Summary: Life can make us very insecure, but if we trust the Lord we can rely on His eternal plan for us. God’s sovereignity is our comfort during stressful times.
WAITING ON GOD’S SOVEREIGNITY
Andrea was a nice girl with a huge secret. One day we were talking and she expressed a desire to share with me what ate at her heart for years. It was one of those secrets that no one ever wants to discuss or share with another person. As we sat there, you could tell that she was nervous as she started to talk and then would stop. This beginning and stopping lasted for sometime as she gained some confidence and some courage to express the deepest secret in her life. It was one of those events in life that are so painful that it is easier to deny and pretend that it never happened. Finally, she began. On that night I heard the saddest story that my ears ever personally heard. She told me that when she was five her mother remarried. Her new stepfather raped her when she five and this horrible act happened until she was eight and her mother finally left her stepfather.
But where was God in all of this? Why does God allow rape and murder and cruelty to affect innocent children? We claim that God is Lord. We claim that nothing is above His control. We state firmly that God is love and is all-powerful. So why does the Lord stand by and allow such cruel suffering to exist?
Joseph probably had the same questions. He was the favorite son of his father but his many brothers were jealousy of him. One day they saw an opportunity to dispose of this brother, especially since Joseph had a dream that one day his brothers would be bowing down to him. A caravan was going through the land and so his brothers sold him into slavery. Imagine this poor boy; he is only about 17 to 19 years old and his whole life is caving in on him. Picture him on this caravan, young and naïve and scared to death. He is taken to Egypt were he becomes a high-ranking servant in Potiphar’s house. Just when everything is going well, Potiphar’s wife makes a move on Joseph but Joseph does the right thing and rejects her but he is the one that is blamed and thrown into prison. Imagine this young man with all the rejects of society. I am sure he is wondering where the Lord is in this picture. He is faithful, he is submissive, but he is suffering. Where is God? Finally, Joseph has his opportunity to rise again in the Egyptian world by interpreting Pharaoh’s dream. This door that the Lord opened led him to the position right below Pharaoh himself on the power scale.
Job had the same questions as Joseph. Where is God in this life? In the book of Job we have an account of a deal made in heaven. Satan approaches the Lord and the Lord asks him to consider Job his righteous servant. Satan tells the Lord that the only reason job serves him is because he has a hedge of protection around him. Satan states that Job would curse God to his face if he were allowed to take his blessings away from him. The Lord agrees to this test. Satan begins his assault on Job. He begins by taking everything that Job has away from Him. He destroys his sheep, his camels, his servants, his flocks, and even destroys his sons and daughters. Imagine a man that has just heard that his family, his wealth, and his servants have all been destroyed without warming. Imagine the pain on that man’s face. His heart would have cracked. Job tears his robe, which is a old testament sign for unbearable and intense agony and shaves his head and he falls to the ground. At this moment I would have cried, I would have cursed, I would have screamed-- but Job worships. But Satan is not finished with him yet. Job might have been able to handle the outward tragic events but could he handle his own life being lost? Satan now inflicts Job with boils from head to toe. But instead of those around him encouraging him they rebuke him. His wife tells him to curse God and die; his friends rebuke him for being a sinner. Job is in a pitiful state. What would be going through your mind right now? How would you feel if everything you had was gone and those that love you turn on you? How would you react?