SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
(Job 42:10) And the LORD restored Job's losses…the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Well, here we come to an end of a new year and you know what? I’m so glad!! If you know what I’ve gone through this past year then you know what I’m saying. People talk about having a bad day, but what about a bad year or even a difficult season of life?
Job got hit hard. And it was one blow after another. You could almost hear him say, “not again!” He suffered so many losses, one right after another. He was stripped down to the ground and all he had left basically was his faith. Boom, boom, boom. But he stayed in the boxing ring and just took it. He was knocked down but not knocked out! When he was floored he just looked up to the Lord and praised Him…anyway!
Have you had a series of losses in your life? You’re in good company. But suffering a loss doesn’t mean you have to be a loser! Because that might make you a boozer…or a snoozer! And you don’t want to mask your pain or sleep it away. Don’t check out…check in with the One who can get you going again.
Jesus said this: "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain." (John 12:24) Maybe you’re that seed that has been placed in the earth. Not fun under there is it? It’s dark and cold but soon you’re going to be breaking ground and pushing up to where you’re going to be doing more than pushing daises. You see, you have to die before you can be productive. That’s the Lord’s economy of things. Don’t fight it, don’t bite it, don’t even fright it. Get excited for mass production.
Jesus also said: "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:2) Are you being pruned in your life? Doesn’t feel good does it? Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Heb 12:11)
You know, when I thought about the title of this devotional I was thinking about the phrase we so often use when things continually go wrong…“not again!” But then I saw in my mind’s eye the word "again" separate into "a gain". What you go through, even by a series of losses, is really a gain. You’re going to get something out of it. So the next time you are tempted to say "not again", separate it into "a gain". Separate yourself from that self-defeating attitude you are leaning towards and find the good because God is good and He must have a purpose!