Bible Study: How Do You Handle Life When Things Don’t Go as Planned?
Written by Christi Given | August 15, 2014
PI Girls, as you know, I love reading God’s Word and I will be contributing a couple of articles a month on a “Bible study” topic for you. My prayer is that these pieces will deepen your faith, stir a hunger for more truth and spark an interest in other facets of your relationship with Christ.
In life, there can be unexpected change, sickness, tragedy or loss of people in our lives. How, as believers, should we respond, and do circumstances dictate our worship to God? We will look at the life of Job and the Word of God to see how we should react when things shake our world.
I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)
Job had many properties, had a family, was very wealthy and loved the Lord most of all. The enemy came to attack him, and God allowed the enemy to touch him because God knew his heart and that he would still love and worship God regardless of his circumstances. Job is one of those people in the Bible who has such strength and faith, and is a role model in the sense of how to be a person of unwavering faith.
Then 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.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.(Job 1:8-12)
Is your relationship with God and your worship weaker when things aren’t going your way, or do you hold your head up high and trust that God will provide and that ALL things work for your good? (Romans 8) We all go though the valleys of life and the dry seasons, but usually those seasons are testing times to see if we can handle the blessings and the abundance in the coming seasons (Ezekiel 34:26).
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest IF we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
The key phrase here is IF we don’t give up. Most people give up on God and turn to sin and rebellion or take matters in their own hands because they grow weary and impatient, leading them to forfeit their blessing. They don’t see the harvest and the fruit, not because God wasn’t planning on giving it to them, but because they couldn’t wait for it.
Not being patient for the harvest from God is like if someone plants a fruit tree and doesn’t want to wait for it to grow. They look at the tree and see there is nothing there, only the branches and the leaves…where is the fruit? Instead of being faithful and continuing to water this tree, they suddenly get impatient and decide to cut it down, not believing it will bear fruit over time. How unfortunate! If only the person would wait to see the beautiful tree blossom with its fruit to enjoy! It’s no wonder “patience,” or “long-suffering,” is a fruit of the spirit. It does take long sometimes and we do get weary, feeling like we suffer—but so did Christ. He understands. Look at Job—he had blisters all over his body and he still didn’t turn from God. He trusted unswervingly to the hope of the Lord. He knew God wouldn’t forsake him and that the circumstances were temporary.
Even if we deal with a situation where a friend moves—or someone doesn’t like us or want to talk to us, or we become hurt—does that dictate our value and worth? When the peer pressure gets heated, do you cave in? Does loneliness consume you where you just want to do what the world is doing and turn on God when things are not going your way?
We need to pray and be suited up and watchful for the tactics of the enemy. Sometimes we are the ones postponing our blessing because of fear, doubt and insecurity or because of poor choices. God has your back! He WANTS the best for you! He has great plans for your life! You need to realize things are not on our timetable, but rather His.
Have you known someone who suddenly loses a family member or has an illness? Sometimes these circumstances can give us a shaking in our lives, but we need to build our lives and our hearts on the things of God.
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:24-27)
When we build our lives on God the ROCK, when things come our way—whether it be shifty people who change and leave our lives or move away, or people who hurt or forsake us, or whether we change jobs or a parent becomes ill or a family member passes—we know that even though we may be hurting or have situations in life that are difficult, at the end of the day when we trust in God the Father who is our ROCK and fortress, we will be able to stand in the storms of life like in Matthew 7.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. (Psalm 62:2)
When people put their trust in people, money, materialistic things, careers, parents, idols, boyfriends, girlfriends, addictions, partying, popularity, man’s approval, clothing, shopping or whatever people put their trust in other than God (which becomes an idol), when the storms of life hit, it’s as though their lives were built on sinking, unstable, shifty sand…it won’t hold up the foundation of your life when you need it.
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
Only God can sustain you, and only Jesus can help you and heal you through the power of the blood of Jesus shed on the cross, to allow you in fellowship and relationship with the Almighty God. God is the healer, the redeemer and deliverer. He can help you when harm comes—people can’t save you and money can’t heal you…only Jesus Christ can help you. The Holy Spirit is the comforter and God’s presence will be with you if you accept Jesus as the Son of God, and as Lord of your life. We need God’s free gift of salvation in life, because things will be broken and everything comes to an end at some point. Even life—we need to turn to God our Father through His son Jesus, and be in the Word of God and prayer daily so we can be strong spiritually and ready for the storms of unexpected incidents in life. Amen?
Do you stand during tough times? Can you worship God when it isn’t easy? I am praying for you, PI readers! Comment below if you have any prayer requests!