Patience and Integrity Will Deliver the Blessing

The darker the sky, the brighter the stars shine. Hold fast to your integrity, and trust and believe it is working for your good.

Hard times fall on every one. It’s a fact of life. Adversity comes around in one way or another, and storms don’t stay at bay for long. Many people lose themselves in the storm, in the dark tunnel because they hang so tight by one frail little thread, believing that their salvation lies in their career, job, bank account, house, spouse, children etc. Yet nothing in life is ever certain; people and things come and go. The more complicated and difficult the adversity or the problem, the more we may wreck our brains with how we are going to make it out of the wilderness. Sometimes that water comes up so high, and the chariots of Pharaoh are so close, that we feel absolutely cornered with nowhere to go. 

I am here today to remind you of two words: But God.

When Jephthah had nowhere and no one to turn to, when the fire of Ephraim was kindled against him for not seeking their help in defeating the children of Ammon, Jephthah responded in Judges 12:2-3:

“I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. And when I saw that ye delivered me not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand…”

Aside from his one faithful daughter, Jephthah really had no one, but God. Sometimes, you may feel lonely in your season, but know that when the silence around you grows deafening, that’s when God’s presence is the strongest. Job, a man who held fast to his integrity, despite losing everything in one day –his assets, properties, riches, and most terrible of all: his ten children– sat among the ashes, head shaved, alleviating his disease with a potsherd, and praising and worshipping the Almighty in his tremendous grief and mourning. Job’s story comes easy to the people who haven’t lost much, but to those who are in dire straits, in financial teetering, in abusive relationships, in any kind of circumstance which tests the spirit and the faith of man, Job’s story becomes one of hope. I don’t think it’s said enough that Job lost everything and every one except his wife in one full day! And the wife he had wasn’t any help to his grief and his suffering. 

You may have someone in your life who is not making the situation any less unbearable, but I want to encourage you to gird up your loins and cry out to the one who knows your situation and your circumstance like the palm of his hand. In the play ‘As You Like It,’ Shakespeare once wrote: 

“Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.”

Adversity is good. Problems are good. They help us grow, they create opportunities, and the darker the sky, the brighter the stars shine.

Have faith that God sees and he knows you and your situation, and that just because he hasn’t spoken or you haven’t heard him, does not mean he is not there. Trust that he is fighting the battles for you, and that everything that seems to be against you right now is working for your good. Hold fast to your integrity, and eschew evil, as Job did. Your storm will pass, and what you will be left with are blessings multiplied. 

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