Job 1:20-21 - Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the Name of the LORD."
When sorrow comes, it is often helpful to think of others who have been similarly afflicted-some of them much worse-and to learn from their experiences. Let's visit a man who lived long ago and into whose life sorrow crashed with devastating consequences. Job's life had suddenly turned into the dark mile. The sun had set, and the night was closing in.
That particular morning Job had been one of the richest men in the Orient; by nightfall he had become poor to the point of becoming a proverb. In one day all this temporal possessions had been swept away: cattle, oxen, mules, sheep, camels-more than 10,000 of them-had been stolen or killed, his barns and storehouses burned to the ground. Then came the most shattering announcement of all: his children had died in a hurricane, all ten of them.
What a blow this would be to the courage and stamina of any person! The storm had broken; the winds were blowing violently. Still, they did not shake the calm of Job's heart. Resolute on trusting God. He said, "The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the Name of the LORD."
Granted, Job suffered extreme loss, a loss of an almost unbearable kind. But what remained intact was his faith. You too may be experiencing great loss in your life. If so, remember that suffering, sooner or later, will touch us all. Jesus knew this when He told His disciples that though they will experience sorrow, it will turn into joy. And though their world may turn upside down (and how it would in the days ahead!), they can still trust in God. He told them, "I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
When sorrow comes, remember that God heals with time-if we but let Him. When difficulties arise, plans for the future may get radically changed. New plans are laid; new directions are taken. God would have it that way. "For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come" (Hebrews 13:14).
In all life's trials, remember to look to God's own Son, Jesus. He carries our burdens; He lifts us from the mire of our lives when we're overwhelmed by it all. He can do this because He became like us, one of us, the flesh and blood Son of God, born as a baby in a manger for you and for me. He has "borne our griefs and carried our sorrows," (Isaiah 53:4a) and He has told us personally, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5b).
Blessed be the Name of the Lord.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, when sorrow touches our lives, surround us with Your love and the peace of knowing You are always there. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
From "When Sorrow Comes," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Armin Oldsen, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Have you ever experienced a major financial or property loss?
2. What was it about Job that kept him believing in God through the disasters he faced?
3. How can we stay grounded in our faith when hard times hit?
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