Isaiah 43:1, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine”
Job 13:15, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”
As a believer in Jesus Christ, ultimately there comes a time in our lives when we suddenly find ourselves in immense distress, seemingly without rhyme or reason. And the question we usually ask is why are we subjected to such a terrific battle against doubts, fears, and unbelief? Why do our prayers for deliverance and healing go unanswered for so long? Doesn’t God care? My beloved, of course He cares; however, He has a purpose in His delays. I’m reminded of the raising of Lazarus from the dead in the epistle of John, Chapter 11. When Jesus had heard of Lazarus death He abode two days in the same place where He was. Jesus deliberately delayed departing for Bethany when He heard that Lazarus was sick.
By waiting, He was exercising faith in His Father’s wisdom and power. He knew it was His Father’s will that Lazarus die so that God would be glorified (John 11:4). Do you remember what the Lord said to Satan about Job after his calamities came upon him? To disprove Satan’s charge that Job trusted God for ulterior motives (Job 1:9), God called attention to Job’s integrity in the midst of his suffering (Job 2:3). Likewise, when the Lord’s people today suffer severe trials, God may be exhibiting them to the world and to Satan as outstanding trophies of His marvelous grace.
Mary Kimbrough composed a poem that is based on Job 13:15, which underscores the wisdom of trusting God through trials: “Though He slay me, I will trust Him, Said the sainted Job of old; Though He try me in the furnace, I shall then come forth as gold. Though the worms of deep affliction cause this body to decay, In my flesh I shall behold Him, my Redeemer – some glad day. Though He slay me – can I say it when I feel the searing fire, When my fondest dreams lie shattered, Gone my hope and fond desire? Though He slay me, I will trust Him, For He knows just how to mold, How to melt and shape my spirit, – I shall then come forth as gold!”
His Eternal Word points out that our struggles through trials make us stronger in our faith. Look at the Apostle Paul’s example in 2 Corinthians 11. He listed the many dreadful things that had come his way as he served God. Then in Chapter 12 he mentioned the “thorn in the flesh” that afflicted him. Paul wasn’t complaining, he was just pointing out that God’s strength stands out best when we are the weakest. Like the apostle Paul, when we go through diverse trials, let’s look for the ways God has made us better in conforming us to His Son, Jesus Christ.
I once read about a vine that grows on the trunks of oak trees. If the vine is on the side opposite a severe wind, the great oak tree is its protection; however, if it’s on the exposed side, it holds more closely to its host. So in some of our life storms God shelters us, while other times, He allows us to be exposed, even though we may not see clearly the end result. Thus, through the trials we face, we can have a confident faith in our heavenly Father, knowing that we will be pressed more closely to Him. Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”. So, my brethren, when trials come, take Job’s perspective, “though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”
My beloved, remember God does not keep us from life’s storms He walks with us through them; thus, our faith in Christ will keep us steady in the stormy sea of change.