Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord.
Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
Ecc 7:14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I am believing God this morning. My mouth he will yet fill will laughter again, because he is always true to his promise. He will do it. I am strong and courageous this morning, I am not afraid or terrified of the future, because he goes with me, he will never leave me, that is his promise (Deuteronomy 31:6). When I consider struggles that I face today, I start to feel like a flower wilting without water parched by the desert sun. As I feel myself fading I remind myself of truth. I do not grieve because you tell me the JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH. The only truth in this world is Gods word, the Holy Bible. I look to Gods’ word to guide my heart, mind, and attitude. My entire life I have heard people say: “at least my life is not like Job’s”. I know the general descriptions of this book, but never have read it through. So I started on my journey to attempt to understand deeper the suffering that I have read excerpts of for years. I start in Job 1, and the poor man has more tragedy than most of us experience in a lifetime…In Job 1:20-22 at the beginning of his suffering, after he loses his family suddenly he tears his clothing and shaves his head and falls down to the ground in WORSHIP and utters these words:
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship. Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
He praises the Lord in his great loss…
He did not sin because he did not charge God with wrong doing with…
Not only does he praise God, but his actions speak as loud as his voice… the fact that He rips his clothing and shaves his head are also significant acts in themselves. You see Reuben tore his robe when he lost his brother Joseph, so did the high priest after Jesus said he was the son of God. They tore there robes out of shock and grief before the Heavenly Father. David cut Sauls robe, and then Saul tore his robe. Davids’ action of cutting Saul’s robe signified stripping him of his royal duties. Saul after realizing the significance of what had just been done by David responds by ripping his clothing. This was his way of recognizing before God that the Lord alone was in control, not himself. In life when tragedy strikes some choose to continue thinking they know what is best, tearing their garments in public like Saul, but not rending their hearts. Job tore his robe as a sign to God, that he knew that God alone was in control. He demonstrated this in word and action time and time again.
He also shaves his head. This was done throughout the Old Testament for 2 reasons typically. The first reason to shave ones head was to show the world you were mourning as the text mentions throughout the Old Testament (Isa 3:24; 15:2; 22:12; Jer 7:29; 16:6; Eze 27:31; 29:18; Mic 1:16). The second reason to shave ones head was a acknowledgement of a broken vow through shaving the head one was rededicating ones self to the Lord. Shaving ones head was also an acknowledgement of ones sinfulness or breach in a Covenant established with God. What I see from Job shaving his head is both him mourning as well as proclaiming to those around him, my God is good, I do not charge him for the things happening, it must be because of something I have done, he humbles himself in the site of God and man. What I see through Job’s actions is exactly what the Lord proclaimed in the text:
Job 1:8 Then the Lord 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 and shuns evil.”
Blameless and upright…
As I scoured the text for references on Jobs actions, contemplating their significance see the true intentions of Jobs heart, I see the intentions of other faith heroes of the past with hearts that also trusted in God plan. These men and woman trusted in God and his perfect plan REGARDLESS of how much suffering they were in, how many loved ones they had lost, what prison they found themselves locked in, what cross they found the self on, and I contemplate the intentions of my own heart…
What are the intentions of my heart?
Will I chose to be prideful or humble before my God?
Will I submit to his will in not only joy, but pain as well?
What do I trust in?
What is my identity in? the seen or the unseen…
After losing his family he not only humbles himself before God, but gives him complete authority over his life. Tears start to stream down my face when I think of the magnitude of Jobs next action, because he then falls to the floor and WORSHIPS.
It is easy to profess with ones mouth your intentions in the storms of life, but it takes TOTAL TRUST, reverence, and dedication, and unwavering faith to do what Job did amidst devastation. I have read this verse over and over and I am compelled to have a time of serious repentance. I think about all the times I have received bad news over the last 6 months, and think of actions or reactions…was my inclination to repent, praise, humble myself, and then worship?
Worship, what does he mean? I in my humanness understand it to mean the cross reference noted for Job 1:22. Worship is humbling myself before God. It is trusting that he will bring me out of this temporal circumstance in His perfect timing. Worship is not being anxious, trusting in his plan, and not you own understanding. 1 Peter 5:6-7 explains it in this way:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
I cast my cares on him, knowing that he is Sovereign, his plan is best, not mine, and that all that happens in my life is part of his divine plan. I do not trust in what I can see, but I trust in the unseen promises of my God. I believe that he loves me, I believe his word to be true, He gives me strength to persevere and not doubt that he has prepared good things for me, because He loves me…I know this to be true as his word declares in 1 Corinthians 2:9:
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him—
I am not finished yet, to the world my life may appear to be a perpetual state of chaos and sadness. My reality is not how it appears, it is filled with peace, hope, Truth, life, joy and His name is JESUS.
Prayer for Battle:
You turn back the battle at the gate Oh God and I will see the restoration of all things, because that’s your promise, and you are faithful my King, my Salvation and my God. Lord God, my Father help me to be alert and sober. I resist the devil…I stand Firm in my faith. I stand firm on the price that was paid on the cross by your only son Jesus the Christ. I praise you when I suffer, along with many others around the world, many hero’s of faith from the past, and thank you ahead of time for the restoration of all things in my life. I thank you for making me strong, Firm, and steadfast because this is your promise to me. I praise you that you Father make everything beautiful in its time. You set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. My intercessor is Jesus, you plead on my behalf as my friend.
Declaration of Praise to the one who is Mighty to Save
I wait patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire. My feet are now standing firm and you put a new song in my mouth. I praise you God for pulling me out of the mud while I was sinking. I praise you for your mighty acts in my life, my family, and those around me. I see now, and as others look and watch your mighty hand forgive and save me they see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. I am thankful because Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for me. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare (psalm 40). I have HOPE and am at PEACE knowing you will continues to lavish me with LOVE. I will not fear, for He has redeemed you; He summoned me by name; I AM HIS. When I pass through the waters, You will be with me; and when I pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over me. When I walk through the fire, I will not be burned; the flames will not set me ablaze. For You are my Lord my God, the Holy One of Israel, my Savior(Isaiah 43:1-3).