Summary: (Evening Service) During our storms, we must keep focused on 1) God will not leave us 2) God’s timing is perfect and 3)we MUST remain faithful.
An old dog fell into a dry well. The farmer heard the dog yelping and went to look. He sympathized with his loyal dog, but decided that neither the dog nor the well were worth the trouble to save them. So, he hauled a large wagon of dirt to the well and, shovel by shovel, began to fill in the well.
The dog saw what the farmer was doing and got hysterical! After a few shovels of dirt came down and landed on the dog, he shook really hard and he noticed that the dirt fell on the floor of the well. So, every time the farmer threw a shovel full of dirt down, the dog would shake it off his back and the floor got higher. The more dirt that came down, the higher the floor got.
After about an hour of this, the dog stepped out of the well and licked his master’s face, happy to be safe and secure again. What seemed like total defeat actually turned out to benefit the dog; all because of the way he handled it.
And we are the same way. Life gives us crushing blow after crushing blow sometimes, doesn’t it? Have you ever wondered why God would allow you or a loved one to go through a time of deep suffering? In the Bible, we find many reasons why we experience the pain and sufferings of life.
We suffer because of the nature of sin. We suffer so that our character might be built up in the Lord. We might suffer because God is showing casing us to Satan, like He did with Job. There are many reasons we might suffer, but I am not going to talk about the reasons today; I am going to talk about the way we choose to handle the suffering.
It is normal for us to feel that God has left us alone during our times of suffering. We feel alone and isolated. But the first thing we must remember is …
1. GOD NEVER LEAVES US - NOR FORSAKES US
In HEBREWS 13:5, God gives us that promise and we often seem to forget it during our trials. God is always there, no matter what we are going through; and God is always there even when it seems He has abandoned you.
When trouble strikes, what do we do? We go into a panic and ask God for help and then try to fix the problem without waiting for His help. We instantly try to rely on our powers to make everything better, when in fact, we have no power to make anything better. It is only after we have failed in every attempt do we really go to God and get serious about His helping us.
And when we go to God, we must remember something very important. We want the problem fixed even before we say “Amen”, but God will fix the problem in His time, not ours. He will fix the problem His way, not ours. God will fix the problem once and for all – if we give Him the chance and the glory.
But, while we are waiting for God’s help in solving our problem, we still must go through the pangs of suffering through it, don’t we? We let our focus slip from God and back on our problems. Then, more often than not, we begin to feel sorry for ourselves. We start asking ourselves what we did to deserve all these problems, or we might start to feel that God has just dumped us and walked off from us.
Many of the great men in the Bible felt that way, too. David experienced the feeling of isolation from God when he was running from Saul. He was running because Saul wanted to kill him.
In PSALM 13:1, David writes –
‘How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide Your face from me?’
In JOB 23:3, Job says –
‘Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come even to His seat.’
Job felt isolated and far from God. But Job held steadfastly to God’s Word and even though he felt abandoned, He knew God was in control.
Job had lost all of his children; his wealth; his friends; and everything else he had in life, except for his wife. The wife who said, ‘Just curse God and die!” I think those are the most shuddering words in the Old Testament. I would hate to be under such tests as Job was, and be saddled with a wife who said that to me. But even though Job lost all these things, and we know he must have suffered greatly, he kept his knowledge of the Lord intact.