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He is with you
A few years ago, I wrote a column titled “You are not alone.” It was based on the sorrow and heartache of a dear childhood friend who took his own life during an intense troubling time. Today, I want to reinforce the fact that as believers we are not alone; God is with us each step of the way. He is right there, in the times of hardship, in those moments when it appears the world is caving in on you when death looks so much better than the present life. I assure you God is with you in those times which are now and in the middle of the hardships to come.
Hear what Job said:
“If I go east, He is not there, and if I go west, I cannot perceive Him. When He is at work to the north, I cannot see Him; when He turns south, I cannot find Him. Yet He knows the way I have taken; when He has tested me, I will emerge as pure gold. My feet have followed in His tracks; I have kept to His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily food.” – Job 23:8-12 (HCSB)
Oh, my goodness! What amazing and comforting words from one who knew the struggles and losses of life. These are words from a man like us. Job was a righteous man. Job was a man who loved God. Job walked with God and worshipped God.
He is an example of the words repeated by the righteous Jews:
“Listen, Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart.” – Deuteronomy 6:4-6 (HCSB)
Yet a time came when he was facing a time of which was intended to separate him from his love for God; deep testing of his faith was brought about by the evil one. He lost everything he had ever owned and his entire family, except his wife. He went into a time of mourning. The scripture says he sat alone in sackcloth and ashes. During this time, he carries on detailed conversations with God and with his friends, recorded for us in the Book of Job.
In the end, he admitted. He testified. He proclaimed. He declared.
He was able to say with great confidence: “When all is said and done, I will emerge as gold.”
It is gold and believers who must endure times of destroying detaching impurities so the perfect product will result. Each of us will go through our own times of purifying. God allows such things as storms to bring out the gold.
Yes, we will come out as “gold.” As believers God is preparing us through times of testing, trying and difficult times, to bring out the true man or woman of God.
God knows our way. He knows the path we trod. We are only passing through. Our eternal home weighs more than the present struggle we endure for a time. This is only temporary; eternity is forever.
He reminds us that we will come out on the other side. We will have a place where no pain, sorrow, sickness, or death will ever touch us. We will be changed for the better, stronger than we have ever been, shining like the sun, and beauty deep from within.
He is with you!
Until next time…
Dr. Jeff Fuller is the pastor of Rockford Baptist Church. You may reach him through the church office at 256-377-4900 or by email at email@example.com.