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When it Doesn't Work

Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.

Job 13:15

What’s a believer to do when Christianity doesn’t seem to work?  What’s a believer to do when pain, disappointment, depression, financial hardship, illness, persecution and a host of other problems invade one’s life?  What’s a believer to do when praying, confessing of sin, fasting and holding on to the word, appear to make no difference to the current struggle?  What indeed is a believer to do when all our Christian formulas fall flat?

Many heroes in the Bible found themselves confronting similar dilemmas; among them Job.  If anyone had the short end of the stick, he did.  Yet even in the throes of his suffering, Job held on to hope, and would not curse God.  Job continued to nurture his faith in God even as his problems mounted, and even as his wife and friends encouraged him to take matters into his own hands, by cursing God and dying.  In God’s time, faith won and his struggle was vanquished.

Job’s story reminds me of a story I once heard.  It is the story of an Eskimo who owned two husky dogs that he had trained as fighters.  He would roam from village to village encouraging people to bet on the dogfights he staged., One dog was darker than the other, so he took turns betting on either the lighter or darker husky to win each match.  Somehow, he always picked the winning dog and reaped huge profits.  Finally, someone asked him, “How do you always know which dog will win?”  The Eskimo replied, “Whichever dog I am feeding is the one that will win,” he replied.

As you confront life’s challenges this week, what will you feed?  Fear, anger, or disappointment?  When the formulas fail you, what will you feed?   Job teaches us to feed faith, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.”  Amid your struggle, choose to defend God’s goodness, his love and his mercy toward you.  Let those who bet on your demise be put to shame.  As the prophet Isaiah reminds you, “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear (Isaiah 59:1).”  He who created you, is always for you, even in the deepest, thickest darkness.

Jesus, remind me each day, not to walk by sight or by feelings, but by your Spirit.  Destroy all the false formulas that I have embraced and teach me to trust only in your word.  Remind me today, that greater is he that is on me than he that is in the world.  I declare my problems are defeated through the blood of Jesus Christ, my LORD and my Savior, Amen.