4 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. 8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, 9 for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord.
Have you, like the apostle Paul, ever prayed that God would remove something from you that distresses you? (2 Corinthians 12:8) Or, like Job, asked that the Lord would just take you to be with Him?
“Oh that I might have my request, and that God would fulfill my hope (Job 6:8).”
When facing obstacles and challenges too big to handle, a certain amount of self-pity is tempting. The problem is that such an emotion is highly addictive. “Why me?” questioners often sink deeper and deeper into the barren gloom and doom landscape. I know that was true for me at one time, following an accident that left me with a crippled right arm and a deeply hurt spirit. I asked that question many times “Why me?”
According to psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Bernstein, the heavy times in life need to remind you to take stock of your gratitude, set goals and move forward. When necessary, ask for help to get you off the slippery slope of misery. Develop an attitude of gratitude!
The Lord did not grant Job’s request to be freed from anguish, even knowing that Job had nearly reached his coping limits. With the map of time spread out before Him, God knew that He had bigger plans.
Trusting God is easy for an individual…or nation…when things are going well. But to keep your assurance when everything seems out of control – that is an exercise of your faith. Looking back now I can clearly see God had other plans for me….how about you?