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Devotions

The Bigger Picture
October 2, 2017

The​ ​Bigger​ ​Picture

The​ ​Book​ ​of​ ​Job

In​ ​his​ ​grief,​ ​Job​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​give​ ​in.​ ​He​ ​was​ ​sick​ ​and​ ​tired​ ​of​ ​being...​ ​Well,​ ​of​ ​being​ ​sick​ ​and​ ​tired! He​ ​had​ ​come​ ​from​ ​a​ ​life​ ​of​ ​luxury,​ ​but​ ​was​ ​suddenly​ ​tossed​ ​into​ ​a​ ​new​ ​reality​ ​filled​ ​with destruction​ ​of​ ​everything​ ​he​ ​held​ ​dear.​ ​His​ ​wealth​ ​was​ ​wiped​ ​out,​ ​his​ ​children’s​ ​lives​ ​tragically taken,​ ​his​ ​health​ ​was​ ​next​ ​to​ ​nonexistent,​ ​and​ ​his​ ​wife​ ​and​ ​closest​ ​friends​ ​were​ ​slowly​ ​becoming his​ ​worst​ ​enemies​ ​through​ ​their​ ​misguided​ ​judgement.

Job​ ​was​ ​confused.​ ​Had​ ​he​ ​not​ ​shown​ ​himself​ ​a​ ​loyal​ ​servant​ ​to​ ​God’s​ ​kingdom?​ ​Why​ ​was​ ​he being​ ​tormented​ ​in​ ​such​ ​a​ ​devastating​ ​way?

Overwhelmed​ ​with​ ​the​ ​feeling​ ​complete​ ​helplessness​ ​and​ ​a​ ​desperation​ ​to​ ​be​ ​free​ ​from​ ​his discomfort,​ ​he​ ​pleaded​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Lord​ ​to​ ​just​ ​let​ ​him​ ​die.​ ​He​ ​was​ ​done​ ​with​ ​living​ ​a​ ​miserable​ ​life. But​ ​God​ ​wasn’t​ ​finished​ ​yet.​ ​He​ ​did​ ​not​ ​grant​ ​Job's​ ​request​ ​because​ ​He​ ​had​ ​a​ ​much​ ​greater plan​ ​for​ ​him.

Our​ ​tendency,​ ​like​ ​Job,​ ​is​ ​to​ ​give​ ​up​ ​and​ ​get​ ​out​ ​when​ ​the​ ​going​ ​gets​ ​rough.​ ​We​ ​can't​ ​see​ ​the bigger​ ​picture.​ ​We​ ​don't​ ​know​ ​the​ ​end​ ​result.​ ​And​ ​so​ ​it​ ​can​ ​feel​ ​as​ ​though​ ​we’ve​ ​been abandoned​ ​in​ ​our​ ​time​ ​of​ ​frustration.​ ​But​ ​if​ ​we​ ​just​ ​hold​ ​on,​ ​we’ll​ ​discover​ ​that​ ​God​ ​never​ ​leaves us,​ ​but​ ​is​ ​instead,​ ​constantly​ ​creating​ ​an​ ​incredible​ ​future​ ​beyond​ ​our​ ​tangible,​ ​human​ ​reach. And​ ​perhaps,​ ​at​ ​times​ ​He​ ​may​ ​even​ ​be​ ​simply​ ​weighing​ ​the​ ​level​ ​of​ ​our​ ​confidence​ ​in​ ​Him​ ​to see​ ​if​ ​we​ ​are​ ​yet​ ​ready​ ​to​ ​step​ ​into​ ​the​ ​next​ ​level​ ​of​ ​a​ ​greater​ ​opportunity.

Trusting​ ​God​ ​in​ ​the​ ​good​ ​times​ ​is​ ​commendable,​ ​but​ ​trusting​ ​Him​ ​in​ ​the​ ​difficult​ ​times​ ​tests​ ​your limits​ ​and​ ​exercises​ ​your​ ​faith.​ ​You​ ​have​ ​to​ ​understand​ ​that​ ​in​ ​many​ ​instances,​ ​hardships​ ​that you​ ​face​ ​in​ ​life​ ​are​ ​not​ ​a​ ​direct​ ​result​ ​of​ ​living​ ​in​ ​sin,​ ​but​ ​are​ ​simply​ ​approved​ ​or​ ​appointed​ ​by God​ ​as​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of​ ​His​ ​plan​ ​to​ ​better​ ​you​ ​and​ ​to​ ​impart​ ​in​ ​you​ ​lessons​ ​that​ ​living​ ​an​ ​easy​ ​life​ ​could never​ ​teach.​ ​If​ ​you​ ​keep​ ​your​ ​hope​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Lord,​ ​you’ll​ ​see​ ​that​ ​His​ ​goodness​ ​never​ ​fails​ ​and​ ​He will​ ​not​ ​only​ ​restore​ ​what’s​ ​been​ ​lost,​ ​but​ ​bless​ ​you​ ​beyond​ ​belief.

Job’s​ ​response​ ​to​ ​his​ ​suffering​ ​is​ ​obviously​ ​understandable.​ ​But​ ​from​ ​his​ ​life,​ ​we​ ​should​ ​realize that​ ​questioning​ ​God​ ​doesn’t​ ​change​ ​anything​ ​-​ ​it​ ​just​ ​prolongs​ ​your​ ​suffering.​ ​We​ ​need​ ​to remember​ ​that​ ​God​ ​sees​ ​and​ ​knows​ ​more​ ​than​ ​we​ ​can​ ​grasp,​ ​and​ ​He​ ​is​ ​working​ ​behind​ ​the scenes​ ​to​ ​complete​ ​our​ ​lives’​ ​masterpieces.​ ​We​ ​see​ ​a​ ​small​ ​frame,​ ​but​ ​He​ ​knows​ ​every​ ​intimate detail​ ​of​ ​the​ ​bigger​ ​picture.​ ​Just​ ​stand​ ​firm.​ ​Don't​ ​give​ ​up.​ ​He​ ​will​ ​faithfully​ ​come​ ​through​ ​in​ ​time!

When​ ​you​ ​find​ ​yourself​ ​in​ ​a​ ​situation​ ​of​ ​struggle,​ ​you​ ​can​ ​reply​ ​with​ ​either​ ​“Why​ ​me?”​ ​or​ ​“Use me!”.​ ​One​ ​comes​ ​from​ ​a​ ​place​ ​of​ ​doubt​ ​and​ ​fear,​ ​the​ ​other​ ​from​ ​faith​ ​and​ ​strength.
Which
​ ​will​ ​you​ ​choose?

Pray:​ ​​“God,​ ​whatever​ ​you​ ​decide​ ​to​ ​give​ ​or​ ​take​ ​from​ ​my​ ​life,​ ​I​ ​trust​ ​You.​ ​Give​ ​me​ ​enough strength​ ​and​ ​faith​ ​to​ ​carry​ ​me​ ​through​ ​my​ ​trouble.​ ​And​ ​while​ ​I'm​ ​in​ ​a​ ​time​ ​of​ ​pressure,​ ​speak​ ​into my​ ​life​ ​and​ ​let​ ​me​ ​be​ ​used​ ​for​ ​the​ ​good​ ​of​ ​Your​ ​Kingdom!”