Worst-Case Scenario

Worst-Case Scenario

Can you trust God with your worst-case scenario?

Job experienced worst-case scenario and then some. The book of Job recorded Job’s cry for God. Though the reader understands the whys and sees Satan behind the tragedy, Job lived in the dark.

He wanted answers.

He wanted to be heard.

He wanted some sense behind his worst-case senselessness.

  1. Why? Why? Why? Chapter 23 presents Job’s questioning like a court case. But Job never received the answer to his why. And we may not either. Hebrews 11, the Hall of Faith chapter, says this, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:39-40 NIV) Is your trust in God’s sovereignty enough to carry you through when there are no answers?
  2. Hear me! Hear me! Several times, Job pleads for an advocate, a go-between to represent him before God (Job 9:32-35; 16:19-21; 19:23-27). Job respects God’s sovereignty so much that he knows he cannot stand before God alone (Job 9:32-37). Christ, our mediator, paved the way for New Testament verses like, “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:5-6)
  3. Help me wrap my head around it! Most of us can endure a great deal if we see some purpose at hand. While God never answers Job why, He does answer. In Job 38-41, God revealed Himself as Creator. Not LORD of hosts. Not Father. Not the Holy One. Simply Creator. And Job is overwhelmed as the magnitude of that task alone becomes apparent. Job responded:

I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-6)

Paul encourages us with Romans 8:28, assuring us God has a purpose and He wastes nothing.

So, can we trust God with our worst-case scenario? I have with one child already. Another currently serves an overseas military deployment. God is big enough for our questions, our grief, our anger, whatever we have to throw at Him.

Workout of the Week: Worst-Case Scenario

Memory Verse: Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Meditation Passage: Job 42:1-6

Just Do It: Trust the Who.

 

Don’t Ask Why, Remember Who

Don't Ask Why, Remember Who

“No one is good—except God alone,” Jesus says in Mark 10:18 (NIV). Yet, He also tells us there will be times when He appears anything but. That’s when trusting God gets tough.

Several weeks ago, a dear friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her daughter fought a similar battle a few years earlier at the ripe old age of twenty-seven. Talk about trusting God? This family follows Him like no other. My heart hurt.

I wanted to ask the whys—but I knew it was a waste of time and energy.

In his devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest (7/16), Oswald Chambers says:

There are times, says Jesus when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but trust Him. God will appear like an unkind friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural Father, but He is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not . . . Nothing happens in any particular unless God’s will is behind it, therefore you can rest in perfect confidence in Him.

What I needed was an intense focus on the One in control.

And He is in control.

That’s what makes this stuff so disturbing.

If He’s in control, He can fix it. If He’s in control, He could have prevented it.

And that’s true.

So, I wrestle with a holy, loving God who permits sickness, war, and a host of other terrible things. Why He allows these things is beyond me. Why He allows these things to those who love Him deeply and who follow Him faithfully is beyond me as well. Shouldn’t we be immune from such things simply because we’re His? Scripture answers with a resounding No.

The Bible is filled with those who followed hard after God along a rough and bumpy road.

Here’s God’s call to Jeremiah, “ ‘You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 1:7-8)

Rescue? Big red flag, Jerry.

Or Paul, “But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! This man (Paul) is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.’” (Acts 9:15-16)

Or Jesus. No one knew the Who behind the circumstances like Jesus. Scripture tells us He set His face like flint and headed for Jerusalem, the beatings, the scourging, and the cross.

When the road ahead looks a whole lot more like a rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon than a stroll down Main Street at Disney World, we remember Who and that we walk in good company.

Hebrews 12:1-3 says this:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,        scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Keep trusting God and intercede for someone today.

Questions:

Is there a circumstance that would break your faith?

Would you follow God through what looks to be a sorry situation—from our perspective?

If you’ve been through such a situation, what did you learn? (Please share.)

Tweetables:

“No one is good—except God alone,” Jesus says in Mark 10:18 (NIV). Click to tweet.

Jesus also tells us there will be times when God appears anything but good. Click to tweet.

I wanted to ask the whys. What I needed was focus on the One in control. Click to tweet.

The Bible is filled with those who followed hard after God along a rough and bumpy road. Click to tweet.

The Gap

The Gap

This week, I found myself at the gap. The chasm between wishing and reality.

Job 3:25-26 reads, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”

I’m at a place where new fears show real potential. Where same old, same old begins to look permanent.

And God is calling me to love.

To love in spite of these things.

To love even if the fears are realized—again.

To love even if nothing changes—despite much prayer.

To love even if that love isn’t returned the way I want—ever.

I stand at the gap, and I want to be mad at God. To tell Him this wasn’t what I signed up for. To demand fairytale relationships and happy endings.

And I realize, it’s a call to trust in God.

Again.

With no lollipops and rainbows in sight.

To trust in Him by walking in obedience in the face of potential pain.

And I’m scared.

Because pain is painful.

So I stand at the gap, eyes welling and lips trembling.

Then God speaks Hebrews 12 over me.

Hebrews 12 speaks of throwing off sin. Of running with perseverance. Of fixing my eyes on Jesus who for the joy set before Him endured the cross scorning its shame. It speaks of not growing weary or losing heart. Of struggling against sin, and of a godly discipline that confirms my status as God’s daughter. Of strengthening feeble limbs and of making level paths. Of things that cannot be shaken. Of worshiping God with awe because He is an all-consuming fire.

So I stand at the gap, eyes welling and lips trembling.

And I jump.

Questions:

Is your trust in God tied to your personal happiness?

How do circumstances affect your relationship with God?

How do you deal with life’s realities when God’s love seems at odds with pain and suffering?

How would you coach your kids through life’s realities when God’s love seems at odds with pain and suffering?

Tweetables:

This week, I found myself at the gap. The chasm between wishing and reality. Click to tweet.

It’s a call to trust in God. Again. With no lollipops and rainbows in sight. Click to tweet.

To trust in God by walking in obedience in the face of potential pain. Click to tweet.

And I’m scared. Because pain is painful. Click to tweet.

So I stand at the gap, eyes welling and lip trembling. And I jump. Click to tweet.