Will You Still Love God?
Often times we base our relationship with God on what we can get from Him or how He works in our lives. We worship Him more when things are going well. We pray more when it appears our prayers are being answered. We walk by faith when we are up on the mountain and not down in the valley of despair. We tend to bless and give more when we seem to be in the flow of blessings from God.
“Facing the Giants.”
One of my favorite movies is “Facing the Giants.” In this movie the main character is a football coach who is struggling at his job. His football team never seems to do any better than mediocre and year after year they keep losing players to other teams around them because of their losing record. The coach isn’t only failing at work, his home is falling apart, his finances are terrible and his car continually breaks down. To top it all off, his wife desperately wants a baby but the coach has a medical problem that is keeping them from having a baby. When it seems that it can’t get any worse, it does, the parents of this Christian High School wanted to fire the coach. The coach is devastated, hurt, and at his wits end. A word of the Lord comes to the coach from a patron of the school, the word is,
“God is not finished with you yet.”
The coach appears to get a clue and starts changing his personal devotions and this spills out onto his team as well. The coach begins mentoring his team instead of driving them. The team slowly catches on and although they have three losses, they start winning games. Why? Because the coach vowed to God,
“I will love you God no matter what happens.”
He also goes to his football team and states, “we will love God and serve God if we win or if we lose.” The turn around in attitude pays off and the team, even through a few setbacks make the playoffs for their first time in the history of the school. Ultimately the coach goes to His wife and asks her,
“Will you still love God if He never gives us a baby?”
This is hard for his wife but she concludes and vows to God she will love Him even if He does not give her a bay.
I have met so many people that base their relationship with God on how their life is playing out. If their life is going well, they worship, praise, give and pray. If their life is going bad, they stop going to church regularly, stop giving, stop praying, stop believing.
Job’s life looked far worse then ours, he lost everything and everyone and even suffered excruciating pain, he thought he was going to die in his misery. Job 30: 26 says; “But when I hoped for good, evil came, and when I waited for light, darkness came.” (ESV)
In all Job’s pain and suffering, hoping and waiting, he still would not turn on God or curse God. Job determined in his heart to love God even while he was suffering lose, pain, and the destitute feeling of being alone with no family, a wife that told him to curse God and die and three miserable acquaintances that badgered him.
Job may have complained but he still reverenced God. Job may have lost everything and everyone, but he still held on that God was supreme. Job trusted God and in the end, he was healed, whole and he was twice the person he was as the beginning, and more prosperous then He ever imagined.
As with Job and all of us, God has a plan, we just need to hold on, stay true and love God despite what we see or what we are enduring. Jeremiah 29: 11 says; “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (ESV)
Life will shake us to the core at times, life will throw us a curve ball at times, but God is all we have. When all is stripped, God is our one true foundation, He is our rock.
James 1: 2-4 says; “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (ESV)
James says that the testing of our faith eventually leads to our perfection. Our completeness and we will lack nothing.
We must hold on to God when we feel like all hope is gone. Hold on to his promises, He has a future full of blessings for us but mostly, hold on to God because he is all we truly have in this life and the life to come. If God doesn’t give us all that we are asking for, if it seems as though the doors seem to be shutting when we pray, hold on, God has some better things in mind for us. David said in Psalms 23:
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Yes, God is our Shepherd, He will lead us to greener pastures and set us beside the still waters but our resolve has to be that He is God in the good times and He is God in the bad times. David recognized the blessings of God and he recognized the Divine Covenant of God that He will always be with us, in times of plenty and in times of sheer terror.
There will be trials in this life, Jesus told us in John 16: 33; “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Understand, Jesus has warned that there will be tribulation in the world, but the best news is, Jesus has over come the world. Jesus promised in the midst of this terrible news of tribulation that “in me you may have peace.” The greatest peace that comes to us is not in times where there is lack of war or conflict, the greatest peace comes from God in the middle of the storms of this life, that is “…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding…” (Philippians 4: 7 ESV)
So, I ask, “will you still love God even though you are not getting everything that you are asking for?” “Will you still love God no matter what is going on in your life?”