If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above this blog was specifically written for you.
In December 2013 I hit rock bottom and fell completely apart. It had been one of the most difficult years in my life and I didn’t understand why so many bad things had happened to me. While sitting alone in a dark room crying, I remember falling to my knees in supplication asking God to deliver me from my mess.
During my season of sufferance, I read the book of Job. For those of you who may not be aware of who Job is from the bible, Job was a righteous man of God who was blessed and highly favored. “He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.” (Job 1:2-3 NIV)
One day, God decided to grant Satin permission to test Job’s faithfulness to him. Satin stripped everything away from Job, his wealth, his help, his children and he striked Job ill “…with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head” (Job 2:7 NIV).
Job’s friends tried to convince him that he must have been suffering due to sin that he had committed but Job informed his friends that he had not committed any sins that would make him deserving of the suffering he faced.
As time progressed, though Job never cursed God, you could see how he gradually became weary and overwhelmed by his suffering due to what he said.
“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 6:8-9 NIV)
“A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty. But my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams, as the streams that overflow” (Job 6:14-15 NIV)
After reading about Job, everyone who has ever suffered should realize that they were not alone. Even Job, a righteous man of God who was blessed and highly favored by God went through suffering. Job lost all ten of his children, he experienced loneliness since his friends and wife were unreliable, he pleaded with God to end his life, and lastly, Job began to question why God allowed him to suffer.
“Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm: ‘Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?’”
Once God spoke to Job, Job humbled himself and began to repent. After Job repented and followed God’s instruction, “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters.” (Job 42: 12-13 NIV)
One of the lessons in Job’s story is simply to trust God in spite of what your suffering situation may look like because God’s plans for our lives far exceed our wildest imagination. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV). Not only did God keep a thick covering over Job’s life through his suffering, but he completely restored Job and blessed him with twice more than what he originally had.
It is officially the last month of 2014 and if you have suffered at a point in time throughout the past year or are currently suffering, as a messenger of God, I want to let you know that things are about to take a turn. Your sufferance was/is preparation for your prosperity that you are about to receive throughout 2015. If you have complained, questioned, or doubted God through your suffering, now is your time to repent so you can reap the favorable blessings God has in store for you in this upcoming New Year.
“Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5:10-11 NIV)
We come before you today to thank you for your benevolent mercy. You are a wonderful father that faithfully watches over his children and for that we glorify your name. God forgive us for our overwhelming times when we have questioned your will. We completely submit our minds to you so that our thoughts never question your moral order that has been done. From this day forth, we trust and have complete faith in your way and not our own. Let our sufferance that we have endured be the seed of preparation for our restoration and prosperity that is to come as we enter into a new year. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.