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Mercy and Grace: Victory Through Hardships

Mercy and Grace: Victory Through Hardships

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Mercy and Grace: Victory Through Hardships

Lunghezza:
198 pagine
3 ore
Pubblicato:
Apr 27, 2011
ISBN:
9781449715373
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Esther Amariah always knew she was different. At 6 years old she accepted Christ into her life and so followed a series of painful years in public school with bullying after she was horrifically bitten by a dog the same day her dad was hit by a drunk driver. After learning to accept herself for who she was in Christ, she moved on with her life getting married and having children after moving out of her home state. 12 years of marriage ended up leaving her homeless with two toddlers, moving back in with her parents to start all over with nothing while her husband cheated. Soon after, Esther's father had a widow maker heart attack, leaving the whole family to survive on small child support payments, no jobs, no vehicles...no hope. See how God provided!!

Pubblicato:
Apr 27, 2011
ISBN:
9781449715373
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Esther Amariah is a working Christian writer who desires to use her talent to encourage people. She has two young children, and lives in the wonderful South with her family. By using Bible examples and faith inspired boldness, she hopes to help strengthen peoples walk with Christ. She is hoping to use her life story as an example to show the world what God can do, even when there seems to be no hope left.

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Anteprima del libro

Mercy and Grace - Esther Amariah

God

1

Forsaken and Forgotten

Heartaches pound at us daily like the mighty waves rushing in from a raging sea. When you have reached your lowest point in life then all you can do is look up. Life goes on endlessly around you while your helpless soul aches for provision and answers to the most desperate trials in life. What do you do when there are no answers? How are we supposed to act and feel when we feel we have been abandoned and left destitute?

The answers are always above our problems, not beneath them. When you are in the muddy gorge, look up to the God of salvation. When you are struggling to climb the steep rocky trials of life to reach the mountain top, focus your mind on the true rock of provision and miracles. I can say that now that I have been there. But there was a time in my life when my hope had failed me, and my soul wavered in faithlessness.

Overwhelming heartaches do not compare to feelings of helplessness and despair. But even in your lowest points, there are always people that suffer worse. The bible tells us in Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Never forget to look up in your time of need and despair, because there is one who is mightier than you and your circumstances. When you think nothing good can come out of pain, remember this For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. Isaiah 55:8.

I had to learn that the hard way. I was a single mother of thirty two years old, with two toddlers. I had no car, no job, and no money. I couldn’t buy a car because I had no money. I couldn’t get a job because I had no car.

My credit was damaged to the point that I could not get financing on anything. I had to move in with my parent’s in the country, which to me seemed like the boonies, and so far away from civilization. Everything I and my children owned was put into storage, and soon forgotten. I suffered and wondered aimlessly where God’s provision was at in my life for the longest time. I felt like my hands were tied behind my back, and I faced a looming darkness before me.

I had grown bitter and disillusioned with life, and God’s will for me at that time. I watched in torment as my ex-husband popped in and out of our lives. He had a life for himself. He had a reliable car. He had a good, steady paycheck.

He was living in la-la land with a woman ten years younger than him, while I felt he had cast me and our own two children out of our home. I would wake up all hours of the night and cry out to God. Every morning, God would get me up as the sun was rising through the trees for brisk morning walks. He did it for my peace of mind and encouragement for my soul. Just God and me

Just us and the solitude of the gorgeous woodlands and dawn bursting up over the forests and rolling hills. I had to keep reminding myself what God was telling me every day. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, and are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28. God had brought me right back to the place in my life where he had first wanted me. I had wandered aimlessly through the wilderness the last eleven years of my life, and had nearly forsaken my first love, which is Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

But he had waited patiently for me. And when I had sunk to the lowest depths of my soul and cried out in anguish, he came once more to love me for who he had created me to be. It was at that moment, I knew God was waking me up to the acknowledgement of his never ending mercy and grace. Behold, we count them happy which endure, Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. James 5:11.

As humans, we are not above experiencing trials and bad times. We are not above tragic circumstances or unfortunate events. When we are young and vibrant with life, we think we can do anything and only great things will happen to us. In our own arrogance and pride we lose sight of the importance of grace and mercy when things are going good in our lives. Only when we fall into desperation do we finally plead with God to save us.

Not everyone possesses those characteristics, but that does describe most people. Many people have lived their lives equal to have endured the torment of being forsaken and forgotten. The lowest of the low. Wallowing in the blackened pit of despair and desolation. It is at this we have to look at Job.

I never really studied the book of Job until I was sinking in my own misery and searching for answers to my circumstances. In the book of Job, we see one of many perfect examples of a thriving, healthy family that was prospering in their own blessings from God Almighty. Until Satan got bored. Job and his wife had ten children. They feasted the days away lavishly under the magnificent provision of the lands and their mighty wealth.

Like all unexpected tragedies, pain and sorrows swiftly followed. Job’s lands were attacked savagely in one day. He lost his flocks and prosperity. His servants were murdered. His children were killed when a roof collapsed on them.

In one hour, everything he had spent a lifetime to accumulate and build had been savagely destroyed. In our time today, bankruptcy and repossessions do not compare. With Job, adding the tragedy of losing his beloved children of his loins, he must have had utter despair and heartache. You can somewhat imagine what he had to endure when you see countries devastated by hurricanes, tsunamis, fires, earthquakes, and tornadoes. People that have lost jobs, homes, money, transportation, and loved ones all in one day, can only cling to a single hope that God will somehow miraculously make everything alright once again.

But Job had yet to reach the end of his heartaches that day. When tragedy strikes, it takes time for the numbness of the pain to fade away into absolute brokenness. So Job melted away down to the forsaken earth and poured his heart out to his God, seething inside as the fires burned behind him and his hillsides were littered with the bodies of the dead. His children and trusted servants he once fellowshipped with were no more. He could not go back and repair the damage.

What was done was done. Job poured out a simple statement that proved his own strength and maturity as a man of God. Naked came I out of my mothers womb, and naked shall I return thither: The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21-22. That noble statement of Job shows his undying devotion for a God in whom everyone rests in the palm of his hand. Everything Job had built on was gone.

But the one true foundation in God almighty still flourished in his weary soul. Job knew that God created all things, and gives all things, and the hardest part is letting go. Even through tragedy God brings mercy and provision. Even after losing everything and his own children, the trials of Job were not finished yet. After suffering through hardships, only through the process of time healing can slowly seep in.

Job had to accept life for what it was and learn to adapt and compromise to make up the differences during his past losses. If any time had passed at all, it would not be too long before Satan attacked Job once more. In life, it seems when grief and bitterness may be far away and we think time can heal all things, that there could not possibly be another trial to blow up in our unsuspecting faces. Job might have thought that also, seeing how he had already endured so much pain. But it was not over yet. Job then had been struck with painful boils from the soles of his feet to the tip of his head. He took a broken piece of pottery and scraped his ravaged body.

He then plopped down in the ashes of his unrecognizable home. Speechlessness would not compare to the absolute numbness he must of felt inside when he thought he had already endured it all. Job then had to compose himself in his utter despair, and face his bitter wife. Everyone handles trials differently. When you read the book of Job in the Bible, it soon becomes obvious that Job’s wife was very angry.

Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die. Job 2:19. After his wife said that, Job would once more stand fast on the truth of his God. No doubt he glared weakly around his once fruitful lands, his eyes swollen and throbbing against the many tears that had long since dried up. Through his unending painful stricken state, he managed to answer an angry wife and still keep the admonition of the Lord dear to his failing heart.

Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we receive evil? Job 2:10 With that brave yet solemn warning to his wife, Job did not sin.

After my divorce, I had long since complained to God in my own bitterness about my ex-husband. I had long since exploded out in anger and resentment. I had thrown my arms up in the air and wondered where in the world God was in my life and wondering why I had been forsaken and forgotten in my most desperate hour. And when I thought my situation could possibly get no worse, it seemed even harder times came. Job had to endure a bitter wife, a decimated body wracked in pain, and the hopelessness of losing his family and home. I often wonder how God used that tragedy to work through Jobs wife too.

The Bible is full of victorious battles and gut-wrenching heartaches and losses. It offers encouragement and warning, in the face of prosperity and disillusionment in the lives of some of its people. God chooses who he will. He works wonders and answers the broken spirit. God created the world to be the beauty it is, and he created man to fellowship with him in eternal bliss.

When we could all look around and understand that there is a purpose for every soul, then it should make it easier to comprehend God’s majesty in a dying world full of pain and suffering. God had a purpose for Job. He has a purpose for you no matter how many centuries have passed by. God even had a purpose for Job’s three friends after the tragedy. Have you ever visited a friend or a loved one after being gone for many years?

Try visiting a loved one that was healthy when you moved, only coming back to see their body decimated with cancer. When my parent’s moved us kid’s out of Florida, my grandparent’s were active and flourishing. My grandmother died of a massive heart attack only two years after we left. My grandfather developed lung cancer shortly after Grammy died. I walked in my grandfather’s house and I did not recognize him.

It had been less than five years, but he looked like he had aged so much more. The tall mighty man I once knew had been reduced to half of his body weight. The strong Grandpa that took us on fishing trips and catered family barbeques around the swimming pool had all but disappeared. The man who sacrificed love and time to help the family in times of need, was no more. But the memory of him lives on. You always remember people for who they were, no matter what life dishes out on them physically.

Job must have looked the same way as his friends glanced over the hillside at him. The once prosperous and healthy man of ten children had been reduced to a bald-headed, sore infested and ash covered nothing of what he used to be. And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven. Job 2:12. What a horrendous and painful sight for the friends of Job.

In that one moment Job must of looked so full of utter abandonment and painful despair that words could not describe. Job had been left desolate and speechless. He was still sitting amongst the charred remains of his destitute home. The bodies of his children and servants in mass graves behind him. Job felt abandoned and utterly alone in his most desperate time of need.

What do you say to a friend who loses it all and has become unrecognizable? I believe the pain in Job’s eyes literally spilled out and overflowed into the utter shock of his friends, who felt just as powerless as Job did. So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great. Job2:12. Speechless. Solemn mannered.

Brokenness. No words or emotions could describe the emptiness that Job had to endure at that time. Can you imagine waiting silently seven days and nights in respect of a friend’s sorrowfulness? There have been many times in my own life that I have cried out to God, only to hear nothing during the storms. I have felt like I had to die to myself deep inside to reevaluate my life’s intentions, and what God’s purpose was for my life.

I have had to come to the realization that God is in control, no matter what life dishes out on me. When you reach the end of yourself and can no longer bear any more burdens you can do one of two things. You can beg to die, or you can continue to rest in God’s mighty providence and plans he has for your life regardless of what you have to endure. In the Bible, Job wondered why he was ever born. He questioned what I have so many times. What good could possibly come out of all of this?!

Why died I not from the womb? Why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly? Job 3:11 Left desolate and feeling abandoned, Job could only look back and grieve through everything he had lost. What else could he live for? He had nothing now but the ravaged lands behind him and graves full of loved ones.

Job could only look ahead to a roaring fire and his friends who were just as shocked and full of pain as himself. Facing his friend’s, I believe at that time was when Job started taking the long, strenuous journey to healing. Job then admitted his distress aloud to his friend’s. Sometimes you just need to release your burdens, even if you are bitter and complaining. Suffering through hardships makes it easy to throw your hands up in the air and let God know you cannot possibly take anymore. But Job is not the only one in the bible who wanted to die in his misery because of his circumstances.

Another great example is of the prophet Elijah He had just proved to the people of Israel that the true God did exist. Elijah had called down fire from heaven on a sacrifice in front of the masses and the many wicked prophets of Baal. When God answered by fire from heaven, Elijah then led the people down and they killed all of the wicked prophets by the sword. When the evil queen Jezebel heard of it, she threatened Elijah’s life.

So Elijah fled into the wilderness and begged to die. It is enough, now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. I Kings 19:4. Even after God’s great conquering of the wicked prophets who only led Israel astray, Elijah quickly forgot that victory when one woman threatened his life. Even after that trial, Elijah still served a purpose no matter what threats loomed over his head. God found him cowering in a cave and brought him out to continue to fulfill God’s purpose for the people of Israel.

He strengthened Elijah, and encouraged him by the mighty hand of God’s awesome provision. Hard times do come. Money will not save the richest person when God’s judgment falls. Tithing and attending church does not assure wealth, honor, and favoritism. Doing good deeds will not protect you from the sudden storms of life.

Job was a godly man. He was rich and wise. He was favored among men and endowed with the wealth of lands, stocks, and blessings. Hard times still came and they nearly devoured his soul. God does not play favoritism.

The question is, how will you still cling to and honor God during the hard times? Most

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