This really goes without saying, but what a crazy week we have had! If you would have asked anyone just two weeks ago what their plans for the week were, not a single person would have said: “Well, I think I will spend my time locked indoors, unsuccessfully try to purchase toilet paper, and wonder how much, or how little a global pandemic would affect me.” All this said, it’s crazy how quickly we adapt, and most of us have found our groove, and a new “normal.”
Now, I had planned a lesson where we talked about the body of Christ, and how each of us have different roles. I still plan on revisiting that theme, when things return a little bit more to normal. But today things are uncertain, and, while I don't think we should be fearing and fretting, I figured now would be a perfect time to address that. Not surprisingly this is not the first time that people have been uncertain or didn't know what tomorrow would bring. As king Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:9 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” I don't know about you, but for me it’s incredibly comforting to know that other people have been where I am, and more importantly that God got them through it. The nice thing about the Bible is that unlike other books, it doesn't just focus on the high points of the Jewish peoples history, but also on their struggles, trials, and hardships; and through all of these God was faithful, just like He is faithful to you. So, what can we learn? The first thing I think we can learn is that we are human, and God is, well, God. In the book of Job, Job finds his life turned upside down. (Sound familiar, anyone?) And in all Job’s uncertainty and pain, his friends, those who should be giving him some hope, are all rather doom and gloom. (Again, I can't help seeing the parallels.) Eventually in his uncertainty Job questions God, and why He would put him through these trials. God answers Job back, and I won't read you the whole thing, as it is a rather lengthy response, but feel free to read it for yourself, it rather systematically goes over just how powerful God is in Job 38-41. But part of his answer is Job 40:8-14 “Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his? Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at all who are proud and bring them low, look at all who are proud and humble them, crush the wicked where they stand. Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave. Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you.” Translation, are you like God? Can you do what God can? Then prove it, and then maybe, just maybe, you can question why He does what He does. Job, realizing the errors of his ways, responds back. Job 42:4-6 “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.” Basically, Job is admitting he was wrong, and spoke of things he had no knowledge of, but notice he also says God has a plan, and that he, a man, can't thwart those plans. After this in Job 42:10 it says, “the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.” Job never did get an answer to why he had so many trials, but God did get him through it, and even restored twice as much as Job lost. Secondly, regardless we can trust God. King David wrote songs for every occasion, the good times, and the bad. Psalms 22 is one of those low times, in fact it is what Jesus alludes to when He is on the cross. Versus 1-5 say “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.” He goes on to say, in 19-24: “But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs. Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen. I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.” What I get from this is while David had uncertainty in his life, he was absolutely certain as to where his deliverance was coming from. I think it’s really worth mentioning that David is known as the man after God's own heart. Lastly, it's okay to doubt. (Just don't question God like Job.) Mark 9:17-26 “A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
I absolutely love that. “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” and you know what? It was enough, and Jesus healed the man’s son.
Uncertainty and trials are nothing new, as we can see from these examples. I'd even say these problems are bigger than our own, and God got them through it.
So, in closing, God is God, and we are just human, He made the stars, the sky, and land, He breathed life into the entire world, why would we think that He couldn’t take care of little old us?
We can still trust God; He has never been unfaithful. He cared for His people in the past, and He cares for them today.
Being uncertain is okay`, and doesn’t mean we are unfaithful to God.
Thank you for tuning in.