How to Recognise

Job, David, Paul and Solomon renowned names who, in today’s readings, come together in agreement that God is in control. You might wonder if we read the same readings: Job 8:1-11:20; 1 Corinthians 15:1-28; Psalm 38:1-22; Proverbs 21:28-29 but I assure you we did, let me show you why.

Job endured disasters,  this man suffered but did he abandon faith in God? Did he decide he was subject to the vagaries of a careless and unknowing universe or fate? No, he went to God. Perhaps not in the way we would, perhaps in ways that made his friends gasp and try to put him straight but he believed God was at work and ultimately in control. Even though he didn’t understand he knew God must be doing something because his God was just too big, too powerful to be out of the picture.

Job: I hate my life, so I will unload the full weight of my grievanceagainst God.
        Let me speak and reveal the bitterness I am harboring.
    I will say to God: Don’t find me guilty;
        just explain the charges You have against me.

Job 10:1-2

Paul is faced with the church in Corinth that has problems by this part of his letter he’s already dealt with many serious issues but finally, he comes to the Resurrection, he calls it the fundamental of their faith.  He reminds them that Jesus’ death and resurrection were the first things they came to know. Some in the church were denying that there was a physical resurrection but Paul is adamant that belief in the resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of faith and that if He wasn’t raised from the dead all their faith is worth nothing. But He acknowledges something important before he goes into his passionate defence:

10 Today I am who I am because of God’s grace… it is God’s grace with me that has made the difference

1 Corinthians 15:10

Paul recognises it is God who is in control and at work and he, along with the other disciples are the tools of God.

Psalm 38 is a cry of woe where David confesses his sin and shame to God. However, even in full knowledge of what he has done, of his guilt and the punishment due, he casts himself on God’s mercy rather than man’s because he knows God is the One in control.

Eternal One, do not leave me to their mercy;
    my True God, don’t be far from me when they are near.
22 I need Your help now—not later.
    O Lord, be my Rescuer.

Psalm 38:21-22

And then finally we come to Proverbs 21:28-29 – to sum these two up – God will see justice done for both the wicked and the righteous, we can trust Him to make the end right because He is in control.

Our lives will hopefully never reach the depths of Job or the anguish of David, we might never be faced with error and confusion like Paul and have to offer godly advice. We will, however, face situations that test our faith, our resolve to follow Christ, to live holy lives. We will see, or even experience, circumstances where we find it hard to recognise God’s hand at work.

We need to lay foundations now day by day to ensure that when hard times come we can trust Him. Take time today to see God’s work in your life and thank Him. The more often we look for Him the better we will be able to recognise and rely on Him in all circumstances.

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