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Different Reactions

Different Reactions
Praising God In The Storm

For You have been a strength to the poor, A strength to the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, A shade from the heat; For the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. Isaiah 25:4 (NKJV)

Have you ever noticed how different you can react to certain things in your life compared to others who may be experiencing the same thing?  Perhaps you were laid off and were initially hurt or bummed, but you immediately placed your faith in God's provision and your trust in His plan and were again filled with joy, while the other person continued to fume about their loss - maybe even to the point of becoming angry and resentful.  

Such was the case with Job and his wife.  God allowed Satan to tempt them both and we can see the different reactions.  This was no ordinary temptation though as they lost their 10 children and all of their livestock one day in various tragic events. None of us can really know how we would react but we can see how Job did.

Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said:  Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there.  The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. Job 1:20-22 (NKJV)

Job hurt badly - he had just suffered greatly, and yet he responded in praise to God for allowing him to have these children for the time he did.  He knew he had suffered great loss, but he also knew he had been given great joy for many years prior.  As a result of his beliefs and faith he chose to focus on God's goodness and chose to worship the very God who had created his children.  

In contrast we can see his wife was not so faithful or thankful.  In fact she was downright angry.  The site of her husband holding to his faith and continuing to praise God annoyed her so she told him, "Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!" (Job 2:9)

Both people had experienced the same blessing, joy and happiness provided by God.   Both had experienced the great suffering associated with losing a loved one, and yet we see two very different reactions.

Q:    So what was the difference between Job and his wife - what caused one to praise the Creator and the other to want to curse God?

The difference was Job chose to focus on what God had done and who God is.  Job chose to count his blessings and be thankful for what he had already received from the LORD.  His wife, unfortunately, looked at things in a temporal way - she focused on the things she once possessed but no longer had.  When she lost these things she lost her happiness as well.  This was because her happiness was never grounded in God or His will.    

It can be the same for us today.  We can choose to look to the temporary things of this world for our happiness, or we can look to our Lord who loves us and is eternal. When we have a relationship with Jesus we can be confident we will be spending eternity with Him and with those who know and love Him too.  

I want to encourage you today to be thankful for the things God has given you.  We must take each day for what it brings us and never lose our focus on the eternal perspective.  God has a perfect plan for our life.  Let's choose to praise God in the storms.  Let's praise Him for what He has given and never succumb to the temptation to curse Him for what we no longer have.  Let's appreciate what we have been given.  

May we have the heart of the Psalmist when he said, "You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, I will exalt You" (Psalms 118:28).

STUDY QUESTION: According to Isaiah 25:4 what can we learn about our Lord's help in our times of trials?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you count your blessings each day or are you tempted to focus only on the hardships you face?

APPLICATION: Take time each day to praise God for all He has done in your life, and for what He is doing for your future.

Father, thank You for Your many blessings within my life.  Thank You for my loved ones; my wife, my daughters, my family and friends.  Thank You for all provision, and mostly for Your love.  Help me to see these things clearly when the enemy tempts me to focus on what I don't have, or the tough things I face.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000