair. To be fair one must be honest, upright, honourable, trustworthy. Mercy, on the other hand, is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.
In the Bible we are told that God is just. Sometimes He links justice and mercy together. “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress….” (Zechariah 7:9-10). Jesus, pronouncing a woe upon the Pharisees, said: “…you neglect justice and the love of God” (Luke 11:42). Hosea also talks about maintaining love and justiceo (2:19). And so we see the prophets speak about the dangers of withholding justice from the poor and oppressed.
Let’s pose a question: How can mortal man bring justice and mercy together in the 21st century?
Mercy is an attitude of heart expressed in feelings of compassion. When we look at a criminal, for example, we might feel compassion for the situation in which that person finds themselves, knowing the judgment that will be a consequence of wrong choices. However, that feeling does not negate the consequences unless justice can be satisfied in some other way.
An example might be in the news account of a man jailed for murder. Having become a Christian while incarcerated, with a compassionate attitude would we not want to see him go free, now that his life had turned around? However, he suffered the death penalty for his crime, willingly acknowledging the mercy of God, while accepting the consequence of his murderous temper.
Divine justice and mercy factor into this account. Would we, with our finite wisdom, pervert the very mercy of God? We need to be wary of being guided by our feelings instead of maintaining a balance between cognitive and emotive understanding. Often our judgment is impacted by our own feelings more than we realize. Instead of facing the result of sin in our lives, we look for any escape from those ramifications.
How does God view each individual situation? There is the promise given through Isaiah “My justice will become a light to the nations” (51:4)! That means that God’s merciful provision for the sins of the nations, through Jesus Christ the Lord, will effectively save those who repent and receive God’s forgiveness. Our knowledge of God gives us a wonderful answer to the dilemma of sin. Divine Justice is not something to fear when tempered with His matchless mercy!
How often do we want to deal with our problems in our own way? Is this not a rejection of God’s mercy? What is the consequence? What is God’s perfect provision?
|Posted by kelvinbueckert on March 21, 2021 at 8:00 PM||comments (0)|
At the end of the day the only question that will matter is “What did you do with Jesus”. His representatives on earth may fall, but Jesus never fails. Lyricists have written songs about His amazing faithfulness to truth and righteousness. The Bible assures us He is the same yesterday, today and forever! (Hebrews 13:8). What a blessed promise in the face of human failure and disappointment.
We might ask another question “Who am I compared to the King of glory, the One who left the glory of heaven (Philippians 2:5-8) to suffer shame and disgrace at Calvary, taking my punishment for sins He never committed?” (Hebrews 10:10-14). Charles Goodman captured the truth as he asked:
Who am I that the King would bleed and die for?
Who am I that He would pray not my will, Thine Lord.
The answer I may never know
Why He ever loved me so
That to an old rugged cross He'd go…
For who am I?
When we see Jesus our gratitude sometimes takes a turn, and we begin to revere the instrument that brought the light of the gospel to us. The apostles leave us with a legacy which we do well to remember. In our scripture today we read that Cornelius called his household together, family, friends and servants to meet the great Apostle Peter.
Like Jonah, Peter resisted sharing his faith with Gentiles. The Gospel was for the Jews, surely. God rebuked Peter and finally he surrendered. It was a long journey from Jerusalem to Caesarea, but Peter had been called by God to go specifically to the home of this Italian military Commander (Acts 10).
What was Peter’s attitude when he arrived? Considering the important role he played in the development of the early Church in Jerusalem, this was a great concession involving time and energy. He could have been condescending, but we see Peter serving Jesus with humility. As Cornelius fell at his feet in the respect demanded by the custom of the day, Peter commanded him to “Get up”! Leaving the crowd in no doubt, Peter declared “I am only a man myself” (Acts 10:25-26).
Peter had learned to come to grips with the limitations of his own humanity. He had failed Jesus many times. He couldn’t stay awake to watch with Him prior to Jesus’ arrest in Gethsemane. He denied that he knew Jesus immediately prior to His crucifixion. Here was another test. This time he didn’t fail. In spite of the Jewish laws which prevented association with Gentiles, God had shown Peter that He cared about the souls of all people, even Gentiles.
”I now realize how true it is that God does not show any favouritism” (Acts 10:34). This was an epiphany for Peter. Suddenly he got it! He found himself preaching about Jesus, sharing ”the good news of peace, through Jesus Christ who is Lord of all” (10:36). His focus was Jesus Christ! As a privileged witness of all that Christ was and did, Peter talked about His life and death as the fulfillment of prophecy and how, following His miraculous resurrection, Jesus ate and drank with His followers. As Paul reminds us “He lives to make intercession for us” (Hebrews 7:24-25) so to Him goes all the honour and glory forever and ever!
The power of the Holy Spirit came upon these Gentiles so that they believed and were baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. This is what happens when we see Christ Jesus lifted up by Godly men and women.
What are you doing with the precious, holy name of Jesus? Do you guard His reputation with your life?
|Posted by kelvinbueckert on March 14, 2021 at 5:00 PM||comments (0)|
The news is full of judgment, whether it is political, criminal or even inspirational. Sports figures and artist are weighed by public opinion and everyone, we are told, is entitled to their own opinion. Strangely enough few people take God’s opinion to heart. However, as our scripture indicates He is the ultimate Judge and even now is waiting, withholding the inevitable judgment on mankind (James 5:9).
James paints a grim picture of the last days! Folks will be hoarding their wealth (James 5:3, 5). Having worked in developing countries where I have seen people picking through garbage to find food, along with storks and rats, I marvel at the waste of food and the self-indulgence as we sit down to tables groaning with plenty, day after day. James observes there is also an attitude which sometimes we see in the twenty-first century. How can we get the best bang for our buck? (James 5:4) Does cheating a workman of the wages he deserves, count as fair? The rich have taken advantage of the poor (James 5:6).
All is not lost. James challenges us to remember the Lord; He is full of compassion and mercy (James 5:11). He calls each of us to be as steadfast as Job was, in our moral integrity. In a day when everyone does what is right in their own eyes, will we find righteous living according to the standards God has clearly laid down in His Word?
Jesus gave us cause for reflection. When Jesus returns will He find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8). How can we call ourselves people of faith if we do not obey the Word of God? Faith is believing, “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Becoming a Christian is not saying a prayer asking for God’s forgiveness, if our lives do not follow the pattern laid down by Jesus. His life was one of obedience to the Father’s will “I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but to do the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38).
Our words must be matched by our deeds when the day of judgment comes. Look at this Judge once more. How much do we have to fear? Is it fear that drives us to do what is right? God has lavished His love on us by sacrificing His only begotten Son (1 John 3:1). That is a love He longs to have reciprocated. “There is no fear in love”, John writes (1 John 4:18). Fear has to do with punishment, and scripture assures us that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
So what does it mean to be “In Christ”? Sometimes we sign our letters with that phrase. What do we mean? Do our lives stand the test? Are we selfless, Christ-centered, generous and kind? Do we endure with patience, believing God allows suffering for a moment but “Joy comes in the morning”? (Psalm 30:5). Are we willing to endure persecution for the sake of our Lord and His gospel message? Do we return good for evil done to us? Can we forgive ourselves knowing the Spirit of God will help us to overcome our weaknesses and failures?
The Judge of all the earth can see deep into our hearts, yours and mine. What does He see?
|Posted by kelvinbueckert on March 7, 2021 at 7:05 PM||comments (0)|
Jacob lay dying. He called for his sons in order to prophecy what would happen to them in days to come. They were a nation displaced from their land. Now the last of Israel’s three great patriarchs would speak to the future!
One by one the sons came to be blessed by their father, Israel. Israel was the name given to Jacob after he wrestled with the angel (Genesis 32:28); it became the corporate name of Jacob’s descendants. Beginning with his firstborn Reuben, Jacob did not hesitate to call those out who had sinned against him. Only two were singled out for significant blessing. Joseph, his long-time favourite, born of his beloved Rachel, used of God to save his family through a raging famine of seven years, Israel recognized had been blessed and used by God Almighty (Genesis 49:24-25). Jacob called Joseph a Prince among his brothers. Given their turbulent family history that must have hurt the others.
But then there was Judah. Fourth son of Leah, Judah meant “praise” and as Jacob predicted, would become a leader among the tribes formed later by each son (:10). We might feel impatient with God’s timing on occasion, but imagine that this prediction did not come true until the time of King David, 640 years later. In actual fact it was not completely fulfilled until the time of Christ.
Jacob predicts Judah, like a lion (:9), will be praised by his brothers. How far reaching was that? Could Jacob possibly have known he was predicting millennial prosperity in verses 11-12? - a time when all nations would fall down in worship before the Lion of Judah! (Revelation 5:5). How thrilling it is to see consistency from beginning to end within the scriptures! It is Jesus to whom John refers when he wrote in Revelation:
"And one of the elders said unto me, ‘Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals’ " (5:5).
“KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16). The title proclaimed at the end of time, indicates one with absolute power over all His realm. When Jesus is proclaimed “King of Kings and Lord of Lords,” it will signify the fulfilment of prophecy, the end of all other rulers and the final acknowledgement of His supremacy.
He, Jesus is the Lion of Judah!
In these days of Lent, preparing our hearts for the events of crucifixion, death, and resurrection, let us not forget it is this Lion of Judah whom we worship as the One who rose victorious over the grave to bring us into eternal life! Halleluah!
Do you feel any emotional response when you hear the title “Lion of Judah”? Why or why not?
How would you describe the Lion of Judah using Bible references and then in your own words?
What promise excites you most about the Lion of Judah?
|Posted by kelvinbueckert on February 28, 2021 at 11:10 PM||comments (0)|
1 John 4
So many people today seem to be starving for love. How many men and women will go to almost any lengths to generate a love relationship? Sadly they are often motivated by a desire to have their felt needs met, in order to feel complete. This imposes the impossible on other people. Only God can fill this void. When we know Him we have a new self-image because we recognize all the potential He has created. Though some fear this looks like pride, in reality this celebrates the love with which He created us. Jesus understood this necessity when He instructed His listeners to “love your neighbour as [much as you love] yourself” (Mark 12:31).
The apostle John had seen this type of love in action, had witnessed the remarkable love of Jesus for people of every station in life, the poor and marginalized, those who were oppressed, those who were socially unclean, physically challenged, demon possessed, the rich and famous. Jesus’ loving spirit, His compassionate nature reached out to draw people to Him. People followed Him in droves all over the countryside. They even forgot they were hungry as they gathered on the hillsides to listen to Him. Jews, Samaritans and Gentiles alike sought Jesus for His wisdom, coming to Him by day or by night.
When our needs drive our passions, values we believe in can quickly erode away. There are a dangers in making such personal sacrifices while trying to make someone love you. Jesus was devoid of any such personal agenda. His ministry was for the people whose lives He touched. He didn’t fear what people thought, but rather was committed to doing the will of God, day by day, person to person. His motivation for coming to earth was love. Paul describes it as humble obedience, servant-like in Philippians chapter 2.
Look around you at those people who have a lot of quality friendships. Why have they been so blessed? What is lacking in lives that are virtually friendless and desperately lonely. How often have I heard people complaining about the church as a cold and uncaring place? In reality that perspective is often held by those who find it difficult to love themselves. Without a confidence in who they are, people often find it difficult to reach out to others, or when they do they only talk about themselves.
Love is interested in what makes another tick. For most, this is the essence of Mother-love. Moms want to understand what things their kids will enjoy? In Church do we show interest in where people come from? What are some highlights of their lives, or is there anything they find challenging, need prayer for? Can you relate - laugh and cry together?
We can learn from the Apostle who writes that love is from God (1 John 4:16). He saw love teaching in the synagogue, challenging the heresies of that day, feeding 5,000, healing lepers, hanging on a cross. Perhaps you have never seen the love of God. When you do, you will understand how love begets love!
In our world today people crave attention and value the number of friends they have on social media. In the light of our discussion today, what would help them to resolve this tremendous “felt need”?
Do you have a positive outlook on life that attracts others, because of what God is doing in your life? Has the love of God overwhelmed you with its purity and peace? What qualities attract others to you, and therefore to Jesus?
|Posted by kelvinbueckert on February 21, 2021 at 6:35 PM||comments (0)|
Jesus showed a tenderness towards children by both word and deed. Parents must have sensed this because they brought their children to Him to be blessed, for Him to lay His hands on them and to pray for them. (Matthew 19:13). When Jesus’ disciples protested He spoke words that over centuries of time have become famous. “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them” (:14).
Mark records a further demonstration of His love, saying that Jesus “took the children in His arms” (10:16). He cuddled them. Physical touch was important to Him. Just imagine the memories of those children in years to come. The actual touch of One who would become Saviour of the world!
Earlier as He was teaching His disciples about the kingdom of heaven and who would be “first” there, Jesus took a small child into His arms as an illustration of His point, saying: “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the One who sent me!” (Mark 9:37). This certainly prioritized the important deeds the disciples might have imagined themselves doing, in His name!
Jesus went on to explain: “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child, will never enter it” (Mark 10:15). Now that is humbling. What sort of intellectual assent could a child give to something of such magnitude as the kingdom of heaven? But that was just the point! Coming into the kingdom of God is “not by might nor by power but by my Spirit, says the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6)….and His Spirit could reveal truth to a little child. I can attest to that since I knew Jesus was my Saviour at a very early age. I also knew I was naughty – a sinner who needed to ask God’s forgiveness for my daily sins – a wonderful habit to begin as a child.
A child has very little to offer in an adult world. They are learning. But what they do have to offer, no amount of education can teach. I have seen mentally challenged children, perhaps the most vulnerable of the vulnerable, giving gifts of love and trust to their adult counterparts. How amazing is that? We can learn from their innocence, from the very dependency of children, how to relate to God who views us as His children.
Jesus explains again: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). He goes on to say this would require humbling themselves in order to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (:4). John the Baptist understood this. “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). There was no cousinly jealousy, no competition in ministry. Perhaps this is why Jesus described John as the greatest among those ever born of woman! (Luke 7:28).
As children of God we have the privilege of calling Him our Father! He knows us well – we are so vulnerable to feelings of pride, the need to control our lives (and perhaps the lives of others as well). We are weak in understanding the bigger picture and the plans God has for us. We see relationships from our own perspective, rather than through the eyes of Jesus. Yes – we are very vulnerable! But Jesus takes us in His arms and blesses us. He is in heaven right now praying for you and for me (Hebrews 7:25).
Why do we often turn away from those who are vulnerable? What does that tell us about the inner person?
When we truly love, how do we express that?
Do we love those who are vulnerable in words only, or in deeds?
|Posted by kelvinbueckert on February 15, 2021 at 1:10 PM||comments (0)|
2 Timothy 1:6
Timothy was Paul’s spiritual [true, dear] son (1 Timothy 1:2, 2 Timothy 1:2). His grandmother Lois and mother Eunice had been impacted by the gospel through Paul’s preaching, while he was in Lystra (Acts 16:1). It seems that Timothy also became a disciple then too.
Paul circumcised him because the Jews all knew that Timothy’s father was Greek. Perhaps in Paul’s mind this would prove Timothy’s conversion was genuine. This has given rise to controversy ever since, about the necessity of circumcision. We know that Paul wrote to the Romans “A man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code” (Romans 2:29).
Paul refers to Timothy’s faith, as a sincere conviction, a living faith! (:5). Just as fire is alive when it burns brightly, Paul uses this metaphor to describe Timothy’s role in the ministry. As a leader he is to fan into flame the gift of God. This gift is the very faith we are talking about (Ephesians 2:8.9). His passion would radically impact the lives of others. He must keep the flame burning brightly!
God, who calls us into His kingdom, will sanctify and seal us, will perfect us [complete what He started in us] until that day (Philippians 1:6). But we also are accountable to Him for how warm or lukewarm we become in the exercising of our faith. Jesus spares nothing when urging the church at Laodicea to overcome their propensity to dawdle at the game of faith. This gift of God could not, must not be taken lightly! To be lukewarm means to be uncommitted.
God’s passion for each human He creates is so great that He sacrificed His only begotten Son out of a deep abiding love, only characteristic of our God. That love is the oxygen which fans the flames of our devotion to God as well as our commitment to others! Does God’s love flowing through us find us setting the world on fire? Why or why not?
Jesus explains His chastisement is based on love “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent!” (Revelation 3:19). He then tenderly invites the wayward believer into renewed fellowship with Himself – “table fellowship” (Revelation 3:20). Those who fan the flame will “sit with me on my throne” (:21). What joy such a hope brings! There is always hope in the life of a believer who is willing to fan the flames of faith – even dying embers can be revived!!
Do we recognize the dangers of being lukewarm Christians?
Can you remember times when your spiritual ardour was waning, when someone fanned into flame the passion you once had for Jesus Christ and the written word of God? What challenges did that provide for you? What did you feel?
How would you like to be the catalyst for others to be spiritually revived?
|Posted by kelvinbueckert on February 7, 2021 at 11:05 AM||comments (0)|
2 Kings 20:5
Weeping is for a season, the Psalmist suggests, but morning brings joy (Psalm 30:5). Why is it then that for many people morning never seems to come? Tears and sorrow seem to last forever! Does God really see our tears?
Tears are a marvellous release of tension. However, some people fear that crying will make them vulnerable. There is some truth to that, but the fact is confronting one’s feelings makes it easier to move forward in life. Actual breaking down into tears may help us to let go of baggage, the beginning of healing. A Jewish proverb tells us “What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul.”
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” – Washington Irving
There are many reasons for tears – tears of intercession, like King Josiah shed when he realized God’s wrath would fall upon his disobedient people (2 Kings 22:19). God’s people wept for release from slavery in Egypt. Hannah wept before the Lord as she asked for a child (1 Samuel 1:7, 10-15). The woman pouring ointment over the feet of Jesus, wept with tears of love as she kissed His feet. (Luke 7:37ff). Those who pray with tears over the lost, “Go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him!” What a promise! (Psalm 126:6).
Implying that God is attentive to every detail of our lives, the Psalmist prays that God will record his lament, by listing his tears on a scroll. KJV says “Put my tears in Your bottle” (Psalm 56:8). Why is this important? Tears are to be remembered. There are lessons to be learned as we weep. We identify ourselves with the sufferings of Jesus Christ when we weep. Our shame is taken away when we weep over our sins. We release ourselves into the exquisite comfort of God’s love as we sorrow in our disappointment, hurt or loneliness.
As we look at scripture we notice that whether a nation or an individual is suffering, throughout history God has seen their tears. Whatever it takes our Father provides, so that we can be His representatives here on earth. In the Millennial Kingdom we read both death and tears will vanish. “The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces” (Isaiah 25:8). “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order has passed way” (Revelation 21:4). Until that time, the Holy Spirit will sustain us in our griefs and sorrows by His gentle presence. God does not just see our tears but goes to the utmost to relieve them. Praise the Lord for the fullness of joy when it does come through our Father’s miraculous intervention.
How does it comfort you to know God sees your tears? Does that evoke any other feelings?
Are you uncomfortable when others weep in your presence? If so – why?
Since God allows us to cry in His presence, how might we bring comfort to those who are sad?
|Posted by kelvinbueckert on January 31, 2021 at 11:20 AM||comments (3)|
Reflections on Job
“Why” is a little three-lettered word that sometimes gets us into trouble. Children sometimes exasperate their elders as they use it to learn about the world around them. If we question the established order of things, as adults, we may irritate others. Sometimes it is a word used when we fall into desperate circumstances. Often we question God with “Why?” when things are hard to understand, such as natural disasters, or the death of a loved one or a pandemic!
God understands our query more than we know. He too might ask “Why” questions. As His people wandered away from His goodness, His will and His ways, we might wonder why? However, an omniscient God knows all. He knows the end from the beginning. Why? Because He is God. Look at God’s declaration to Isaiah:
“I am God and there is no other [god]!
I am God and there is none like Me!
I make known the end from the beginning!
I say: My purpose will stand! And
I will do all that I please” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
Why then does God allow trouble and violence and death? Job is the Bible character outstanding for his suffering. Yet he was a man described by God Himself, as blameless. From this we learn that trouble does not always perform as a punishment in our lives. Yes – there are consequences for our poor choices, but what did this blameless man learn from his woeful experience?
He did ask “Why” questions: “Why have You made me Your target?” (Job 7:20).
“Why did You bring me out of my mother’s womb?” (Job 10:18).
It seems Job’s faith passed the test because he concludes:
“I could only plead with my Judge for mercy” (Job 9:15).
“Can anyone teach knowledge to God, since He judges even the highest?” (Job 21:22).
“In His hand is the life of every creature, and the breath of all mankind (Job 12:10).
“To God belong wisdom and power, counsel and understanding are His…..He pours contempt of the nobles
and disarms the mighty…..He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason” (Job 12:13, 21, 24).
These reflections may not be encouraging, but Job gives us some very beautiful and up-lifting reasons to trust in God. “He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 32:10).
“The fear [reverence] of the Lord – that is wisdom and to shun evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).
Job longed for those days “When I was in my prime…God’s intimate friendship blessed my house!” (Job 29:4). However, Job also looks to the future “I know that my Redeemer lives…and after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God!...How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27).
Does your knowledge of God, your experience of His mercy and His loving faithfulness prompt this same response when you face sorrow and struggles, when you ask “Why?”