What If It Were All Taken Away…
9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “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. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” 12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
Have you ever wondered how you would react if everything that was familiar to you and those you loved were all taken away? In the scripture above, we see how Job went through this very thing. In Job’s case, and according to God, he was a righteous man. But Satan seemed to feel differently. He felt that once all of Job’s possessions, wealth, children and health(Ch. 2:4-6) were taken away, this righteous man would soon curse God. As we read the Book of Job, we find that although Job was in terrible pain and torment and didn’t understand what was going on, he never once cursed God but continued to praise Him and have faith in Him, and God honored that and blessed him with more than he had before.
So I have to pose the question again. If you lost everything, how would you react? Would you continue to praise and worship God or would you curse Him? In the case of Job, his faith was being tested and sometimes that happens with us as well. Yet when we remain true to God and continue to praise Him through the problem and through our recovery, He will provide and take care of us. However, I have to push the question even further. If you lost your freedom…freedom not only come and go and do what you please, but the freedom to worship God and read His Word, what would you do? Think about it a minute. It’s easy for us to say we would still praise and worship God when we are sitting in the comfort of our homes, with plenty of food to eat, clothes to wear and are able to freely come and go and praise and worship Him. But to say yes in the midst of persecution and adversity takes strength.
To answer these questions, you must ask yourself an important question, “Where do I find my security? In my bank account? My possessions? Other people? My job? Who would I turn to if the tides turned and my freedom and everything I have were taken away?” The only answer is God because He created this world and everything in it and He is the only one who could change it and save us.
Job, though he didn’t understand what was happening to him, continued to remain faithful to God throughout his testing. But not everything is a test. Some things are consequences for making bad choices. Yet we do have the freedom to decide to continue on in that bad choice or to begin making the right choices. We all have the chance to change and make the right choices that will secure our life into eternity. This doesn’t mean while on this earth we won’t go through trials and problems, but it does mean that when we come under God’s grace, we have his covering and He will guide us in the right direction to have victory. In order for this to happen, we have to be obedient to His Word and what He tells us to do. We have to have a close relationship with Him.
Remember Noah? In Genesis 6:11-21, The Bible states that the world was corrupt and full of violence. This is when God told Noah His plans for the earth and what He had to do for he and his family to survive the coming storm that would wipe out the population. Why Noah? Because “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord… Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.” (vs 8-9). Noah wasn’t perfect, but He did something that no one else was doing. He did what the Lord told Him to do and walked faithfully with God. This means that although he lived in a corrupt world, He didn’t allow the world to corrupt him because he had a close relationship with God, was obedient to God and he taught his family to do the same. In obedience, Noah built the ark, supplied it with everything God told Him to put into it and when the storm hit, moved his family and animals into it. They survived the storm because one man was obedient to God and built a shelter that would save them. How many people saw Noah building this ark for many years, questioned him, then scoffed at him because they had not seen rain come from the sky before (the earth received it’s moisture through dew and mist each day before the flood). It’s kind of like today. People are told about the coming of Jesus and about receiving His salvation, but people scoff saying “that’s been preached for 2000 years and He hasn’t come back yet. We have time.” Or worse yet, “It’s not going to happen!” Yet Jesus, in Matthew 24:36-41, states the following:
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
When we have a close relationship with God, accepting His Son as our Savior and obey His commands, we come under God’s grace which is a covering. It may not exempt us from experiencing problems and trials, but it will cover us and protect us from the strong storms that we face that would normally crush us. God’s grace helps us to endure and survive the storms of life and it will save us at the end of time. God’s grace is something that He gives to us freely because He loves us. It’s not something we can earn or even deserve. Because we are sinners, God extends His grace and mercy to us through salvation. This is where we accept His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior, believing He is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for us and was resurrected from the dead. All we have to do is confess our sins to Him, repent (be truly sorry for our sins and commit to changing our ways) and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Romans 10:9 states:
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Jesus also stated in Luke 15:10:
“Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
So, I have to ask you again…where do you find your security? If everything was taken away from you, what would you do? Many people would fall away in fear and maybe resort to stealing and violence or worse. But when we have God, we do not have to fear because He will take care of us. It takes faith to trust in Him and it takes perseverance to walk with Him. If you set your eyes on what you’re seeing on the surface, you will be overcome by the flood waters of emotion and through that emotion we make incorrect decisions. But if you set your eyes on Jesus, you will be able to walk on top of those flood waters, amidst the storm, and reach the goal at the end…spending eternity with Jesus. You can only do this through the grace of God.
Wherever you are today, take time to surrender your fears and concerns to Jesus and ask Him to fill you with His peace. Surrender all control to Him and allow Him to lead your life. Turn away from pleasing your flesh and all worldly desires and focus on cleansing your heart. It’s not about us and what we want, it’s about eternity and what God wants.