Passage of the Day: Job 1: 1 – 12 … Linked for study ...
My Journal for Today: Yes, we revisit the same passage in Job for the third day; and our devotional shepherd, Chuck Swindoll, is trying to drive home a point that we simply must not miss; but it is one which is hard to accept. And that point concerns our acceptance of the fact that there are times when we simply cannot explain the WHY behind the license God gives Satan to do what he does to us or with us.
Yesterday I quoted from Isaiah 55: 8-9 [link provided], where we read a powerful, but perplexing, truth. So, Swindoll is saying that we are going to have to decide to refrain from reacting to trials and tribulations by going through the “WHY, ME, LORD” routine. Swindoll’s point is that if we allow ourselves to fall prey to what Satan is trying to do with us by being allowed to lead us through the “valley of the shadow of death,” we can easily become angry at God, which will ultimately lead to bitterness and even depression. And at that point we’re in a place where our witness is damaged and useless; and that’s exactly where The Accuser wants us.
Yes, I know it’s hard to avoid the “WHY, ME, LORD” syndrome. It’s just so natural to take the knee-jerk route of anger when things don’t go our way. It’s hard to realize that we have unseen forces working out of sight and way above our realm of daily action, who are plotting to bring us down and damage our testimony to the point where we become ineffective in the public arena. And yes, it’s very hard to take it that God would allow this. And it’s even easier to go to God, lamenting “WHY, ME, LORD!” It all just seems so unfair, especially when we’re serving God as He’s called us to do; and Satan is given the opportunity to drag us through what David wrote about in Psalm 23 as “… the valley of the shadow of death.”
But David also captured the truth of today’s message when, following the exclamation about the valley, God had David write, “But [God] You are with me.” And you probably can quote the rest of it from memory as to how God, our Good Shepherd, will guide us through this dark path and lead us to the peaceful waters on the other side. And while this is going down, this walk through the darkness, we must believe and recognize the truth of the NT message of 1st John 4: 4 (and I hope you can quote it from memory, too), which states, “Greater is HE that is in you (and that is Christ) than he (Satan) who is in the world.”
No, we may not understand or be able to reason why God has given Satan the license to lead us into the valley of the shadow of death; but we can bank on the truth that God has a very good reason; and according to Deut. 31: 8, God is not only going to be with us as we walk through that dark valley, He has gone ahead of us (see also 1st Cor. 10: 13) to insure that we’ll walk out the other side of the valley into the light and the peace of God’s love. And this process , as we read of Job going through all he’s going to go through (if you read on ahead), is for God’s good and perfect reasoning; and as we know from another NT passage (Romans 8: 28), it’s all for our good, just as we’re going to see it was for Job.
So, my friend, if you’re being buffeted by our unseen enemy, know that our God hasn’t lost control. He is still our sovereign, all-knowing, all-powerful, ever present, but unseen God. And He’ll never leave us, nor forsake us, as we are being allowed to enter and walk through the dark, scary valley where we may be right now. Keep walking, dear one; and walk in the promise and hope of Christ.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, though I may not see You, I know that I walk with you. Amen