Summary: Learning to let go of situations in life you can’t handle and how to let God take control!
Why me, God…why am I going through this? Have you ever thought, whispered, or screamed that question? Have you ever thought that God was against you personally? At one time or another, everyone does, even people in the Bible. That is not surprising. What is surprising is God’s answer to their questions.
It is strange to start this message by reading from 1 Peter 3:13-17 but let me say this, it is a text that relates to the example that a man who suffered much in the Old Testament gave for us to learn from in times of trouble.
Now I know many of you have heard the story of Job, but hear it again and you might just learn something new or maybe you might have just missed something important that God wanted you to know.
Job loved God, and everything was going great in his life. He had money, land, possessions, and a large, wonderful family. But one day his world fell apart. He lost everything except his life, a bitter wife, and accusing "friends." As you might imagine, Job asked why. Why him? Why now? The book of Job tells this story, and it gives God’s reply. And after God spoke, Job was silent. Job is a book about success, tragedy, marriage, friends, and faith. As you read the book of Job, allow God to begin changing your ideas about suffering. Learn to trust God even when things just don’t make sense or you don’t understand.
God controls all life and history, present and future. He uses even human suffering and misfortune to accomplish His purposes. At times we cannot say such misfortune is divine punishment for personal sin. We have no explanation for it; instead, we have to accept our situation as being under God’s control. Weigh our alternatives prayerfully and reasonably, and act. In time we may discover how God is working even through our afflictions. In the midst of trouble we can only confess that God is at work in our lives and that we do not understand what is happening. Having passed through suffering, we may find other explanations for this dark side of life. We will at least confess that God is good and what He does cannot ultimately be called evil.
Through history we have been able to read and hear of the many servants of God who have been through some tough times in there lives, but were able to overcome by prayer and faith. There experiences and their ability to overcome suffering is what we as Christians can use in our own personal lives.
We can follow the examples of the many great men and women in the Old Testament such as Ruth, Sara, Deborah and Esther; Joseph, Job, Jeremiah, Hosea and Habakkuk. We can also follow the example of those in the New Testament such as Maria, Joseph, The Disciples and Apostles and the one and only Jesus Christ. There are also those in past times that we can take their experiences and learn from them such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, Thomas Cranmer, John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards. There are also those in our days that we can take their experiences and learn much from them such as our spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ and our pastors. All these great women and men of God whether in Bible times, in past times or in our present time were all able to persevere and endure in the faith and rely on God’s provision and grace.