When we hear of great men and women of faith, we often think of those who have left a safe and secure life here in America to risk it all on some foreign mission field in a third world country. We can rightly call that what it is – faith! However, Sometimes, the most incredible acts of faith are simply trusting God, even when everything and everyone around you is falling apart. Or at least it appears that way.
I think of my friend Leo, one of the most encouraging people I know on the planet. He almost always has a smile and a natural ability to point out the best in others. People love being around him and are better off after being in his company. Leo is excited about life, and his attitude is a breath of fresh air. From the outside, you’d think everything in Leo’s life was in order, but he went years on dialysis. Despite the pain and uncertainty, he still reached out to others. The nurses at the dialysis center always said he was their favorite patient. Why? Because Leo saw beyond the present suffering that was plaguing his life.
This whole business is the central question in the Book of Job. Is God truly good, or is he a punisher? If you know the account of Job, you know he was an honest man who loved God and others. He did what was right in the eyes of God and man. But then his life fell apart, and in one day, he lost all his children and all his wealth. Later, he also lost his health. His wife then told him to curse God and just die.
But Job pressed on. He had questions for God. He maybe even shook his fist once or twice. But he never questioned his belief in God or God’s sovereignty. He kept pressing on, even when his friends told him to throw in the towel. Sometimes, all it takes to get back in the saddle again is a reminder that although the fight is tough and the road is long, there is victory for those who know Christ and the power of his resurrection. Be encouraged. The race is worth it, the victory is sure, and the reward is greater than you can imagine.
What about you and where are you? Are you in a season where you’re seriously thinking about calling it quits? Are you feeling alone with no spotlights on you, at least none you can identify, and you’re wondering if it even matters? I would say that your response does count, and probably more than you’ll ever know this side of eternity. So, let me encourage you to hang tough and press forward. There will indeed be a day when the master will say, “Well done, good faithful servant, enter into your rest.”
Be strong and find someone whom you can encourage as well.
Note: Portions of this week’s post come from the chapter “Hope When All the Lights Go Out” in my book, Confessions – Finding Hope Through One Pastor’s Doubt. You can read more in Confessions, available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other outlets.