When times of struggle and trial come into our lives, how do we respond? Do we pray for God to remove the difficulty? When you come to a place where God is all you have, you can learn that God is all you need. In the midst of our wounds, we can still worship God.
When you come to a place where God is all you have, you can learn that God is all you need.
Pastor Mickey’s missionary friend sent him a picture of a product sold in China, labeled: “Wild Jew’s-ear Fungus.” These words paint a very unpleasant image, but the bag actually contains wild Israeli mushrooms. The picture goes to prove a point that sometimes meaning is lost in translation.
When we experience difficulty in our lives, we can experience a similar translation challenge. A situation may seem horrendous to us in our finite time and understanding, when actually God is working for His eternal and glorious purposes (Romans 8:28).
In the Book of Job, Job lost his family, his possessions, and his health all in one day. All around him, friends interpreted the meaning of his experiences, but no one had a heavenly perspective. How did Job react? He honored and worshiped the Lord.
Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. Job 1:20-22
1. When your heart is overwhelmed, LOOK up! Job 1:20-22, Psalm 61, Psalm 42
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2
It is easy for us to focus on our narrow, limited perspective when we feel overwhelmed. But if we respond in worship, we acknowledge that God has a higher plan, according to His infinite perspective and wisdom.
2. When you are in a time of adversity or affluence, LOOK back! Exodus 6:5-8; 2 Samuel 7:24; Ezekiel 11:12, 20; 13:9, 14, 21, 23
Life is about Jesus, not about us. God is very much alive, active, working, and even doing miracles today, just as He did in Bible times. Are we reduced to “church shopping,” seeking here and there for a venue or performance out of which we can GET something? Or will we commit to a community by which and through which we can GIVE and worship the one true God?
And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. Exodus 6:5
God has entered a covenant of relationship us as His people. By His covenant, He imparts to us His undeserved grace so that we can be in relationship with Him. Whether you are in a time of prosperity or pain, you can look back to the faithfulness of God and give Him glory. Look at what He has done and how He testifies in His Word!
God’s promises to and love for us are so profound that He should never be diminished to a small segment of our lives – a duty, an obligation, or a Sunday experience. In confessing our sin and receiving His forgiving grace, we should want to be involved in His plans, give to His ministry, and pray for His purposes. Our lives should be all about Him.
3. When you are broken or blessed, LOOK forward!
In the book of Revelation, the Apostle John has a vision by which God reveals the future.
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4
G. Campbell Morgan, a famous preacher and pastor from England, spoke of God’s future promise of joy from Zechariah 8:5:
The streets of the city
Shall be full of boys and girls
Playing in its streets.
In Morgan’s sermon, he remarked that when he wanted to worship and focus his heart on the things of God, he did not go to a sanctuary or a prayer meeting, but to a playground where he could watch the children play, because God’s heart toward His people is one of joy.
Sometimes we feel like just part of a crowd, but God sees each of us as an individual. We are each His favorite! His thoughts toward us are too numerous to be counted (Psalm 40:5) and nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:37-39).
No matter what you face today, you have the choice to turn your eyes toward God, acknowledge Him high above, and worship Him for who He is and whatever He is doing, knowing that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him.