When I am tempted to yield to doubt during troubled times, I have to remind myself that God is enough. The moment I believe God is not enough, I need to ask myself, what is my “plan B.” God’s got me covered!
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
I’ve been mulling over the word providence this week. Perhaps it’s because the word has a prominent place in one of the chapters I am writing. The word makes me think of providing evidence. My iPhone defines providence as “the protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power.” When I put these two ideas together, it raises an interesting question. Is there evidence of God working in my life?
Perhaps you have asked yourself the same question. It has been helpful for me to take a look back over the course of my life to see when and where God may have had a hand in certain situations. This could be evidence of some good coming out of a bad situation.
Did a past disappointment spare me from an even worse situation? Were there any blessings in my past that I brushed aside or blindly took credit for? Whatever the evidence, consider that God was involved. Let it serve as a reminder that God is continually at work in our lives and knows what our future holds.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
You have no doubt heard someone say light is associated with that which is good. When something hidden is exposed is said to be “brought to light.” In the same manner, darkness is said to be associated with that which is bad or concealed.
Perhaps this idea comes from the Bible, where light and darkness are compared and contrasted from its opening verses through to the closing chapter. The fourth verse of the very first book reads:
“God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:4 NIV
I unknowingly participated in an experiment the other day contrasting the difference between light and darkness. I noticed the direction I am walking matters (whether I’m walking towards the light or away from it) in a darkened room. Walking away from the light in a large room filled with obstacles, pitfalls become increasingly harder to see the further I get from the source of light. The opposite is true when I walk towards the source of light. The closer I get to the light the more defined the obstacles become and the easier they are to avoid. Perhaps the Psalmist said it best:
“Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 NLT
When you’re exercising at night, carry a light and wear reflective clothing to light your path and keep you safe.
Job – the name means “hated or persecuted one.” The biggest problem in the book of Job has to do with theology, not Job’s pain and suffering. What is Job to do when God doesn’t act the way he expects him to act (the righteous will be rewarded and the wicked punished). The book showcases the unfathomable wisdom of God in times of human suffering. With God, there is a reason for everything he does.
Just because the spirit realm is unseen by us that doesn’t make it any less real. We the readers have visibility of the dialog between God and Satan. Job does not. This window into heaven is valuable to the story of Job and explains why things end up happening to him.
I have always wondered why Satan bothers to concern himself with humankind. You would think there would be more pressing, more significant things he could be doing rather than antagonizing people. Perhaps other passages of scriptures can shed some light on this.
Psalm 8:4-5 asks the question, “What is man that You [God] are mindful of him…For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.” The original Hebrew text uses the word Elohiym, (the name for God) instead of the word “angels.” So, man was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and a little lower than God. The Apostle Paul in his discourse to the Corinthian church says, “do you not know that we will judge angels?” 1 Corinthians 6:3.
It’s starting to make sense now why Satan would concern himself with leading people away from God. At one time Lucifer, a.k.a Satan, occupied the highest position in heaven among the angels. He led worship in heaven, until he was found to be filled with pride concerning his own beauty and was cast out. Lucifer wanted to be worshipped. He wanted to be like God (see Ezekiel 28, Isaiah 14). But God chose to make man, not angels, in his likeness. What could be more fulfilling for Satan than to have mankind worship him instead of God. To goad man into sinning, knowing that it separates people from God.
In chapter 1, Satan believes if he can get God to remove the hedge of protection around Job, then “the most righteous human” on earth will curse God. Satan is proven wrong and Job worships God anyway.
God is not playing a game with Satan over the life of Job. God, in his wisdom, has a reason for allowing tragedy to strike him.
Which one of us can stand in the face of what Job endured and say, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” Job 1:21-22
Awe is a feeling that comes from looking at a breathtaking view found in nature or the discovery of some profound truth that suddenly brings order into one’s world. When “awe” overtakes us it leaves us with a feeling of amazement or inspiration according to L. Teja Pattabhiraman, writer for the Epoch Times. The writer goes on to say awe is good for relationships, it helps melt away stress. We are happier people as a result. We encounter awe when we experience vastness and transcendence, when we are overcome by wonder.
For the Believer, awe can be found in the majesty of God, whether it’s a discovery found in His written Word or witnessing the power of nature or the beauty of His creation. But awe isn’t just associated with God’s power. Even though He is high and lifted up, He cares about what happens in the everyday life of an ordinary person like me.
What should our response be when we experience wonder? According to the article in the Epoch Times, when we encounter awe we can respond by being more generous or content. Linger in your moment of awe and capture it in visual or written form. Use awe to overcome your circumstances.
When Believers encounter the awe of God the appropriate response is to linger in worship, giving Him who inspires and amazes us His due.
Lord I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds. Lord renew them in our day, in our time make them known; Habakkuk 3:2