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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

It Is Faith, Not Feelings, That Will Please God

In review of Job 1:21 it says, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”

Bottom Line:
We were born with nothing (we came naked), and we take nothing with us at death. The Lord gives us what we have, and they are his to take away. No matter what, the Lord is worthy of our praise.

What this means to me:
I came into this world with nothing and when I leave, I won’t be taking any material things with me. Everything I have in this life has come from God. It is his to give and his to take away.  No matter what I have or don’t have, I will want the faith to praise God always. Early in my walk with God, he provided me with lots of confirming emotions and answers to my more immature and self centered prayers. I’m sure He did this to help me understand that he exists. However, as I grow i my faith, he has weaned me off of those smaller dependencies. I believe that God wants me to sense his presence. He is more concerned now that I trust him rather than feel him. It is faith, not feelings, that pleases God. There will be situations that stretch my faith the most. There will be times when life seems to be falling apart and God seems nowhere to be found. As scripture explains, this happened to Job. On a single day he lost everything; his family, his business, his health, and everything he owned. The most discouraging thing for Job was that for 37 chapters of the Bible, God said nothing! The key is to know how to still praise God when I don’t understand what’s happening and God appears silent. How to stay connected in a crisis without communication. How to keep my eyes on Jesus when they’re full of tears. Rick Warren points out that you do what Job did: He fell to the ground in worship and said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (Job 1:21 NIV). I am to tell God exactly how I feel. I am to pour out my heart to God. Unload every emotion that I’m feeling. Job did this when he said, “I can’t be quiet! I am angry and bitter. I have to speak” (Job 7:11 TEV). Job cried out when God seemed distant: “Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house” (Job 29:4 NIV). The good news is that God can handle my doubt, anger, fear, grief, confusion, and questions. Honestly, I don’t want to ever experience a time when I feel God is silent in my life, however, given this study today he may be preparing me for this or perhaps to help someone else with perspective as they go through something similar.  The key for me will be to understand that no matter what happens, God is in control, and he is worthy of all my praise.

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