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  • Writer's pictureKandi Swift

When it Gets Taken Away

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Has someone ever given you something, or promised to give you something, only to change their mind and take it back? Something happens on the inside of us when we receive a gift or promise, especially if it’s something we’ve been desiring or wanting for a while. We experience excitement, a flood of gratitude washes over us and we can’t wait to share the news with others. But, what happens when the giver changes their mind and decides to take the gift back or chooses not to fulfill the promise? Other things happen on the inside of us. We begin to question why they would have ever promised it to us in the first place. It’s even more confusing when it appears to be an answer to prayer. Now are we not only upset that the person rescinded, but we begin to question God and our ability to recognize if it was actually God in the situation to begin with.


This happened to me this week. It was no small thing. I thought it was a miracle and direct gift from God because it was above and beyond what I had prayed for. Something of this magnitude could certainly only be from God. And then it was taken away. I was stunned and left standing empty-handed. Now what was I supposed to do? At this point, my emotions were invested at the thought of receiving the gift and now I had to figure out how I felt about it being taken away almost just as quickly. I was fine before this all happened, so why did someone have to come in and rock my boat??


As I was sifting through my emotions and trying to make sense of it all, I was reminded of the story of Job. Job was an upright man who feared God and lived a life devoted to Him. He was a wealthy man; the wealthiest of all the people in his region. He had everything anyone could have ever wanted. One day Satan challenged God regarding Job and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” Satan believed that the only reason Job was faithful to God was because of everything God had done for him and was convinced that if all of that was taken away, Job would turn his back. God knew Job’s heart and allowed Satan to have access to everything he owned.


Satan took full advantage of his permissions and stripped Job of everything. Within in a short period of time he lost it all. One servant came to announce the first calamity and while he was yet still speaking, another servant came to announce the second round. This happened four times until the final servant came to announce the death of his ten children. I can’t even imagine how devastating all of this loss was for him. There was nothing left. But look at what Job does next. After so much devastation and grief, he fell to the ground and worshipped God. Wow!


After my personal experience this past week, I had to really search deep to check the condition of my heart in that situation. What I faced was difficult enough and yet it couldn’t even begin to compare to Job’s story. Was I going to choose anger, bitterness and unforgiveness, or would I continue to trust my God who has always been faithful and fall on my knees in worship?


Job’s account didn’t end there. How much more could this man possibly take? He passed this part of the test, but Satan came once again to attack his health and inflict incredible pain on his body, believing this would be the thing that would push him over the edge and cause him to reject God. He had plenty of voices, including his own, trying to convince him to just curse God, die and get it over with. But, he never did. That’s not to say he never questioned, complained or loathed in self-pity. He had plenty of that going on too. But at the end of the day, he had a repentant heart and trusted God no matter the outcome. He knew God had the ability to give him all the things he once possessed and the ability to take it all away. Job trusted His sovereignty, whether that meant he had an abundance or nothing at all. Job chose to be content in all things and the Lord restored to him twice as much as he had before blessing his latter days more than his beginning.


What do we do when it gets taken away, when things don’t turn out the way we expected, and when every voice around us is encouraging us to quit? We trust God. We worship Him. We remain faithful. We are content in every circumstance. We don’t always have the full picture of what’s going on behind the scenes in the situations that surround us, but we trust God because His ways are perfect.

 

Scriptures


… for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.


For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.


Job 42:12 / ESV

And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.

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