When it Cannot Get Any Worse

Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

Why does God allow such pain and problems in our lives? Why does He give those who call upon the name of Jesus mountain top experiences only to take us to the valley of the shadow of death?

To truly understand the hardships and losses of life, we must understand the gives and takes of God. He asks a question in the hard things, Will you worship me here?

You might be here today and young in your faith or perhaps haven’t made the decision to follow Jesus. I don’t want you to be discouraged in your journey, I want you to better understand God - even in the very hard things in life.

I’m fond a verse in the psalms - This I know that God is for me. The believer can say that even on the worst days and in the worst of experiences. We know this because Jesus knows, Jesus cares, Jesus entered humanity, suffered, died…

to redeem us, but not yet remove us from life’s bitter moments that can lead to greater blessings. Remember this, When it cannot get any worse, don’t curse. Worship.

Before we succeed we’ll often suffer. It’s God's path to help us meet our potential. God uses hurts to hone us – our horrors to humble us – and, if we allow them, they can help us.

Search history and you’ll find that what usually proceeds honor – is Hurt. Hardship. Humili-ation. Those painful “how longs” and “how comes”?! God gives and God takes:
  • God took Joseph who was a spoiled young man and allowed him to be sold into slavery, abused, bruised, broken, disoriented only to learn later as he rescued a nation - What you meant for evil, God meant for good.
  • God took David, anointed him king quietly, then sent him home to tend sheep, then out to defeat Goliath, and then into the wilderness of persecution, privation, problems, pressure – Why? So he could later write, “it is good that I have been afflicted...”
  • But God even took our Lord Jesus to Calvary who learned through suffering (allowing). And so do we (1 Pet. 4:1-2, Heb. 5:7-8, 12:1-3).

So when it cannot get any worse, don’t curse. Worship. Here’s a question from God that as we mature in our faith we’ll have to answer more and more: Will you worship me here?

Your answer matters deeply and God allows suffering, in part, to put our faith to the test, not to reveal it to God, but to ourselves - and even to others who watch us.

We’re going to look at Job, a good man God allowed to suffer. The first two chapters reveal a dialog between God and Satan of which Job is unaware. It’s instructive.

God will allow you to suffer, even for a time at the hands of Satan, a ruthless and relentless foe to prove and prepare you for God’s greater purposes in your life. So arm yourself.

(From Job 1:1-12, 13-2:11):

Satan attacks five things to force you to curse (no longer worship) God. The order is instructive. Look for his attacks, then answer two questions in the give and takes of God. Do you trust God? Will you worship Him when things can’t get any worse?

1:13-17 – Finances; 1:18-19 – Family; 2:7 – Physical well-being; 2:8-10 – Feelings/Failures; Friends – 2:11, 4:1-5.

It is instructive that Satan attacks what many of us root our identity in. He knows how to get us to curse God. Don’t.

So, How do we fight the foe and faithfully reveal Jesus and His gospel in the give and takes of God? (5 Thoughts):

1. Worship:  Fight the Lies. Talk to yourself, don’t listen to your feelings, foes, and friends. I have learned, the deepest losses bring our greatest opportunity to lead and live abundantly – in worship in Spirit & in Truth.

Job did not loathe his wife, he led her in true worship during and thru the worst of times (Job 1:20-22).

2. Word: Find the Lord in It. I have learned that in my Ziklag, or on my ash-heap, that it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in men – David encouraged Himself in the Lord when all seemed lost.

Whether unbeatable (times of abounding) or unbearable (times of abasement) I can still trust Jesus.

3. Walk: Focus on What is Left, Not What is Lost. Job. 1:21 – we still have the Lord… we have His calling... so focus on the things  you can do something about, not the things you can't.

4. Work: Faithfully Labor On. Take initiative and stay in the fight! I have learned that failure does not define the man, what one does with failure defines him. The same could be said of fear. Take courage my friend.

5. Wait: Finish Looking Up. Job 23:10-17, 42:12. Job had to wait until the last chapter for his blessing – And yours hasn’t been written yet! Friend don’t give in to sorrow or give up on God. He’s not done yet!

Job had to wait until the last chapter for his blessing – And yours hasn’t been written yet! Friend don’t give in to sorrow or give up on God. He’s not done yet!

We don’t understand all the ways of God - but we can trust Him. Remember, when it feels like it cannot get any worse, don’t curse. Worship in the gives and takes of God.

So arm yourself. And be ready to answer the question God asks: Will you worship Me here? What’s your answer?

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