“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.” Hebrews 11:13 (NIV)
Last time we were together we talked about some of the differences between Joseph and Job found in the Bible. I also shared my first situation where I could have reacted out of fear or faith.
The second situation occurred just two days later. I was driving to a friend’s house for a playdate with my kids and life was good. Not two minutes from their house, our check service engine light came on. My first thought was to panic because I didn’t want to keep driving if I was going to ruin the engine. That has happened to us with two cars, so I know it was fear based in reality. I called my husband and he said I would be fine to stay and visit, then drive it to get it looked at.
I went to visit with my friend, mentioning to her about the car problems and right away her response was, “We’ll pray about this before you leave.” In the past, when something like this would’ve happened, I would’ve been distracted the entire visit, worried over how much it was going to cost, is my husband upset, did I do something to break the car, etc.? This time, we originally were only going to stay for two hours and at two and one half hours, I finally said, “I better get going since I have to get the car checked out and still have work waiting for me.” I had a peace that in the past wouldn’t have been there.
My friend prayed a wonderful prayer for our family and I was reminded that trusting God was the best choice. I left there prepared for the worst (a huge car repair bill) but trusting God that whatever the answer we received, He had it covered. He would find the money to pay for the bill or it would be minor and we would go about our day.
It ended up being something very minor with no cost to us! It was something that happened to our other (older) car, so I was familiar with what the technician was telling me and could explain it to my husband without getting the facts mixed up. In addition, this technician gave us a cheap solution instead of just living with it as we were doing with the other car.
Now…you’re probably wondering if I’m saying, “Okay, so if we just have faith in God, everything in life will turn out perfectly.” I wish I was saying that, but nope, I’m not. There have been plenty of times I’ve trusted God for a good outcome and our family has had to walk through a trial or two first before God supplied the answer.
You see…God always supplies the answer and when His children are obedient and truly seek His will and His outcome for the problem, the final answer will knock your socks off. Sometimes we don’t get the final answer until we reach Heaven, as shown in the verse above. Other times we’re blessed to get the answer while still here on Earth.
However, I’ve learned this. God rewards faith. He is patient and understanding about fear but fear is not from Him and He doesn’t want us to live our lives in fear. When we get to the realization that we can trust God, that He does know what He’s doing, and if we wait patiently for His answer, He’ll show us blessings we never would’ve imagined. Just because that’s the kind of Father He is – good, loving, and generous. More of His blessings are released when I stand in faith than when I cower in fear.
Job wasn’t punished because he feared. He also received double blessings for his obedience when the trial was over. However, Joseph was rewarded for obeying, not complaining, and keeping the big picture in mind. He focused on God’s view of the situation and how even the trials would work for God’s glory.
I used to be Job. I am still, at times, Job-like. Job wasn’t a bad guy and God referred to him as blameless and upright. Joseph, however, was described as a man who was given God’s favor. Even though Joseph’s life wasn’t easy, in fact far from it, I want to be Joseph. I want God’s favor on my life and that of my family. It’s my choice which person’s footsteps I will model.
© Cheri Swalwell 2014