Friday, November 28, 2008

Living Life over Despair

Whether we like it or not, we are faced with the reality of life and death. Many of us even dread or get depressed whenever a birthday approaches or someone dear to us passes away. Just this past week, one of our church leaders was in a vehicular accident with serious injuries that led to her death. It was so sudden that many of us, especially her family were caught by surprise. How do you live through such ordeal when you are caught in such a situation? It was such an unexpected event that we were still in shock even up to this time. My only thought when I heard the news was, “Just like that, she’s gone.”

Job had the same experience when his ten children suffered a great and terrible freak accident as described in the Scriptures, “While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead." (Job 1:18-19)

Death will always be part of our lives - whether we like it or not. But how should we react to such event? Let me share how Job reacted, “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."

One may say, “I cannot do that!” I’m not Job! That may be true and accurate but how we react is our choice. Job’s initial reaction was due to the fact that he had a strong faith in God’s character and ability. Unknown to Job, Satan’s attack on his integrity and faith was what caused these unfortunate events to occur in his life in the first place as stated in Job 1:9-11, "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."

Job passed the initial test that Satan unleashed to prove his faith in God as stated in the Scriptures, “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” (Job 1:22)

You’ll see that though Job lived in a different time and generation, his life is strikingly similar to ours today. Each person will be able to relate to Job’s life one way or another. But one thing that will probably differ is how we react to situations that cause us great pain and suffering.
When you are not aware that such things will happen, then I’m sorry to say that you are very ignorant and na├»ve of what life is really all about. I’m not criticizing nor putting down anyone but we should realize this fact of life.

Let it not be said about you that you showed genuine faith in God during positive and good times but went on a downward slope and crumbled during the worst of times. Our consistency must be seen in situations both happy and sad – that is when you will begin to thwart Satan’s suggestions that we are only believers during good times but, curse God in our difficult moments. Therefore, let’s prove Satan wrong and let us prove that faith in God is not conditional but unconditional based in God’s character.

Somebody said, “I find the great thing in this world is, not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it — but we must sail, and not drift nor lie at anchor.”

Let’s talk again!