Faith: The Skill Above All Skills
Sometimes in life we are brought face to face with a situation that is just too hard to bear. When that happens we may find ourselves asking,
How could this have happened? More precisely,
How could this happen to me or the one I love? Depending on the situation, loss of job, relationship, health, etc . . we may find ourselves addressing the question to God. Who among us has not ever questioned or even accused God at such times?
As a matter of fact, we all know someone who did just that. The man's name was Job. For much of the 42 chapters of the Old Testament book bearing his name, we hear Job's question and challenge God. Finally, after much patient listening God responded.
Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. 'Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you and you shall answer me. 'Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me if you understand.' God's response to Job puts things into perspective. Not Job, not even Adam was around when God created the world. Therefore, God asks, 'Upon what grounds, right, authority do you question and challenge my ways?
When things don't go the way you want, questioning and blaming God is not the answer. We live in a sin-filled, broken world; surrounded by sinful people, sometimes betrayed even by our own sinful nature. And so it's only a matter of time before the storm breaks and you find yourself face to face with a 'situation'.
In that moment, 'Brace yourself' It's not time to question or blame God. But it is time to repent and trust.
Again and again in life, and above all in life, FAITH and faith alone, puts things in perspective. Martin Luther once called faith, the 'skill above all skills. It is the work of the Holy Spirit alone. Especially in our sin-broken, storm-prone world, bad things will happen and people will question God and ask 'why'. When that happens, they need to know: It's ok to question God, as long as you do so standing next to the cross. Stand next to the cross, asking God, 'Dear Lord, why did you let it happen to your only Son? And there it is, faith puts everything in perspective.
I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16.33 And we have God's word to the Galatians,
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. In the midst of dark, difficult events that come our way in life, faith must kick in! Faith is not expressed with the question 'why' rather faith (trusting God) asks 'what'? What dear Lord are you going to do about this.
What can be said to someone facing a loss? Keep it simple. 'I don't know why all this has happened to you. But I know that God is still with you. And I will be with you too. Now let's pray and wait to see what God will do.' Long ago the Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome facing rising persecution:
If God is for us, who can be against us: He who did not spare His Own Son but gave Him up for us all; how will He not also, along with Him graciously give us all things: (!) In response to
all that we respond, Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit! Amen.
~ Pastor Kelly G. Mitteis
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