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The storms of life blow from different directions. Just as the wind blows and we know not where it started or where it's going, so do we experience storms in our business, at work, in school, in relationships even within ourselves as we struggle to maintain our principles against the norm of this world. Sometimes we fail and sometimes we win. But even when we fail or fall, there is that source within us that we can tap into for strength to rise again. What is the source? How do we tap into it? Irrespective of your religious views, the essence of our being is the One True God. Without Him, we wouldn't even be here. He duplicated Himself within His creation such that in all created beings is a vacuum that He alone can fill. Joseph, the man with the coat of many colors is a shining example of one who stood firm in the eye of a storm. How many today can truly admit to consistently refuse to fall to the temptation of sexual sin or fraudulent practice? But this young man did. Why? Because he knew there was One greater than all that he'll have to account to someday. So without thought for temporary gain, he stood his ground. And as we already know got his reward many years after. A classic example of the tenacity of a man in terrifying hard times is Job. The family that lost all their kids in a plane crash will better understand Job's pain. A real man, who lived an actual life on earth just like you reading this now, lost all his children and properties in just one night. Hard to fathom? Don't think so. Similar tragedy has befallen people in our day. People have lost all their wealth from stock crash in a matter of minutes. Some without discerning the spirit as the Bible tells us invest all they have advertising for naysayers such as the recent doomsday pastor who claimed the world would come to an end 21st May 2011. People lose all they have in different ways due to circumstances beyond their control or to their own foolishness. But this trend will always be till this world passes away. Now back to papa Job - In spite of the loss, Job praised God saying 'I know that my redeemer lives'. The same God he wrongly assumed took everything away from him? To tell you the truth, if I thought I serve a God Who at the snap of His fingers takes away my joy for no just reason, I strongly doubt I would open my mouth and say something nice about Him. But not our Job, he praised. Men, that's something. Or is there something Job knew that we don't? Hmmm... Let's find out. Job is a man of prayer (I usually use the present continuous tense for those who died in the Lord because Jesus Himself reiterated God's introduction of Himself when He said 'God IS the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for He is God of the living, not the dead' - paraphrased). He prayed every day and even went as far as sanctifying his kids every waking day. Prayer simply means
communication. Communication is never one sided but a flow of understanding between two or more. Thus, the extent of your ability to make yourself understood determines your level of communication. And if it's in a particular language, it determines your fluency. Now with this understanding of prayer, we can deduce that Job got to know God more each day in the place of prayer. That still applies today. I can personally testify to that. And if you don't know that yet but would like to know, then try it out. Start talking to God everyday. Tell Him anything that comes to mind, no matter how inconsequential and I assure you someday you'll understand His language and how He speaks to you personally. Okay! So Job knew God to an extent and as a result of that knowing knew no matter what this God is God all by Himself and he made me for His good pleasure that I may praise Him. He realized even in the midst of the storm that his existence in this world was not to possess things but to praise the Most High God. So in his pain, he broke out in praise. And as most of you already know, Job's time trial eventually came to an end and God restored to Job double. Therefore, calamities and troubles will always come but those who know their God are the ones who will do exploits by standing. We stand by believing He is and He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. The key word is to DILIGENTLY seek Him. Thus, your seeking must be a continuous process. And you can only find Him through His Word. The amount of Him you know and the amount of power available to you to do exploit is commensurate with the amount of His Word in you. Thus, your ability to stand is dependent on your personal knowledge of Him - not your pastor's knowledge or your parents' knowledge but your own individual and personal knowledge of God. For further clarification, I mentioned Job knew God to an extent because he assumed God took his kids and wealth. But God never does evil. Evil came as a result of our representatives, Adam and Eve's decision to disobey God. And ever since, the world has been on a decaying spiral heading to destruction. But one comforting thought is His promise never to leave us or forsake us till the end of the age. So in the storm, He's there. In the fire, He is the fourth man. Through the valley of the shadow of death, He is there. So why not giddy up and STAND knowing the storm will surely pass and He will restore that which was lost. Having done all to stand, stand you all.
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