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[thoughts] Living With Tragedy (March 27 - April 2, 2005)

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  • Mark Roth
    Thoughts for the Week Mark Roth http://www.anabaptists.org/clp/youth/ ... This edition goes out today to 3654 subscribers. Thank you! ... LIVING WITH TRAGEDY
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2 7:52 AM
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      Thoughts for the Week
      Mark Roth
      http://www.anabaptists.org/clp/youth/


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      This edition goes out today to 3654 subscribers. Thank you!
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      LIVING WITH TRAGEDY
      (Job 1:8-22)


      WHAT'S YOUR CHOICE?

      "I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free...." I like
      that song very much. But shouldn't there be a song or two that
      declares our decision to rejoice and sing because we have reason
      to be unhappy? Yes! In fact, it seems I have heard Habakkuk's
      declaration sung. Remember that this prophet lived in an agrarian
      society where personal crop and herd production were far more
      critical than they are to most of us today. Yet he affirmed his
      commitment to rejoice in Jehovah even when all the crops and
      herds were wiped out.

      Listen also to the affirmation of a man who surely had reason to
      say something vastly different: "The LORD gave, and the LORD hath
      taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:21). Had Job
      done differently, he would have sinned, charging God foolishly
      (Job 1:22). That ought to put a damper on our complaining
      spirits!

      The Lord inspired the Apostle Paul to take this truth beyond an
      affirmation. Through him we receive the divine *command* to
      continue rejoicing, finding cause for gratitude in every
      situation.

      "Rejoice evermore. In every thing give thanks: for this is the
      will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thessalonians
      5:16,18).

      "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice"
      (Philippians 4:4).

      Without question, rejoicing is a function of our mind and will,
      not just of our emotions. Even if our feelings dictate otherwise,
      we must still decide to choose a response of rejoicing and thanks
      giving. May we remember that the next time we decide to be grumpy
      or the next time sadness and discouragement assault us.


      WHAT IS GOD UP TO?

      God prepares His people. I do not believe that God would have
      countenanced for one bit the testing of Job...had He not first
      prepared him. In your own life, help the preparation process by
      watching the Father and studying the Manual. It can be no other
      way!

      God knows His people. God knew Job...and knew he was ready...even
      for the unexpected and unexplainable. And He confidently and
      unashamedly stood by Job before the accuser...and "staked" His
      own integrity on His man. In your own life, never forget God
      knows you better than you know yourself--and trust Him.

      God tests His people. God knew what the outcome would be. But the
      devil needed to know. And so did Job. Job needed to see the
      strength and depth of his own integrity under fire. He needed to
      be vindicated in the face of the doubter. Job didn't pick this
      test. Job couldn't have decided to skip this test, short of
      deciding to skip out on God.

      God tests His people. Huh? Yes! Tests passed lead to more tests.
      That's the route to maturity and assurance. You can't refuse
      tests and still expect to reach the next phase. Just ask Job.
      Just ask licensed drivers. Despite this fact, I still meet people
      who would rather not take Test #1 since they see Test #2 on the
      horizon.

      God rewards His people. Always. Without exception. Unfailingly.
      Predictably. One big hurdle we face here is our own willingness
      to trust God in this in the face of the apparent exception. Can I
      trust Him...though He slay me? Can I see even in death the
      righteous reward of a loving Father?

      God protects His people. Through all we encounter is the
      protecting oversight of the Father.


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      Mark Roth


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