Jordan Ministries
Embracing God's Promise of Abundance When Hardship Endures
Don't Forget
by Jenny on January 12th, 2017

"Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do." Joshua 1:8

I have trouble remembering things these days. I blame it on Baby. (Seriously! If you can believe everything you read online, one pregnancy website claims that a woman's brain cell volume actually decreases during the last trimester of pregnancy making "pregnancy brain" a valid medical condition).1

To cope with my "condition" I make lists. Lots and lots of lists. And I refer to my lists often . . . assuming I can find them. In full disclosure, I make lists when I'm not pregnant too. Looking at the things I've written down helps me to remember all that I am to do. I think that's why God encourages us to constantly refer back to the things He has written down--so we can remember who He is and all He's instructed us to do.

The Bible records a time when David failed to remember God's instruction, and David's forgetfulness proved fatal. After escaping from Egypt God gave His people specific instructions on how to live. Because many years would pass before God's people settled in a land of their own, God told His people to build a temporary, movable place of worship known as the Tabernacle. One item that was to be placed inside the Tabernacle was the Ark of the Covenant. This Ark was a box, not a boat, and it was the very place where God's presence would preside (Exodus 25:22). Because the Ark carried such significance, and because God's people would remain on the move, God gave specific instructions for transporting the Ark. The Ark was to be carried on poles, for God warned in Numbers 4:15 that, "no one should touch the sacred objects, or they will die."

Fast-forward many years. The Ark has been captured by Israel's enemies. David assumes the throne as king over God's people and decides that he wants to bring the Ark home to Israel. David gathers 30,000 men, and they load the Ark onto a cart pulled by oxen. But the oxen stumble. The Ark slips and one of David's men instinctively reaches out to steady the Ark, but God strikes the man dead. (2 Samuel 6:1-7)

God's actions seem unreasonable in this story. David and his men were doing a notable thing--bringing the Ark home to be among God's people. But David failed to do things God's way and not only did a man die, David's faith and trust in God almost died too.

The next line in the story reads, "David was now afraid of the Lord." (2 Samuel 6:9) Rather than recalling God's instruction and repenting for his actions, David abandons his plan altogether.

I can relate to David's fear and misunderstanding. Tragedy has a way of pulling some people closer to God and pushing others farther away from God. Those who know and trust God's goodness and sovereignty draw closer to Him during hard times. Those who have forgotten who God is, or who have never known God at all, often pull farther away from God during trials as they question and blame Him for their hurt and pain.

When my daughter passed away eleven years ago I fell into the latter category, at least for a time. I questioned why and how a God who supposedly loved me would allow my family and me to suffer such pain. How could God be good? I considered abandoning my faith in God altogether.

Contrast mine and David's responses to tragedy with the response of a man named Job. Job 1:1 tells us that Job was a man of complete integrity who feared God and stayed away from evil. Verse 5 tells us that after certain celebrations Job would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of his children in the event one of them had sinned, and that this was Job's regular practice.

But just a few verses later tragedy strikes Job. In one day Job looses his livestock, his servants, and all of his children. Though Job will later endure a time of doubt and questioning God's goodness, Job 1:21 tells us that Job's initial response is "to fall to the ground to worship."

What causes one person to fear the Lord after tragedy and one person to worship the Lord after tragedy? Our walk with Him. Questioning God during tragedy is normal. I'm not suggesting that during hard times we should simply keep skipping along without missing a beat. But as one pastor kindly suggested to me after my loss our questions should be more about what God plans to do through our hardships than why God allowed our hardships to come.

Tragedies that tempt me to question God's goodness occur daily. That is why I must remain in close fellowship with God through the study of His Word and through prayer. I must remember that

"God is good and does only good."  Psalm 119:68

that Jesus said, "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33

that "God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them." Romans 8:28

that "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." Hebrews 4:13

and that God has promised "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

Once David recalls God's goodness and faithfulness and instruction David reengages in his mission to return the Ark to Israel. And once the Ark arrives home, all God's people shouted "Amen!" (1 Chronicles 16:16)

Questioning our circumstances is natural. Problems arise when we let our circumstances cause us to fear, doubt or distance ourselves from God and the plans He has for us.

Have you forgotten who God is? It's never too late to discover or to rediscover Him. When circumstances tempt you to question God's goodness, don't run away in fear of Him. "Call to Him and He will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3


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Christy - January 13th, 2017 at 8:55 AM
Jenny --are we able to access any of your postings when we need to recall a particular posting?
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Crossing Your Jordan

I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling, Bible-teaching mom of six, and wife to my college sweetheart. I believe everyone can live a life of abundance through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and radical obedience to His Word.

Do you have a relationship with God through Christ? If not, I would consider it pure joy to tell you about God, why you need Him, and how to be reconciled to Him through Christ.

If you know Christ as your Savior, do you know how to follow Him as Lord? If, like me, life's challenges have caused you to question whether you truly want to follow God's plan for you, or you simply don't know how to recognize God's ways due to a lack of biblical literacy, I would love to teach you what I've come to know about God through His Word.

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