The scripture for today, October 9 (10/9), is Job 10:9 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again?”
Job was sick, his so-called friends came to him to say God was punishing him, and Job was frustrated. He could not reason with his friends, so he tried to reason with God. It was a lovers’ quarrel.
By verse 18, he was so upset with God that he said, “Why then did you bring me out of the womb? I wish I had died before any eye saw me.” Job’s body was broken, and even more, his spirit was broken. Satan was doing everything he could to get Job to deny God. But, even though Job argued with God and perhaps came close to denying him, he always acknowledged the good God did along with the bad. He just didn’t understand the bad.
We don’t understand the bad in our lives. But remember, it is Satan that causes the bad to happen. God may step back and let Satan give it a try, but we are not their toys. We are soldiers in the army of God. When Satan throws darts at us, we hold up the shield of faith and become even stronger.
Sometimes, the bad happening in our life is God’s assignment for us. We are part of the war between God and Satan. As good and loyal soldiers, we take our assignments and stand firm. We may complain, but we still stand firm. We may trip sometimes, but we still stand firm. Being a soldier in the army of God is not easy. But the battle will be won. Some day. So stand firm!
The scripture for today, June 9 (6/9), is Job 6:9-8found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut me off!”
Job was suffering terribly. The Bible says he had sores all over his body. There were other symptoms listed elsewhere in Job that indicate he had a form of leprosy. Now he just wanted to die.
When we get into a life problem that seems hopeless, do we just give up and say, “God, I can’t go on like this. Just take my life right now. It’s too hard. I can’t do it anymore.”?
God knows what you are going through. God knows that Satan is attacking you. When things are desperately low, your job is just to hang on. It often takes God time to shift around a lot of other people’s lives in order to alleviate your pain.
Remember, God hurts just as much when you suffer as when he watched his own Son suffer on the cross. His Son’s suffering accomplished something wonderful for others. So too, some day your suffering will somehow in some way accomplish something good. And ultimately, just by surviving, Satan loses and God wins.
This too will pass. You may not think so, but it will. You may think you will never smile again, never want to go around people again, never sing again. But you will. Just as Job did, you will.
Update on our brother being threatened for his faith. He received a phone call from the one who has been threatening him, this time demanding $50,000. This happened to him four years ago when he was cornered in an alley and threatened with imprisonment for becoming a Christian if he did not pay $50,000.
He sent his family into hiding where they changed locations every night. (Kidnapping children and demanding $50,000 is common there among the Taliban, Al Quida, ISIS, etc. If you do not pay, they either kill the child or make them slaves the rest of their life.) He went to yet another province to hide and draw attention away from his family. He sold his house and they escaped to India. He could not find a job, so their only choice was to finish raising their children in a UN immigration camp or return home. They returned to a different city and I think he paid them a periodic bribe after that.
He had only been a Christian a year at that time. This time he has been a Christian five years. When they called and demanded $50,000 yesterday, he refused to talk to them and hung up the phone.
Keep praying for this mighty warrior for the Lord.
BTW, his son has had to drop out of university and go into hiding with the rest of the family, so he has asked me for many Bible materials to study. About a year ago when he was 19, he told his father, “I want to be a preacher some day. I know they will kill me, but that’s what I want to do.”
The scripture for today, April 4, is Psalm 4:4 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“In your anger do not sin.”
This seems like an impossibility. After all, when people get angry, don’t they lash out at other people? And yell and call them names? And show their temper? Maybe even throw a few things? After all, that’s the only way to get across to the other person that you are really angry.
Not so. If a child, for instance, does what s/he was just told not to do, we become angry. Angry at the dangerous consequence of their action. Angry at not doing something to make that child a better person.
We can choose to lash out at the child wildly so that our emotions mask our words. Or we can choose to talk calmly and explain the dangers that child was put in because of that action, or the missed opportunities. We can even punish a child without losing our temper. We can calmly but firmly tell them what their punishment is.
It is the same way with adults. If we lose our temper and shoot daggers with our eyes and rant and rave, all these things distract people from our words. Are we wanting to punish them or reconcile? Aren’t our words of explanation more important than the emotionalism and yelling? If we were hurt, just say so. If they hurt themselves, just say so.
While we’re at it, not all words help. Name calling does not help. Name calling is done when we choose not to explain how we feel.
Name calling locks the other person in and sets them up for future failures between us and them. Losing our temper during anger gets us off the issue and into sin.
Let us try to remain calm and then explain the problem in tones that the person who has angered us can truly listen to and learn from. If you have trouble doing this, practice when you’re alone. It will teach us to remain calm when we’re angry so we can explain how we feel, not how bad the other person is. When we are angry, we must not sin.
The scripture for today, October 30, is Hebrews 10:30 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“For we know him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ “
In the Law of Moses, people were expected to avenge those who did not follow the law. Some things were even punishable by death.
But Jesus told us to forgive people so that God, in turn, will forgive us (Matthew 6:14).
What is forgiveness? It is not condoning the bad someone did. Forgiveness is letting go and letting God do any punishing that may be required. Forgiveness is wishing the other person well. You may not trust the other person to not do the bad thing again, and you may forever fear that person.
But you can always hope and pray that their lives and hearts will change for the better some day. No one is so bad that you cannot wish them well and pray for them. That’s forgiveness.
Vengeance only prolongs the pain; vengeance is hard on us. So, as the old saying goes, “Let go, and let God.” God will do his part ~ the hard part. He has left the easy part for us.