“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23
Anytime we begin an exercise program, our bodies scream; “This work out is too hard!” Exercise means to discipline, develop, prepare. We all need strength training for our bodies and our minds. When we say we can’t exercise; we admit failure before the training ever begins.
I own a couple of three pound weights and after walking on a treadmill for twenty minutes, decided I should carry them while I finished my walk. I only lasted ten more minutes, carrying the weight. Good grief, it was only six pounds. I know you are picturing me as a real weakling. However; even a small amount of weight, can change the way you walk. What starts out feeling so heavy in the beginning; transforms muscles from weak to strong, in the end.
It’s the same with circumstances. Our burdens can be great or small but our God promises He will not put more on us than we can bear. He longs to strengthen and build your heart muscles. When the Lord allows difficult circumstances in your life; He is preparing you to be strong, for any adversity that may come your way. Let’s look at a man named Job.
1. Job’s Description – blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil (Job 1:8)
2. Job’s Possessions – 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 oxen, 500 female donkeys, very many servants. (Job 1:2-3)
3. Job’s Circumstances – All of his servants except one were killed by the Sabeans, fire from heaven burned all his sheep and the servants, Chaldeans stole Job’s camels and pierced through the servants, and then a great wind, killed all his children. Lastly, God permitted Satan to strike Job with boils all over his body. Job’s wife tempted Job to curse God and die. (Job 1:13-19, 2:2-8)
This was an unfathomable amount of weight! It seems more than any one
human being should have to bear.
4. Job’s Responses – Job was listening as each person came to him reporting more bad news but when he heard, his children had been killed by the wind, he stood up, tore his robe and shaved his head, depicting his deep grief. He then said, “Naked I cam from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” After Satan covered Job’s body with boils and his wife tempted him to “Curse God and die”; Job called her a foolish woman and asked “Shall we receive good from God, and not receive evil? In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”
God says, “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” Job 1:22
* Take a few minutes and write down the adjectives God would use to describe you. Then write down the adjectives you would like for Him to be able to use, to describe you.
* Make a list of your major possessions. Can you hold them loosely, entrusting them to God?
* Write out your most difficult circumstance(s). Do you see God’s hand in it all?
* Will you as Job, respond in faith, hope and trust?
God tells us to “Watch over our heart with all diligence, for from it flow the issues of life.” God tests us to train us in righteousness. He promises He will not put more upon us than we can bear. Teresa Brown, my former pastor’s wife used to say, “What won’t kill you will make you stronger.” God’s heart workouts are meant for our good and His glory. Will you allow Him to prepare you for the great and mighty things He has in store for you?