Why Do You Love God?

A true story:

One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan, who was the Designated Accuser, came along with them. God singled out Satan and said, “What have you been up to?”

Satan answered God, “Going here and there, checking things out on earth.”

God said to Satan, “Have you noticed my friend Job? There’s no one quite like him—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil.”

Satan retorted, “So do you think Job does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart? Why, no one ever had it so good! You pamper him like a pet, make sure nothing bad ever happens to him or his family or his possessions, bless everything he does—he can’t lose!

“But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away everything that is his? He’d curse you right to your face, that’s what.”

God replied, “We’ll see. Go ahead—do what you want with all that is his. Just don’t hurt him.” Then Satan left the presence of God.

Sometime later, while Job’s children were having one of their parties at the home of the oldest son, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys grazing in the field next to us when Sabeans attacked. They stole the animals and killed the field hands. I’m the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.”

While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, “Bolts of lightning struck the sheep and the shepherds and fried them—burned them to a crisp. I’m the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.”

While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, “Chaldeans coming from three directions raided the camels and massacred the camel drivers. I’m the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.”

While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, “Your children were having a party at the home of the oldest brother when a tornado swept in off the desert and struck the house. It collapsed on the young people and they died. I’m the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.”

Job got to his feet, ripped his robe, shaved his head, then fell to the ground and worshiped:

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    naked I’ll return to the womb of the earth.
God gives, God takes.
    God’s name be ever blessed.

Not once through all this did Job sin; not once did he blame God. Job 1:6-22 (MSG)

Wow!  What would your response be if this happened to you?  Many people blame God for evil, and pain in this world, but we can see here God doesn’t cause it, the devil does.  2020 has been a very painful year for a lot of people around the world.  Have people, or you blamed God, or the men that created the virus for evil?  Do those who on January 1st, 2020 who praised God and confessed their love for Him still do?  Do you only love God when He is good to you?

It is so important, no, it is vital that we keep our perspective true when facing difficult times.  To know God didn’t bring, or cause the pain although He did allow it knowing that if we keep our focus on him we will get through it.  Job loved God simply because, He is God!

We don’t know when the events of 2020 are going to end.  We don’t know who will still be above ground and the totality of it all, but don’t for one second take your eyes off of God.  Know He is still God, and love him accordingly.

The end of Job’s story:

God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life. Job 42:12 (MSG)

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

The Business of Restoration

041020“It’s a 3 alarm fire!” I woke up yelling a week ago, Tuesday morning, at 3:33 AM.  It freaked me out.  I sensed no present danger, so I proceeded to do what one does when they wake up in the middle of the night, while I asked God, “Why did I yell that?”  I got no impressions as to why, and thought perhaps it meant things were really bad with the Corona Virus and I should be praying more.  I did, and then went back to bed.

I was woken up at 9:00 AM to the deep rumble of engines, and to loud voices of men.  It scared me.  It took me a moment, or two, to realize my neighbor’s house was on fire and there were at least 6 fire trucks out front.  Only the man of the house was home at the time, and he had just fallen to sleep when the smoke detector saved his life.  He works the evening shift and gets home late.

When I went outside I learned my neighbors were okay, but the inside of the house had become disguised by blackness, and there was extensive damage to things that make up life, like family photos that once hung on the wall.

This morning it hit me that our lives can be disguised by blackness, evil, as well, but it seems to be subtle, over time, and not in a flash of flames.  In other words, you change from who you used to be, but you don’t see it happening.  I know it has happened to me.

Satan loves being deceitful!

My neighbours have taken a tighter hold of God’s hand today, as He walks with them through this time of restoration.  I have a feeling God will use this opportunity to do some restoration work on their souls as well.  When I was next door examining the damage up close, I saw a bright yellow, butterfly rise up out of the smoldering debris that was once bedroom furniture.  It got my attention, beautiful life rising up out of what looks to be ruin.

Psalms 23:2-3 (The Passion Translation)
He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love.
His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.
That’s where he restores and revives my life.
He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure
and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness
so that I can bring honor to his name.

God has had to restore life, real life, to me as well.  Looking back, there have been times when I have drifted from God’s plans, and purposes for me, but God has, in a tender way, restored me, brought life back.  He can, and wants to do this for you as well.  It doesn’t matter what you have done, said, or how far you have gone off track.  God loves you, and if you will ask for it, forgive you as well.  If you took a good, long, honest look in the mirror you might see the years of blackness on you.  God says, “come here, I can wipe that off, and restore you my child to be who I destined you to be.  It’s my business, and I’m good at it.”

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.