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Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him
Faith in God
Do we place our trust in God?
Job 13:15-16 (NKJV)
15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
16 He also shall be my salvation,
For a hypocrite could not come before Him.
So easy it is to blame our troubles on someone else and even when we live the good life, yes, bad things do happen to good people. It is well with my soul? Perhaps it is well, but do we trust that we will eventually be delivered from our pain and sorrow in the near future, what will we do if our faith has reached a limit?
Many have fallen from trusting the LORD and I too can see where that trust could become strained. So I will explore my faith, my trust in the LORD and how sometimes we don't feel we deserve our lot. But that is the same story of a child who hollers "NOT FAIR, NOT FAIR." The world has many people and many problems and when we feel, as Christians, we should be excused from feeling any negative outcomes while living in this world, we are truly delusional, but not deluded.
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13 (ESV)
5But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.6And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. 7Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. 8And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 9And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
Zechariah 13:5-9 (KJV)
My Lord, Jesus, is my friend whom I have smitten, yet through His grace, a grace that I could never repay, I have found favor in His eyes. Our friendship when together or apart, should show outwards to others, for just as He has forgiven, so shall I forgive and just as He found and accepted me, so shall I find you and accept you, for this was not only the advice, but also the command that my friend and yours gave us before going home.
13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other. John 15:13-17 (NIV1984)
Servants live in fear, for at anytime and for any reason, they are subject to abuses at the hands of their master. But we are no longer referred to as servants, we are called friends. Elbert Hubbard, a writer of the 19th and 20th centuries, gives us this quote "A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same."
Is this not Jesus? He knows us; our fears, our pain, and our shame, but He loves us still and always. We must follow in His, Jesus', way to be with Him eternally.
Bearing fruit has nothing to do with what can be shown to others, as in achievements, it only has to do with how we have received His message and what we do with that message. If we are merely servants, we will adhere to his message as rules and when we find no one to be looking, we will simply break those rules, for our nature is one of selfishness and of a self-pleasing nature. But when we become friends, we only long to do with our lives what is supernatural, that is to be like Him, to be like Jesus and that involves sacrifice, we care more about pleasing Him than we do ourselves, such is the nature of friendship. Friends put the needs and the desires of others, ahead of their own needs and desires. These acts will not go un-noticed by God or by others, this is an act of witness and from these simple acts we can see a true friend in action, these are friends of Jesus and they bear fruits of labor, not of mere talk.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up! 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV1984)
Who will help us up when we fall, was this not the reason Jesus came here to Earth as 'God with us' in the first place? He came for the sinner, He came to do the Father's will and not His own and He came here that we would receive the Holy Spirit in His place. For that when we may seem to be alone, we will not be alone at all, rather we will be strengthened by the Spirit. How is that for a friend, would we be able to do the same for another?
Speaking of Friends
They mean well, but all we need to do is look at our own past and our own friends. The advice they have given, the pain they have inflicted upon us, it is a real wonder we would care to have any friends at all I think. But then there is Jesus, the man with many friends and enemies and yet He cared for them all!
Even the Pharisees, that "Brood of Vipers"... Jesus was harsh with them in His language, they just were not listening and He tried all the more to persuade them to open their eyes.A couple that we know of, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, were Pharisees that Jesus had gotten through to and there may have been more, who knows for sure.
But the crowds, the crowds, everyone came to witness this Nazarene perform miracles and perhaps be fed, be healed or just be a part of a new movement that would hopefully overthrow the occupying Roman government. Many knew Jesus on a much deeper level, His disciples for example, the twelve. Judas Iscariot needed a friend and found one in Jesus, but his sin made him blind. If not for Judas though, we would have had to wait for another to betray Him, perhaps the next motive would be pride instead of greed. But Jesus forgave Judas and all others for knowing not what they were doing, sad yes, but necessary if we were to be freed from our bondage to sin.
Yes, Jesus is a friend, one who laid down His own life and picked it up again. We can't do that, only He could and to do it again would nullify any hope for our own futures. The more I understand Jesus and this selfless act, the more remorse I feel when I stumble, even if only a small misstep. I can't crucify Him again as I had just mentioned, but a hard pill to swallow when darkness falls over my own or another's life after knowing what we could be tossing away when we act out of selfishness, for instant gratification. Crucify, Crucify, I can hear that same crowd shouting that once pretended to be His friend, Crucify, and as I stumble, as I shame myself, my Friend, Jesus, turns toward me inwardly, through the Spirit and my stomach tightens and clenches, my mind wanders trying to escape the guilt. How have I treated my Friend, my Savior.