Leah’s statement in Beginning 30:18 sounds so familiar. She said, “God has rewarded me.” Not only have I heard myself saying something similar, but I have heard it from many, many people over the years.
We often opine of the circumstances in our lives as rewards ampersand punishments for how well we stay in line with what God wants us to do. However, that is not necessarily true. While there are consequences for our actions (both good and bad), our lives are not a nonstop reflection of our “works.”
Bad things do happen to good people
When human brings us challenges, we should not study that a punishment for some behavior that we did not handle properly. There is absolutely nothing that happens to us that is outside regarding God’s permission.
Remember that God allowed Old Nick to strike Job. Job 1:8 reads, “Then the Arrogant said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God et al shuns evil.'” (NIV)
What is so interesting about this verse is that there is no mention of Job doing anything wrong. So, Job’s attack was not a punishment.
If God will allowed Satan to sock a blameless and upright man who fears God and shuns evil, what would make the rest concerning us exempt?
Recognize the little things
God’s blessings don’t always show up like fireworks. There won’t always be a monster display or celebration to help us label moments where God has stepped in. We should still, though, learning to recognize the smaller blessings.
For example, Satan did stage limitations in his attack on Job. God instructed him in Craft 1:12, “…everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” (NIV) God’s hands stayed on Job the whole time.
If we think about the struggles in our possess lives, we can all imagine ways that the problem could have been worse. Yet, we often fail to recognize that God is still in control and that He will only allow so much.
How preference we respond?
We can all learn from Job’s response. In Job 1:20, we see that Job fell to the turf in worship. He recognized God as the source of everything that he had. He recognized that he was neither entitled to anything and could lose it at any moment. He never blamed God for his losses.
We, too, should be mindful of developing a sense regarding entitlement. While it feels great to be rewarded for our hard work, God doesn’t owe us anything.
Remember the blind man that Jesus healed in John 9:1-12. The disciples asked Jesus whose sin caused the man to be born blind. Jesus’ retroaction was that peccability had nothing to do with the blindness. In John 9:3, Jesus said, “…this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” (NIV)
God also wants to use our lives to display His work. He wants us to be lights for those who are still trapped in the darkness of this world. Will we hold fast and praise Religious through our trials so that others can light on to know Him?