When I think of someone who faced troubles, I often think of Job. He lost everything: family, wealth, health, and reputation. He had every reason to become bitter and to back away from God. Even his friends assumed that calamity had come upon him because he had done evil (Job 4).
Job’s troubles were more than his friends could understand or endure. They came to the conclusion that the only reason that such misery could come upon one man was due to sin and unrighteousness. In the midst of everything he was facing, even his friends pointed the finger of blame at Job. They did not understand God’s mysterious ways.
Job did repent of something, but it was not because of evil he had done prior to his great losses, but because he questioned God in the midst of the losses. He not only repented for questioning God, but he also prayed for the same friends that accused him of bringing the devastation upon himself. When Job repented and prayed for his friends, this is what happened,
“And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
Though there is truth in the fact that we reap what we sow, there is also truth in the fact that the mysteries of God’s ways are often higher than we understand by what we see. When we see someone suffering, we cannot jump to the conclusion that they are reaping the consequences of sin or evil. This should not be an immediate “go to” answer regarding people or places facing calamity (such as what we see happening in the Houston area). We don’t have to be like Job’s friends and have an answer, but we can come alongside and comfort.
If you have faced great loss, even losses so great that your friends have watched you and made assumptions about “why” you’ve lost so much, take heart! Pray for your friends and be sure to repent of any place that you have questioned God in the process…you will now receive double for all of your trouble. This is God’s declaration over you. He will give you twice as much as you had before.
The enemy seeks to “sift” God’s people. We see this in the Book of Luke when the enemy seeks to sift Peter,
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
Peter did deny the Lord but he was not sifted out. Jesus restored him and Peter became an essential part of the establishment of the Lord’s Church. The enemy may have sought to sift you and you may have stumbled but there is restoration and upgrades for you.
The Spirit showed me a vision of someone holding two quarters and suddenly it turned into a dollar bill. Then He showed me a person in a low position and suddenly they were upgraded into a position of honor. Lastly, He showed me a picture of a “50%” sign and suddenly it turned to “100%” sign. He then said,
“I will suddenly release double for your trouble!”
Do not turn back, do not question the Lord; and if you have a friend who is suffering do not assume that sin is the cause. God will restore twice what has been lost. Take hope!
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