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Friday, June 7, 2019

When Setbacks Come, Don’t Get Bitter, Get the Big Picture

In review of Job 1:21 it says, “I was born with nothing, and I will die with nothing. The LORD gave, and now he has taken away. May his name be praised!” (GNT).

Today’s verse is from Job 1. After facing tremendous loss, Job says, I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I shall have nothing when I die. The Lord gave me everything I had, and they were his to take away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

In this first chapter I can see that Job did not hide his overwhelming grief. He had not lost his faith in God; instead, his emotions showed that he was human and that he loved his family. God created my emotions, and it not sinful or inappropriate to express them. It's ok to admit my feelings to myself and others, and to grieve.

Job had lost his possessions and family, but he reacted rightly toward God by acknowledging God's sovereign authority over everything God had given him. Job showed that we can love God for who he is, not for what he gives.

When you hit a setback, it’s okay to tell God I’m mad, sad, or depressed. It’s okay to express all my emotions to God. Just don’t get bitter. Bitterness is saying I don’t trust God when troubles hit. It’s like a poison that will tear my life apart if I let it.

Job endured all kinds of problems. He lost his family, his fortune, and his health. But instead of becoming bitter, he kept his focus on the big picture.

Job says, “I was born with nothing, and I will die with nothing. The Lord gave, and now he has taken away. May his name be praised!” (Job 1:21 GNT).Job understood that God was still in control even though everything else seemed to be falling apart.

I came with nothing. I will leave with nothing.

When setbacks come your way—and they most certainly will come—I must focus on the fact that God has your big picture in mind. Many things will change in my life. My faith will be tested and tried.

Like Job, I haven’t been promised a perfect life. I likely won’t get an explanation when setbacks come. But I can choose to trust God anyway. No matter what setbacks I face, trust that:

God will never stop loving me.
God has a plan for my life.
God cares about every detail of my life.
God is in control of things even when I don’t understand it.
God will protect me.

Regardless of the setback, that’s the big picture about my life. I can base my life on these five truths when everything else falls apart.

I won’t get bitter if I keep your eyes on a big picture like that.

Bottom Line:
We can love him for who he is, not what he gives.

What this means to me:
I had nothing material wise when I came into the world, and I will take nothing with me when I leave. The Lord provided to me everything I have and they are his to take away. I can love God for who he is and not what he gives.

In summary, I came into the world with nothing and will take nothing with me when I leave. Everything I have the Lord gave me, and they are his to take back. Regardless blessed be the name of the Lord. When setbacks come, I should not lose faith in God. It is ok to express my feelings and emotions. I can love God for who he is and not for what he gives. I need to keep my focus on the big picture. God is in control even though everything seems to be falling apart. Trust that God will never stop loving me, that he has a plan, he cares about every detail of my life, is in control, even when I don't understand it, and will always protect me. Even when everything seems to be falling apart, I can base my life on these five truths.

This morning I take a few moments to recognize that everything I have has come from God. They are all his to give and take. My focus should be on loving him for who he is and not what he provides. I recognize that he is in control and has a plan for me. I just need to have a relationship with him and trust and do what he tells me. I also pray this morning Father for your continued wisdom and guidance in my work, my leadership and my interaction with others. These things I pray in your Son Jesus name, amen.

How have you battled bitterness when you’ve faced setbacks?
How does understanding the big-picture truths about your life change the way you see setbacks?

What person can you share the message of this devotional with this week?

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