Have you ever been in a situation where there seemed to be no hope? Now, I’m not necessarily talking about some dramatic, life-altering situation. It could be small. No doubt, we’ve all used or heard the term before, “There’s no hope” or “He doesn’t stand a chance” or “That’s a lost cause.”
The truth is, throughout our lives, no matter how spiritual or non spiritual you are, we’ve all faced different trials and tests that made us feel as if a situation in our life was hopeless. There are things constantly going on around us. Constantly problems being thrown our way.
I wish that I could say that you’ll never face another problem. That you’ll never experience any grief. Yet, I’m not naive enough to say or believe that. However, here’s what I’ve learned recently in my own life…there is greater glory in your grief – if you’ll keep walking. Job is the epitome of this belief and reasoning in the bible. He faced unimaginable grief to most of us.
I cannot fathom losing EVERYTHING I owned, my family, AND my health. To me, that would be the most grievous, depressing and upsetting thing that anyone could face. If it were me, I would be tempted to call it quits. That would be tough. But you see Job, after all he went through and endured, experienced a greater glory in his grief…because he kept walking.
Job 42:12 says, “So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning.” And verse 16 says, “He lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren.”
The key in all of this is not to dwell on what is lost but to build on what remains.
In spite of what you’ve lost, in spite of your circumstances, if you will just stand firm in your faith and belief, you will BUILD on what’s left after it’s all said and done. Can you image how differently Ruth’s life would have turned out if she would’ve let the troubles she went through cause her to stop following the leading of the Holy Spirit to go with Naomi? She would’ve missed Boaz. The greatest blessing in her life, the most glorious event came because she chose to keep walking…despite her circumstances.
But what do you do when you’ve been following the Lord’s steps and everything seems to be going SO WELL; then all of the sudden, everything just caves in? For me, those have been the times when it’s seemed to be the most difficult to hold onto hope. The easiest times to give up.
In 1 Kings 17, the Prophet Elijah was living during a time of famine, and the Lord led him in 1 Kings 17:2 down to the brook. And verse 4 says, “Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.” So at this point, Elijah is blessed and hopeful that he’s going to make it through this famine. Then all the sudden, in verse 7 it says, “But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land.”
No doubt Elijah was tempted to take things into his own hands during his hour of need. “Be back in a minute, Lord,” he could have said. “The River Jordan is just over yonder. I’m going to take a swig.”
As human beings we all go through times when “the brook” dries up, and God seems to be hiding from us. Experiences like this occur throughout the Bible; in both the Old and New Testaments we see people that God has used seemingly left alone, abandoned by God. Think about the story of Job. God had seemingly abandoned Job to live a life of suffering after He had blessed Job with many riches.
Also, consider the Apostles who were called by Jesus. These men were handpicked by God to spread the Gospel Message, but when they thought their lives were about to get better Jesus was crucified; and it felt like God had abandoned them.
Whenever I go through a dry period in my own life I think about two things. First, I remember the words to the poem Footprints. A man was in heaven looking back over scenes from his life, and he noticed that at some points there was only one set of prints. He turned to God and asked Him, “Why did you leave me when I needed you?” God answered him, “My child I did not leave you, but during those difficult times I carried you.”
God brought Elijah to the brook in Chapter 17 to prepare him for Chapter 18. Because in Chapter 18, we see the Lord use Elijah to bring about one of the greatest miracles and fulfilled prophecies in the Old Testament. 1 Kings 18:45 says, “And soon the sky was black with clouds. A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm.” God used Elijah’s dried up brook experience to bring an end to the famine.
Perhaps you are sitting beside a dry brook today. Your health is crumbling or your marriage is stale. You face a tidal wave of expenses, at a time when your income has slowed to a trickle. Things are going from bad to worse in a hurry, and you’re tempted to pack up and leave. But God says, “Stay at Cherith.”
If your pocket book is drying up, you may be tempted to crash the casino to bring in the dollars you need. But the Lord says, “Stay at Cherith.”
Perhaps you have diabetes, or cancer, or some other chronic health challenge. You are ill, and somewhere nearby flows a wide Jordan River.
“Come to my banks,” it calls. “I can heal.” But God say, “My child, stay at Cherith.”
Nothing could be more unpleasant for you at this moment than sitting beside some muddy, mosquito-infested drying up brook-your personal Cherith. But for some reason your God is saying, “I want you there.” God is a good God. He doesn’t allow us to go through tough times to punish us. Anyone who thinks God allows bad things to happen as punishment doesn’t understand the Love of our God. Be encouraged!