Sunday, October 9, 2011

Without Reservation

"He replied, 'You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?' In all this, Job did not sin in what he said." - Job 2:10 (NIV)

Job was a man who accepted God's will without reservation. He was a man who lost everything: his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his servants, his camels, his sons & daughters. He was cursed with painful sores all over his body. Even when his wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" (vs 9), Job didn't turn against God. He didn't complain. His reply is the verse above.

Job's question to his wife is just as relevant to me today. Why am I so ready to rejoice and accept the good that God gives me but so ready to whine and complain when things aren't so good? I can never fully understand the plans God has for me. But, as a believer, I must trust Him. Without reservation. Fully. Completely. What does that look like? It looks like Job. He didn't understand why God allowed all of this to happen to him. But he didn't curse God. He didn't blame God. He didn't argue against God. Even when his three friends questioned why he would have faith and trust in a God that would allow all of this to happen, he remained true and loyal to his Lord.

Even Jesus knew God's will had to be done. In Luke 22:42-44 (NIV), He prayed fervently to His Father to take the cup from Him because He knew what He was going to have to endure. But He said, "yet not my will, but yours be done". He followed God's will to the cross, without complaint or reservation.

Both Job and Jesus accepted trouble from God. Why should I expect anything different in my life? God desires that I learn to accept His will without reservation, to face the troubles that come my way without complaining. Complaining about my problems opens me up to feeling sorry for myself, to becoming angry, to allowing Satan to have control. But, praising God, even in the midst of pain and suffering, while not easy, will bring me  peace and will, in the end, be rewarded. Job is the prime example of that. After all was said and done, because Job hadn't turned his back on God, hadn't complained but accepted God's will, God blessed "the latter part of Job's life more than the first" (Job 42:12 NIV). He was blessed with more oxen, sheep, camels and donkeys than he had before. He was also blessed with more sons and daughters and lived to see his grandchildren "to the fourth generation" (Job 42:16 NIV). What an awesome example of God's blessing waiting for those of us who accept His will, whatever that may bring, without reservation.

"Part of waiting upon the Lord is telling God that you want only what He wants - whatever it is." - Kay Arthur

Dear Lord, give me the wisdom to accept Your will without reservation. When I feel the need to complain, Lord, may I turn my complaints into praise. When I'm afraid, please give me Your courage. When I am worried, please give me Your perspective. When I weak, please give me Your strength. I CAN do ALL things through You, dear Lord. Help me to remember Job's question anytime I wonder why trouble has entered my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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