Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hard to Understand

Look around you.  What do you see?  You don't have to look very far to see injustice in this world.  Rioting in the streets of London left innocent people dead - among them an elderly man and a beloved young son.  Greediness and mismanagement has left many national economies in a shambles.  Some countries are controlled by a few outrageously rich and influential families who bribe government officials so they can maintain their power.  The price of a barrel of oil drops and is not reflected at the pumps.  The list goes on.

Worse that that, for you, could be your personal struggles.  Failed relationships, misunderstandings.  Bad communication.  A job that ended with no explanation and no warning.  A terrifying diagnosis.  A feeling of failure.  

You may ask yourself, "Why do others seem to do so well, while my life sucks?"

"I don't understand."

Job's friends insisted time and again that the wicked lived a short life full of inevitable pain and poverty.  They had a simplistic view that the wicked suffer in this world.  Job refutes that claim. (See Chapter 24)

So much wickedness and sadness goes on in the world.  The wicked are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.  Much evil happens in the night.

Yet God prolongs the life of the mighty BY HIS POWER; He gives them security, and they are supported, and His eyes are upon their ways.  They are exalted a little while, and then are gone. They are brought low and gathered up like all the others; they are cut off like the heads of grain.

Do you see?  The oppressor is being supported by the mighty power of God, who holds all things together by the Word of His power!  (Col. 1:17)

Do you see?  He is watching.  Judgment is coming!

Do you see?  The wicked will be brought low and cut off.  They'll bear no fruit.  They'll have no posterity.

Psalm 147 reminds us:

The Lord 

  • gathers the outcasts 
  • heals the brokenhearted
  • binds their wounds
  • lifts up the humble
  • casts the wicked to the ground
Job didn't always understand.  He had no idea why God ordained that he should suffer so deeply.  Sometimes, he didn't even know if God was there.

Behold, I go forward, but he is not there,and backward, but I do not perceive him;on the left hand, when he is working, I do not behold Him;He turns to the right hand,but I do not see Him.

Do you see that?  Job cannot perceive God, but HE IS WORKING.

Life is confusing and difficult.  The trials we endure seem never-ending, and life is hard to understand.  But God is working!

Job continues, 

But He knows the way that I take;When He has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
Do you see?  We don't know now what God is doing, but we know He is working.  We don't understand why our path in this world leads through thorns and thistles, trials and tribulation.  But we know some day, we shall come out of the fiery furnace, purified.

Farther along, we'll know all about it.  Farther along, we'll understand why.

Farther along we'll know all about it
Farther along we'll understand why
So, cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We'll understand this, all by and by

Tempted and tried, I wondered why
The good man died, the bad man thrives
And Jesus cries because he loves 'em both
We're all cast-aways in need of rope
Hangin' on by the last threads of our hope
In a house of mirrors full of smoke
Confusing illusions I've seen

Where did I go wrong, I sang along
To every chorus of the song
That the devil wrote like a piper at the gates
Leading mice and men down to their fates
But some will courageously escape
The seductive voice with a heart of faith
While walkin' the line back home

So much more to life than we've been told
It's full of beauty that will unfold
And shine like you struck gold my wayward son
That deadweight burden weighs a ton
Go down into the river and let it run
Wash away all the things you've done
Forgiveness alright

Farther along we'll know all about it
Farther along we'll understand why
So, cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We'll understand this, all by and by

Still I get hard pressed on every side
Between the rock and a compromise
Like the truth and pack of lies fightin' for my soul
And I've got no place left to go
'Cause I got changed by what I've been shown
More glory than the world has known
Keeps me ramblin' on

Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall
I'm free to love once and for all
And even when I fall I'll get back up
For the joy that overflows my cup
Heaven filled me with more than enough
Broke down my levees and my bluffs
Let the flood wash me

And one day when the sky rolls back on us
Some rejoice and the others fuss
'Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess
That the Son of God is forever blessed
His is the kingdom, we're the guests
So put your voice up to the test
Sing Lord, come soon 

Farther along we'll know all about it
Farther along we'll understand why
So, cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We'll understand this, all by and by. ~ Josh Garrels 

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