Baggage Check

Y’all – I had this vision the other day and feel convicted to share it with you. I hope it lifts you up.

 

Trembling as I approach with my suitcase.

Going through security, I unzip my bag.

Shamefaced, unshed tears and a red face, I begin to unpack:

Addiction – I hand it over, head low.

Adultery – I close my eyes in mortification. Everyone can seem – oh what they think of me.

Impurity – Tears freely streaming

Lust – My face can’t be any redder nor my shame any deeper

Pride – oh how I wish I hadn’t seen myself as “all that”

Judgemental – the irony – so busy judging others and now being judged for it.

Comparison – oh why couldn’t I just focus on myself?

Gossip – Failed attempts to tame the tongue.

I never thought I’d have so much to unpack. I thought I was so good.

Lies – how foolish to think I could hide anything

Stealing – the only person I really stole from was myself

Complaints – What did I have to complain about? My Father provided me with everything I needed.

Criticism – If I’d only spent that time critiquing my own flaws maybe I wouldn’t have so much to hand over.

One after another, I unload my suitcase – my regrets and missed opportunities.  Finally it is done. It feels like an eternity has passed and I can feel the tension in the air. I keep my head down, until a hand nudges my chin upward.  I flinch expecting to see the wrath of judgement and instead see sorrow and love.

I look around but I don’t see my baggage.  Blood begins to flow from the man and I try to staunch it.

“It cannot yet be staunched, beloved.” He calmly tells me.

“Why? It must stop or you’ll bleed to death. Who did this?” I’m panicked in my response, terrified that he’ll bleed to death.

“Child, my blood is purifying and has to flow to clean your baggage.  You did it.” He responds in a gentle, loving voice. I don’t understand his response. Where is the condemnation and the hate? I can tell this hurts him.

“You must hate me for this. I’m so sorry. Forgive me.” I weep, despising myself and my weaknesses.  He wraps me in a hug and holds me tightly. When he pulls back, I expect to be covered in blood and am shocked when instead I’m in brilliant white.

“What?” I stammer.

“Now you’re ready to see the Father. Walk right through there. You’re in the book of life but I had to prepare you. I love you, sister”

I go to face my judgement, knowing that I’m already clean – thanks to Jesus who intervened for me…and you.

Please comment below and let us know what you think. This was a bit out of the comfort zone but I hope it encourages you and builds you up. He loves us and has already purified us. Don’t listen to the enemy’s lies. ❤

 

Being Joyful Despite the Situation

Sorry that we weren’t posting last week. I (Amanda) had a very chaotic week with a sick family member, class and balancing two jobs but we’re back this week! Happy Monday! Here’s Mariana:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ~ James 2-4 (NIV)

This September was the beginning of a new school year for the students that I teach. Many of them have never been separated from their parents and have been battling separation anxiety and whatnot. They’ve thrown fits on the ground, cried after making a small mistake, refused to participate in some activities, and the list goes on. As an adult, I am tired and exhausting of reminding the kids that their parents will be coming back. They are not abandoned.

Now going into the third week, I have seen significant progress in almost all of the students. Although many of them still tell me they miss their parents and occasionally have some sad moments, they are adapting to their new school environment, making friends, and learning two languages as they should. I see them smiling more when I walk into the classroom, and their smiles are genuine.

Just like these kids, we are put in situations that completely take us out of our comfort zone. We plead, complain, beg, and whine to express how we feel. Yet, how often are we content? To be joyful in times like these is not rare, but it is possible. After seeing the students overcoming their obstacles, they are learning that all this is done for their good. Their parents are thinking of their kids’ future and health. This is the same with the Lord. He knows our every need. Jesus, Himself, said in Matthew 6:8, ”’…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him”’ (NIV).

When we dwell too much on the negative, we forget about what is to come. All these trials that James talks about in the verses mentioned above are helpful in our maturing, so we do not lack anything (v.4). What a blessing from the Lord! To find joy in the times of trouble…I think that’s the coolest think to see! I’ll be honest though, as I go through trials and troubles, the hardest thing to think about is joy. Maybe I’ve been shown to act a certain way in certain situations. But the Lord is telling us to act differently. And when the people around us seem so pessimistic or dark, we should be the ones turning the tables.

Please let us know if you  need prayer about specific situations. Comment below and let us know what you think. We love hearing from you ❤

Taking Advantage of Reading the Word

”Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’ ~ Matthew 4:4 (NIV)

It’s sad how fatigue can keep us from pursuing God. When we are on the go, constantly with hardly any breaks, the first thing on our mind would probably be rest…or food. Just this morning, my sister and I were conversing over the fact that we need to be more in the Word. Reading the Bible every night is not enough for us, and I believe the Lord has put in our hearts to dive into the Word more than just doing it as part of a schedule. We felt convicted. And it dawned on me why I felt such an emptiness in the last couple of weeks: in the midst of work, driving, eating, moving, and life, I felt something was missing. Later that day, an appointment was canceled and I found myself with twenty minutes to spare before I had to go back to work. I could have eaten or I could have grabbed a cup of coffee. Instead, God gave me the time to read His Word.

Without God’s Word, we are lost. We walk a path of darkness, no light to see where we are going and what we will do. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (NIV). If we only read our Bible once a week before we go to bed, it is like using a candle in a dark house once a week. We can’t see anything on the other days that we don’t light the candle. How can one live that way? However, one big difference between a candle and the Bible is that we need the Bible more than we need a candle. In addition, we need a candle to see physical objects. The Bible brings light to everything else.

Moreover, when we are filled with God’s word, physical hunger, pain, fatigue, etc. are not our main worries. The Bible prepares us for what the world throws at us. Would God leave us on the earth without any direction? Never! Paul even points out in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that, “All Scpriture is God-breathed  and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (NIV).

The emptiness I have been feeling lately changed a little when I read Psalm 27. Not only did I need Scripture to fulfill that empty hunger, but I felt a difference after I read Psalm 27. I felt more “equipped” to face the world. Yes, exhaustion is riding on my shoulders, but it is not sleep that I need. It is God. Taking care of our bodies is necessary, but we also don’t do a good job of prioritizing. When God is first, other things in our lives tend to fall into place.

Comment below and let us know how you incorporate God’s Word into your life. We love hearing from y’all! ❤

A lesson in humility

I love how easy it can be to type something but how challenging it can be to live it. I am sharing this story not for a pat on the back but because I want to remind everyone that we’re made up of daily choices and we’re going to stumble and falter sometimes.  Yesterday I failed.   That’s okay. Accept it, learn from it and get back out there. I almost failed yesterday.

I have been meeting my Bible group at a well-known café every Wednesday and I love what it is shaping into. A small coed group of us gathering to share Jesus. We’re taking turns “leading” the group and last night was my turn. I had decided to share about being a true Christian and being recognized by our fruits. It’s something I feel passionately about and have been really convicted to share with others.

I’m there early, browsing, when I notice a slightly disheveled man. He’s in line behind me as I order my froofroo drink. He asks if they have free water. At this point I am sizing him up a bit trying to determine his situation. Is he homeless? Is he just trying to rock a grunge look and is frugal? I go and sit down and I watch as he drinks his water. I want to go speak to him and I try to work up the nerve. I begin to approach and then decide that would be rude. Seriously? Sometimes my excuses are so lame I want to give myself a facial high-five.

I can feel the Holy Spirit nudge so I gather myself and go to approach. Darn it – he’d already left. I felt disappointed but a little relieved too. Back into the comfort zone. The relief faded leading to shame and I knew I had to repent. I told God I wanted a do over. The gentleman came back in a few minutes later and this time had about two dollars to get an orange juice. I knew I couldn’t fail again so I took a deep breath and tried to approach without looking like a creeper.

“Sir, can I buy you something to eat?” The shock and joy on his face made me feel so ashamed.

“That’s the nicest thing anyone outside of family has done for me. Are you sure?”

Yes, I was sure. He ordered a pizza and I invited Dennis to come sit with me. I introduced him to my group and tried to find out his story. He had to leave soon after he finished the meal and darted off quickly.

I was thinking about how great it was that Dennis got a good meal and how I hoped he would find somewhere to stay, etc. when I realized that God didn’t want me to focus on what happened with Dennis. He wanted to me to focus on what happened with me. See, if I hadn’t bought Dennis a meal, God would have sent someone else – maybe at a different restaurant but Dennis was going to be fed. The lesson was for me.

The lesson was to see God’s people. Dennis’ story (from what he shared) wasn’t remarkable. He’d been on the west coast and he had family and he was trying to figure out what to do. The real lesson was to show me that I have so much work to do. If I want to serve God and share his message then I need to be willing to share my failures. I was so lucky God gave me another chance – if I am unwilling to help one person with a small, tangible need like that how can I expect to bear fruit. If we don’t respond appropriately in the little tests or lessons, then why do we think we will do well on the big ones?  God humbled me and showed me that life in action is as simple as I think.

How do you make sure you’re prepared to serve whenever He calls you? Does anyone else have an experience either where you successfully responded or where you missed an opportunity? ❤

Taming the Tongue

“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” – Psalm 141:3

Have you ever had one of those moments where you really put your foot in it? Have you ever been caught saying something you shouldn’t or using inappropriate language? Have you ever complained? Ever found yourself “bonding” with someone while discussing someone else’s business – but only to pray for them, of course!

I am a talker. I have a lot to say and have a tendency to assume that everyone wants to hear it. J I struggle with what comes out of my mouth and I know that I am not alone in this. Does it really matter what we say? What if I’m just joking when I sarcastically respond to someone? I can’t help it; it’s my personality. Sorry but no. I have yet to meet a sarcastic toddler. Sarcasm is learned, just as gossip and cursing is learned. Even Sheldon from Big Bang was able to learn sarcasm (kind of).  We learn how to communicate from the people around us, the shows on television, the music we listen to – we absorb it all.

I would say our words are a big concern to God and He speaks to us about them throughout scripture.

“The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.” – Proverbs 10:31-32

“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” – Proverbs 13:3

“The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.” – Proverbs 15:7

These are just a few samples from one book in the Bible. We have a choice to speak like the wise or like the foolish. We can speak of this world and sounds like everyone around us with the gossip, the complaining, the comparisons and the divisiveness or we can speak truth and life. We can speak encouragement and positivity and unity. It’s not easy or at least it isn’t for me. It’s a constant battle; I’m inquisitive (sometimes confused with being nosey. LOL) but it’s a choice we all make.

“…but no human being can tame the tongue. It is restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord the Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.” – James 3:8-9

We do this without thinking. We praise God and then complain about someone. I caught myself after church Sunday with the duel tongue. I had been praying and praising Jesus and then I got behind the wheel of my car. This is what I look like driving and with the attitude to match.

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Now maybe those words unheard didn’t hurt the other driver  but how simple it was for me to go from praise to criticism. We talk about how words “can’t hurt us” but they do. We might not show broken bones or bruises but the ache a careless word or intentionally malicious word can scar and wound us much worse than a physical touch.

So today, I ask you to choose to speak love and unity. Speak truth. Don’t talk about anyone else. Remember we’re called to be ambassadors, so if you want to speak share the Gospel. Give godly counsel. Be the light. Take it one conversation at a time.  Tame the beast! Comment below with any tips you have for watching what you say. ❤

Finding Strength in the Lord

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV)

Recently, I’ve been needing some encouragement on strength, and I came across these verses in Isaiah. I believe our society is tired. Why do you think many of us drink more than one cup of coffee a day? Oh no, many of us cannot survive the morning without a cup of coffee. In order to hide how tired we are, a lot of women wear makeup to cover the dark circles under their eyes. Not only so, our schedules have prevented us from having proper sleep, a proper diet, and overall, good health. Personally, there are days when I just want to sit down and close my eyes for a little bit just so I can gain some sort of energy. But my strength should not come from those quiet moments and especially not from a cup of coffee. Our strength should come from the Lord.

Many of us might lack energy, but the reason is more important than how much energy we lack. I might feel so exhausted after a day’s work. It could be my coworkers that tire me out, or my students, or even the hours. All I want to do when I get home is sleep! (Of course, I have to eat before I sleep.) My point is, none of those things is what tires me out. When the Lord is not with me, I am lost, helpless, and weak. I stumble and fall, I’m weary, and I faint. It is not having strength from God above that leads me to complain of how little I sleep and how exhausting work is.

Sometimes all we can do is ask the Lord for strength. Wouldn’t you want to “soar like an eagle” at work, at school, wherever you are? How beautifully Isaiah words it. We have an image of someone who can endure anything, have perseverance, and most importantly have strength. God has so much work for us to do on earth. He wouldn’t leave us here without any source to energize ourselves with. He is our energy, our strength!

Look at Solomon for example. In 1 Kings 3:5, it says, ”At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you”’ (NIV). Now, Solomon didn’t ask for strength. He asked for a discerning heart: in other words, wisdom. And how did the Lord respond? ”’I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.”’ The Lord did this because He was “pleased” (v. 10).

The strength of the Lord is waiting for us. There is no need to drag our bodies likes zombies as we walk on this earth. To do the work of the Lord requires a lot of energy. Worldly energy does not last, but with the Lord, “we will soar on wings like eagles.”

Comment below and let us know where you’re feeling weak because God wants to strengthen you?  We hope you have you have a great weekend! ❤

What You’ve Always Wanted

Have you ever felt really convicted about something? You know that feeling you get when you read or hear something that just makes your stomach drop because you know that you’re being called to do something different. Well I’ve been getting that message for the past few weeks and I love/hate that feeling. The sinful part of me hates that I am called to grow deeper and press in to God more but my spiritual side is excited to be growing!

I believe that God speaks to us in the way best for us. I happen to be a more visual learner and an avid reader so I gain a lot of insight from the written word. Other friends are more auditory and sometimes “hear a verse”, etc. I have been focusing on growing more and as a result have branched out my reading. I stumbled across The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson and it challenged my prayer life. I believe in the power of the prayer but it’s one of my weaker areas. This book stretched me and got me thinking about ensuring my praying life aligned with God’s will. Then I discovered David Platt’s Radical, which has turned my world upside down. I couldn’t get enough of the book. It talked about how the American dream competes with what how we’re actually called to live.  What have you always wanted? What dream are you chasing?

I chased the American dream once. Dollar signs in my eyes led to an eighty-hour work week, promotions, an ulcer, strained relationships and bone deep fatigue. God called me to surrender that and I found myself giving up the corporate life to teach English in South Korea.   I expected to feel regret and experience ridicule and I did a little bit. I regretted spending so much time on work that never ended. I had a few people who thought I was nuts to pack up and go but most people thought it was amazing. Most people don’t want to be in the rat race – they want out but they’re not willing to give up the lifestyle. I’d be lying if I told you it didn’t hurt but God is so good and always provides.

I decided after reading this book that I wasn’t doing enough so I decided to go on a social media and television/hulu/Netflix fast for thirty days. It’s kind of sad how much I miss watching television. With time on my hands I read more (this is all in addition to the Bible which should be our sole source of truth) and discovered this neat guy called Francis Chan. And he talked about giving up things and truly practicing what we read in the Bible.

I was getting uncomfortable. How about you? Then I remembered this quote:

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And it really made me think. People talk about Satan but we don’t really talk about his strategies. If you’re lukewarm and not on fire for the Lord and living out your faith, then Satan’s not too worried about you. He just needs to make sure you stay comfortable. You see, it’s when we’re comfortable that’s when we settle. It’s when we’re comfortable that no one call tell who are Christians and who aren’t. It’s when we’re comfortable that we just skim along. We might go to church and read our Bible, post a FaceBook status about being #blessed and pray but we’re not going to actually do anything. We don’t want to be pushy so we’re not going to talk about Jesus with any nonbelievers. We don’t want anyone labeling us intolerant. We’re not going to tithe because times are tough, or if we do, it’s the 10% and not a penny more. God understands. And He does but that doesn’t mean He approves.

Would someone looking at you know that you’re a Christian? Probably not. What if they heard your words? Do you sound any different from a nonbeliever? What about your relationships with people – do they look any different?  What about your giving habits?

If we’re honest most of us have areas that we need to improve upon. I don’t want to live the American dream if it conflicts with God’s teachings. If He calls us to take care of the widows and the orphans and the poor, I am going to figure out where I can help. If He calls us to serve and put others first, I am going to do my best to follow that because I’ve learned that what I really want is to serve God.

What area of your life do you think you need to change? What have you always wanted and does it conflict or complement your faith?  Do you have any suggestions on how we can grow more like Christ in such a worldly place? Please comment below. As always, we love hearing from you! ❤

Reluctant Obedience

Does my attitude really matter if I am being obedient? Last year, the overall lesson that God was working in my life was obeying no matter what. Obedience led to me quitting my job and moving across the world to teach English to South Korean students. Obedience led me to giving away most of my possessions and going abroad. Obedience led to me coming back to the US early. Obedience led to a place I didn’t really didn’t want to live in. Obedience led to my mother living with me. Obedience led to me learning to serve. Obedience has led to some of the best moments in my life, even though I didn’t always realize it at the time. Let me emphasis the word some because sometimes obedience just wasn’t great.

I reluctantly quit my job concerned about the financial ramifications only to find that life in South Korea was amazing. I planned on staying forever (or at least until the presidential hoopla was over). When He called me home early, I reluctantly packed my bags to go home with the thought of just 12 months and then going back. I had it all planned out. I’m pretty sure every time that happens, God chuckles a bit.

In my small group it recently came up that I talk about my desire to be abroad a lot and that would have been that except the Holy Spirit began to convict me. I think reluctance obedience is obedience and it’s a good thing that God will reward. We’re called to be obedient:

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all of his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.” – Deuteronomy 28:1

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” – John 14:15

“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” – Luke 11:28

So yes, I obviously believe that we are called to be obedient no matter what BUT we should also be examining our hearts and our attitudes towards what we’re being called to obey. God doesn’t ask us to obey because He wants us to be unhappy or to “miss out”. He calls us to obey because He knows the master plan and what we need to be doing to live to our full potential.

Looking at my heart has shown me that my reluctance is closely related to my comfort level. If I am settled and comfortable and obeying brings change, I am reluctant no matter how small the order may be. I’m so busy looking behind me that I fail to see what’s in front of me. I’m Lot’s wife who when the angels told them to leave also warned them:

“Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley.” – Genesis 19:17.

I think those are pretty clear instructions but Lot’s wife couldn’t resist. She was obeying and was leaving but…

“But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” – Genesis 19:26

Looking back cost Lot’s wife her life. One longing glance to her home and her comfort zone led to her demise. It’s a valuable lesson to be learned. I think we need to focus on wholeheartedly obeying and stop looking back! Living in the past means we’re not focused on the present and the future like we should be. God wants to teach us and show us but if we’re always longing for what was, then we’re only shortchanging ourselves and where He’s called us to obey. Be a forward thinker like Paul, who was always on the move. If Paul was looking back, he probably wouldn’t have been the Paul we know. After the first boat wreck, he might’ve sworn never to go on a boat again or the first time he was imprisoned, he might’ve said that he would preach but maybe not as loudly as before.

Friends, I urge you not just to promise to obey the Lord but to promise to joyfully obey and stop looking back! It’s not going to be easy but I know that it will be a game changer.

Are you struggling with reluctance in a specific area of your walk with the Lord? Please comment below and let us know what you think and/or if there are some more biblical examples we could use! As always, we pray this blesses you and helps you in your walk ❤

Remain Focused on God

“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” ~ Proverbs 4:25-27 (NIV)

Just a couple days ago, I started a new job and my sister started her classes again. Unfortunately, we’ve been commuting because we have not yet moved into our new place in the city. The commute is an hour there and back, and we both begin our day early. By the time we get home, we are both insanely exhausted. I do admit we are still getting used to this schedule and thankfully it won’t be permanent, but I was surprised how easily I forgot about the Lord. Even before I started my job, I was so lazy there were times I didn’t even want to think of talking to God or opening my Bible. I knew that I needed time with Him, but either something came up or I refused to obey.

It’s plain and clear that we can lose focus on God almost as easily as blinking. How can that be? Well, first of all, Satan is fully aware of how and what to distract us with. For example, if an individual greatly desires a holy marriage but is so easily distracted with picking any potential spouse who comes in their path, they are not focused on God. They are focused on their own desires which Satan will fuel any chance he gets. 1 Peter 5:8-9 says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (NIV).

Another example is TV. What I want to do most when I come home—other than sleep—is watch TV. I’m too lazy to do anything else. But, yesterday, I was reminded of acknowledging God’s presence. When I was overwhelmed at work with all the new things I had to learn, there was nothing I could do but call on God. When I did that, my attitude changed, and I found myself paying more attention to the Lord throughout the day. Today, I refused to watch TV knowing that I would waste time and not get anything done, not getting the things done that God wants me to get done. You know what happened? I was more content than the last couple of days and accomplished so many things!

Our life as a Christian should not have time for distractions but we make time for them. Like a dog chasing a squirrel, we chase the things that catch our attention so easily and pulls us out of the straight path. With this in mind, why should we put all our focus on Him? Bluntly speaking, there is no reason to ask this question because there is nothing else that deserves more attention than the Lord above. However, Matthew 24:13 states it simply, “…but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

Moreover, we never waste our time when we are focused on God. It’s our distractions that waste our time and get us nowhere. Sometimes in order to focus back on God, we must eliminate and/or avoid the things that distract us. When we fervently pray for direction, the Lord will assist us in what to do and how to do it. Maybe someday the Lord will convict me of getting rid of my TV. But I know for now, I should not put my hand on the on button.

We’d love to know what distracts you and how do you handle it? Leave a comment below and let us know! We hope everyone has a wonderful long weekend. ❤

The Party Crasher

I don’t know about you but suffering is not my kind of idea of fun. I know that both Paul and Peter talked about how important suffering is and how they’d gladly do it for Christ and I agree with them…if we cross out the word gladly. I think my attitude towards suffering is more closely related to Job’s perspective, except He sounds like a much better person than I am.

For those of you unfamiliar with Job, he was a rich, healthy and successful man, who’s story is found in the Old Testament. He had a wonderful family, lots of land and cattle (read: cha-ching$$), a great wife, well respected in the community, and a faithful servant of God. As a result of his faithfulness, God blessed Job time and time again. So why do we care about Job? Well the story isn’t all butterflies and sunshine. What happens is God calls a meeting and the enemy, Satan shows up for the rendezvous. Now I think in cartoons, so I apologize if this comes across sacrilegious but I immediately got this image stuck in my head:

Everyone’s celebrating and worshipping God and then this guy rolls in. Yep, Satan is the ultimate party crasher. And I love God so much because when Satan shows up, God already  wants to know where Satan’s been even though He already knew the answer.

“Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and from on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.’ And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant, Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?’” – Job 1:7-8

God’s response to Satan got me thinking. If Satan had shown up today and told God what he’d been up to, could God use me as an example? Where Job’s name is, could I put mine? Stay with me:

Amanda – a blameless and upright woman, who fears God and turns away from evil. Welll…if I’m being honest, I don’t think I could sub my name in there in regards to all of those attributes. I fear God but I think reality would be more like:

Amanda – a woman who tries to be blameless and upright, who fears God and mostly turns away from evil but it would be helpful if she could control her tongue! What does yours looks like?

So anyways, Satan crashes the party, God points to Job as an example and Satan gets God’s permission to test Job. The first thing Satan does is cause the death of all of Job’s children and the destruction of his property. I have to be honest – that really sucks! Job hadn’t done anything wrong and neither had his family but in hours, the people he loved were gone and his property destroyed. The world came crashing down on Job. I try to thank God and praise Him through the trials but all of this out of nowhere, I don’t know how’d I respond but Job gives us an example:

“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” – Job 1:21

I agree that everything comes from God but to bless Him in spite of everything? I can see why God thought so highly of him. A second time, God called the sons of God to present themselves to Him, and once again, Satan rolled in to crash the party. Yet again, Job’s name is mentioned and Satan says Job would curse God, if his health was taken away, so God gave Satan permission to do what he wanted, as long as Job didn’t die. Satan afflicted Job with terrible sores all over his body. Job’s loving wife told Job that he should curse God so he could die and be out of his misery but Job defended God.

“Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” – Job 2:10

At the time, the people believed that those who did good were rewarded and blessed with children, property, livestock and great wealth, whereas those who did wrong were punished (sounds a bit like the prosperity gospel to me). The book continues with Job and his friends discussing his circumstances and trying to convince Job to repent. Eventually God responds to Job and corrects him on his arguments and viewpoint. What can we learn from Job?

No matter what you’re going through, whether it be a season of joy or a season of party crashers, God knows what He is doing. He loves you and wants what’s best for you. Be like Job and stand firm in your faith even when you don’t understand what’s going on. I pray that this offers you encouragement and hope in whatever you’re going through ❤ Comment below and let us know what you think!