By David and Kenda Jerome

“…A time to tear down and a time to build up…” Ecclesiastes 3:3 (New American Standard Bible)

Songwriter Rueben Morgan wrote these lyrics for his praise and worship song Hear Our Praises,

“From the mountain to the valley, hear our praises rise to You.”

One could interpret these words to mean we are to praise our God whether we are experiencing abundant happiness (from the mountain) or suffering great sorrow (to the valley).

It is easy to praise God when things are going well. Psalms 13:6 says, “I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.”

It is not as easy to praise God when things are going bad. Psalms 42:5 reminds us, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

Job experienced the highs and lows of life. He was described as a blameless and upright man who feared God and turned away from evil. We learn he was a man richly blessed by God, having many possessions and ten children. Then Job was severely tested. Wave upon wave of tragedy were quickly thrust upon this godly man. One by one messengers delivered reports that his flocks and herds were gone, all his servants were dead, and his children were tragically killed.

Through all this, Job remained faithful. We find he experienced grief, tearing his clothes and shaving his head. But what he did in the face of grief was unexpected. Job fell to the ground and worshipped the Lord. We find his response in Job 1:21, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.

We experienced joyful excitement and triumph followed by devastating sorrow and heartbreak. On December 5, we left the confines of Mandaue City and the province of Cebu to visit our churches in Negros Occidental for the first time in nearly two years. It was a glorious week! We visited 19 of our churches, fellowshipped with pastors and friends, prepared plans to conduct Church Partnership Evangelism and delivered abundant blessings provided by generous brothers and sisters from the US. Three churches received new sound mixers, one received a guitar amplifier, another a drum set, and one pastor received a new motorcycle with money donated by a CPE team. We even attended the wedding of one of our young pastors.

Discussion: 

On your social media or in the comments, describe a tragic time in your life and how God helped you face that situation. Use Bible verses that comforted you. How did you feel God’s presence? 

Resources: 

 

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