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Read Job 17:1-16
You know why I love the Bible? Because it's so real. There's a lot of fog rolling into Job's life, just as in our lives. On this earth nobody "lives happily ever after." That line is a huge fairy tale. You're living in a dream world if you're waiting for things to be "happy ever after." That's why we need grace. Marriage doesn't get easier, it gets harder. So we need grace to keep it together. Work doesn't get easier, it gets more complicated, so we need grace to stay on the job. Childrearing doesn't get easier. You who have babies one, two, three years old—you think you've got it tough. Wait until they're 14. Or 18. Talk about needing grace!
I'll be painfully honest here. If I called the shots, I would have relieved Job five minutes after he lost everything. I'd have brought all his kids back to life the very next day. I would have immediately re-created everything he lost, and I would really deal with those sorry comforters! I'd have cut the lips off of Eliphaz after about three sentences. And if that didn't stop him, I'd take the neck. I mean, who needs that clod? But you know what? You would never mature under my kind of treatment. You'd just enjoy the comfort. We'd all go to picnics then on a motorcycle ride and have tons of fun. That's my style. Which explains why Cynthia says to me, "Honey, if everybody handled things like you wanted, all we'd bring to the party is balloons. Nobody would think to bring the food." As usual, she's right.
So, the fog's rolled in. As all hell breaks loose, grace takes a hike. Welcome to the human race, Job. But the wonderful old song says,
Thru many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.¹
That's the ticket. Even in the fog, grace will lead us home.
1. "Amazing Grace," John Newton. Public Domain.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
As long as there has been sin, there have been rebels. As long as there has been leadership, there have been those who fought against it. Achan disobeyed God and refused to follow the Lord’s appointed leader, Joshua. David had numerous troubles with his sons Absalom and Amnon. Jesus dealt with frustrating Pharisees and smug Sadducees, while Paul and other apostles constantly had to warn churches against false teachers. Troublemakers are everywhere.
I have some good news for you: God’s goal is not to make sure you’re happy. No matter how hard it is for you to believe this, it’s time to do so.
I discovered the dream of tolerance and acceptance was an empty promise. When anything and everything becomes right and acceptable, people stop caring about one another. And yet, we celebrate this society as perfecting the model for all other societies to aspire to.
Traditionally tolerance meant recognizing and respecting others' beliefs and practices without necessarily agreeing or sympathizing with them. But today's definition is vastly different. This new tolerance considers every individual's beliefs, values, lifestyle and truth claims as equally valid.