Thursday, January 30, 2014
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Hurricane Andrew! You say that to someone in South Florida and they are likely to have a story to tell you. The Miami area took one of the century's hardest hurricane hits when Andrew landed there. Home after home was devastated by the brutal force of what was a killer storm. But some friends in Florida told me something very interesting. They said that in an area where many homes went down in Andrew's fury, there were certain homes that withstood the storm. Here's what they had in common. They had been built by that Christian agency Habitat for Humanity. Apparently they had used the best materials, they used the best design and the best hands they could find to build those homes. And when the storm was over, they were still standing firm.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When God Brags On You."
Job. Now, I know when you hear that name you think of a man who suffered very much; a hurricane from hell took his family, his possessions, his health. And there's this amazing scene where Satan, in heaven, is talking to God and visiting there accusing Job of serving God because of the goodies God has given him. And God allows Satan to strip Job of all of that. One day there's the death of his children, then his financial ruin. Later he loses his health. Now, how can Job know that he is literally being trusted by God with these storms, and that God has staked His reputation on how Job responds and He boasts to Satan about his servant Job?
Well, when God brags, what does He brag about? Here's what He says in chapter 2, verse 3, "The Lord said to Satan, 'Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him. He is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.'" And listen to this, "And he still maintains his integrity." Wow! What a tribute! Wouldn't you love to have that said about your life? Man, I aspire to this, "He still maintains his integrity." Everything else had been taken from him; you couldn't take his integrity.
The storms have wreaked their havoc, but Job's character and integrity are still standing. Can God brag on you like that? When you're hurt, when you're disillusioned, and when you're weary, it's tempting to diminish the pressure by compromising. Look at Job's wife. She asked him the question, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Why don't you curse God and die?" She couldn't believe he was still holding onto his integrity.
Maybe you're in your own hurricane right now. Things that matter a lot to you are either being blown around or they've been totally blown away. You've got more questions than answers right now. You're got more pain than you have comforters. And God hasn't really responded to your prayers it seems like. He hasn't shown you any reasons why. Just like Job. Job could have never guessed that he was carrying the honor of Almighty God and the humiliation of Satan in his response to his storms.
How could you ever guess the invisible conversations that are going on about you in heaven or maybe even in hell? But God has said, "I can trust him. I can trust her with this heavy hit, with this test. Please don't give up. Don't give in. Don't compromise. Stay on course. There's more riding on your integrity than you could ever know."
I pray for you as I pray for myself that no storm, no matter how intense, will blow you down or blow you off course. May God be able to point to us and say, "Look at my loyal child." May He be able to say, "You still maintain your integrity."