Friday, January 6, 2012

Once an Answered Prayer

The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD. (Job 1:21b)

Time for PrayerWhen I wrote on the status of my Facebook® profile last Thanksgiving Day that “a new chapter in my life is about to begin,” it was not for a cause to celebrate, but the beginning of difficult times ahead. A door had just closed on me, and I am back to where I was six and the half years ago, seeking, praying, and waiting upon the Lord for a new door to open.

Looking back, I am absolutely sure that my last job was God-given, because it fitted to a T a very specific prayer request. Why is it then that God now takes it away from me? Is this how He answers prayers—to give but for a little while, and then take it back later? Is there no way to keep an answered prayer for as long as we live?

The answer is quite clear. There is nothing of permanence on earth. The things we see presently will not last, but the things we cannot see will last forever (2 Corinthians 4:18). This is why the word of God advises us not to store up for ourselves treasures on earth, but to store up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20).

When it comes to material goods and possessions, therefore, our attitudes should be like Job. Despite losing much, Job blessed the name of the Lord (Job 1:21b). He said, “For as long as life is in me, and the breath of God is in my nostrils, my lips certainly will not speak unjustly, nor will my tongue mutter deceit” (Job 27:3-4 NAS). Can we, like Job, thank and bless God amid difficult times? When things change or affect our livelihood, how do we respond?

Instead of questioning why, let us seek and ask God for direction whether to stay on and go through the difficult times or to move on. If God indicates we should move on, let us not hang on to what is past or make a fuss, even if it means the road ahead is more difficult than before. God knows the plans He has for us; plans for our welfare and not for calamity, to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Rather than sulk or complain, let us trust in the LORD with all our hearts, and do not lean on our own understanding. In all our ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Dear Lord, forgive us for frequently questioning You as to why things do not happen the way we expect them to be. You O God knows us better than we know ourselves, and You have made plans for our welfare to give us a future and a hope. Help us therefore not doubt, but to trust You completely, even if the road ahead is going to be more difficult. We know Lord there is no permanence in things on earth, and we will therefore not expect prayers that are answered to remain unchanged or last forever. All that we have O Lord belongs to You, and we readily let them go to fulfill Your purpose and will.

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