I am not going to lie…I more often than not feel like I’m owed. I mean, be honest, don’t you? If you are thinking, “No, I really don’t.” Then riddle me this: Why do you get hurt, angry, stressed, or depressed? Because you think you are entitled to certain outcomes, and when you don’t get those outcomes, all Hell breaks lose. You with me? Personally, this is why I struggle to forgive, to extend grace, and to surrender to God. I feel like He owes me and so do people. How arrogant of me! No wonder there are times in my life when it feels like God is against me…James 4 says He’s opposed to the proud but close to the humble. Yikes.
What about Job?
I was reading in Job yesterday. Here’s a dude that had it all…a big family, a lot of money, a huge tent (equivalent to house…haha…for some reason that cracked me up), and a loaded camel (car – funny to me too…sorry). In Job 1:6-12, God basically challenges Satan to a duel. God is so confident in His faithfulness and sovereignty, that He gives Satan permission to utterly destroy Job’s life. Wait a minute…come again? Yeah, God believes enough in His own goodness that He allows Satan to wreck Job. I am not sure if you are frightened or comforted by that thought. In a strange way, I am frighteningly comforted. God knows He will be enough for Job. Here is the crazy thing…God is also confident that Job will rely on God’s immutable character to define his circumstances and not allow the circumstances to define God’s character. Wow.
In verses 13-19, four servants inform Job, one after the other mind you, that everything he has was just destroyed. Everything. Gone. In a matter of minutes. What Job does next hit me hard yesterday…”He fell to the ground and worshipped.” I just had to stop typing for a second and take a deep breath. He explains, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”
What about God?
We have heard that verse a thousand times, haven’t we? But think about what Job is saying here. He realized he is entitled to nothing (he came into the world naked – with nothing – and would leave naked – with nothing), but that God is the Creator of the Universe and entitled to everything…even worship during a disastrous season.
Here’s the crazy thing…Job admits in 2:10 that he and his wife have experienced “evil”, which literally means “disaster”, from God. However, Job questions, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” Job had a proper view of life because He had a proper view of God. God’s character defined Job’s circumstances. God’s character defined how Job viewed himself. God’s character kept Job alive when death looked more promising.
What about Us?
We live in a broken world. And this brokenness causes the evil. The disaster. I mean, read the verses in Job again…Satan brings up Job to God and says that Job won’t still love God if Satan takes everything away. God allowed the disaster, but He didn’t cause it. Satan did. Jennie Lusko and I talk about this in our Scar Stories Podcast. It’s so important that we realize that God isn’t out to destroy us – Satan is – but God offers us Himself, which is more than enough when we lose everything.
I wonder what circumstance you are walking through today that is tempting you to doubt the goodness and faithfulness of God. You’re questioning His love, grace, and forgiveness. You wonder if He’s there…close. You know what you need to do, but you are more afraid of what everyone else will think and aren’t sure God will be enough. You are allowing your circumstances to define Who God is and control what you will do. But I want to challenge you: the Scriptures say we are NEVER given more than we can handle because we are given God – and He handles everything! What you have to determine is will you surrender your heart to Him and realize you were never entitled to anything but Him. And that, my friend, truly is enough.