Anyone who serves the Lord goes through tough times. Hardship is not something that should surprise us in this world. If you’re going to do great things for God – you’re going to go through great trials. This is how you become a ‘polished arrow’ in the verses below. This is how God molds you into His image – this is how He instills His character in you. This is how He prepares you to face our enemy and all of his schemes.
There have been times over the past 4 years where I became so tired and frustrated with my circumstances – I wanted to give up. I was tired of being broke and struggling to pay bills. I was tired of not being able to do all of the things I wanted to do. To be honest – I was tired of being tested – tired of the trials – tired of having the burden of knowing what was coming for us – tired of battling our enemy.
I wanted to walk away.
I argued with God.
Why is this happening to me? I’ve done what you’ve asked and it has led me to financial ruin!
I felt like God was asking me to run the race – with a broken leg.
I wanted to stop analyzing the world’s economic system and what the global elite are doing to the world. Most of the people in the world worship the world and the things in it – let them reap what they have sown. I’m tired of telling people the truth – when they aren’t interested. They are doomed – and I want out of here.
I felt like Job wrapped in sackcloth – sitting on a pile of ashes – wondering why this was happening to me – if I’m one of the good guys.
I think every person who ever served the Lord – has had similar thoughts and feelings about their circumstances and what they have been asked to do. I also think that the Lord let’s us vent at times. This world is hard – which is why our trials are tough – which is why the ‘narrow path’ is the most difficult path to take in this world – which is why few choose to follow Jesus. It’s not easy – and it never will be.
Although I have struggled financially – I’ve somehow always managed to get by. When I thought that no one was listening – I would get an email from someone who was encouraged by what I’ve written.
I rarely received what I wanted – but I have always received what I needed. Remember this.
There have been times when I simply needed something to lift me up. I needed a word from my Creator to let me know I was still on the right path.
Today – he gave me Isaiah 49. (Summer 2009)
The Servant of the LORD
1 Listen to me, you islands;
hear this, you distant nations:
Before I was born the LORD called me;
from my birth he has made mention of my name.
2 He made my mouth like a sharpened sword,
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me into a polished arrow
and concealed me in his quiver.
3 He said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.”
4 But I said, “I have labored to no purpose;
I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing.
Yet what is due me is in the LORD’s hand,
and my reward is with my God.”
5 And now the LORD says—
he who formed me in the womb to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
and gather Israel to himself,
for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD
and my God has been my strength-
6 he says:
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
7 This is what the LORD says—
the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel—
to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation,
to the servant of rulers:
“Kings will see you and rise up,
princes will see and bow down,
because of the LORD, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”