But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. —Job 2:10 ESV
I was not a happy camper. I had the flu and felt miserable. Also, I felt way too important to be in bed sick, when so many things “depended on me.” Oh, I was a stubborn, angry, prideful mess. I prayed for healing. I asked others to pray for healing. I practically demanded healing. I stayed sick. When I finally came to the end of myself … my ranting and anger and frustration abated … I bowed my rebellious, silly head and whispered, “I receive this.” And those three words changed everything.
Job, who had a ton more to complain about than I did, “received” what God allowed without murmur or anger. Unlike me, he did not “sin with his lips.” He accepted that God was in charge, and he was not. Jesus, in the garden of Gethsemane, pleaded with God, asking if there could be another way. When the answer was no, there is no other way, He received it and said, “Not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42b ESV). Paul asked three times for his “thorn” to be removed. Then he not only received God’s no, but gloried in his weakness.
It all comes down to this. If God is in charge (and He is), and if God is good (and He is), then even when He allows bad things to happen (and He does), they come with purpose. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 ESV). We are never promised easy. We are not even promised that we will completely understand. What we are told is this: that the love of God will never leave us. Even when hard times come.
When we stop our fist shaking and indignant cries of “unfair!” and simply receive what comes from the hand of the One who loves us, we finally find peace. Is it easy? No. Is it okay to ask for God to fix it/heal it/remove it? Yes. Jesus asked. Paul asked. We can ask. However, after we’ve asked, we need to rest in what is, confident that if God has allowed it, He has a reason.
Right after that assurance in Romans 8 that all things work for good for those who love Him are some of the most reassuring words in all of Scripture. Stop for a moment and read these wonderful words out loud. Seriously. Read them slowly with awe. Hold them close to your heart. Believe them. And then receive what He allows with a child-like trust. That receiving will change everything.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 8:35; 37-39 ESV
Dear Lord, today I bring You this situation: ___________. My desire is: ___________. Nevertheless, as Jesus prayed, I also pray. Not my will, but Your will be done. Help me to rest sure of Your love and receive what comes even when it’s hard. Thank You, Lord Jesus, that absolutely nothing can ever separate me from Your love! Amen.
Note: This Musing was originally posted in April 2018 and is worth repeating in a time when many of us are struggling with hard-to-comprehend trials that are not ones we would have chosen.
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
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