“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Job 1:21 NKJV
Both my parents were pastors at a church, but my father met with a fatal car accident when I was 7. Growing up, I did not understand why that happened, because God promised His protection over His children. I was bitter, angry and doubted God’s promises. People around me tried to comfort me by quoting Job 1:21, and I could not trust a God that would take my father away from my family. I even swore that I would never be a pastor like my father. But alas I was young and ignorant of my lack of knowledge, which hampered my faith to believe. Although the people around me tried to comfort me, their belief was fundamentally wrong; they believed that God is a God who takes back what He gives.
And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
Job 1:12 NKJV
Job made that claim and blamed God for giving and taking away. But we know that the Bible states earlier that it was Satan who went out from the presence of the Lord to take everything away from Job. It was Satan who took everything away from Job, not God. Thankfully for us, Satan no longer enters into the presence of the Lord because of what Jesus finished on the cross.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:10 NKJV
However, Satan’s behaviour is still prominent in our current age and we can clearly witness his doing in this fallen world; catastrophes, disasters, war, crime, and diseases are all rampant around us.
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Romans 8:32 NKJV
On the contrary, we can clearly witness God’s heart in our world as well. He did not spare His most precious son Jesus but delivered Him up unto crucifixion to save us all. My God is a God that loves giving, and if He did not withhold His most precious from us, how much more would He give us all things that are far lesser than His son?! Once we take Jesus from God, He’ll freely give us His divine health and prosperity amongst all the other things that we’ll ever ask of Him!
And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.
Job 1:4-5 NKJV
Now when we look back to the story of Job, we learn how he opened the door to Satan and allowed him to take what he took. Job regularly worried about his children, and he trusted in his own sacrifices to sanctify and protect them. Despite having good intentions for his children, who he worried about the most were eventually taken away from him. Satan knows how to bring in worry into someone who truly loves and cares another. We often mistake our worry for our loved ones for care and concern, but instead, we take God’s position of protector and provider through our worry. I know this because my mother used to worry about all her children a lot. She probably still does but that is for her to lift up to God.
For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me,
And what I dreaded has happened to me.
I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;
I have no rest, for trouble comes.”
Job 3:25-26 NKJV
Job allowed fear to enter his heart and the thing he greatly feared and dreaded came upon him. Whenever we start to fear and worry, we push God to the sidelines. The Holy Spirit is a very gentle spirit, and would never enforce His protection on us when we reject it. Whenever we presume to be able to handle our situation through our own strength, God takes the back seat.
Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
Proverbs 4:23 NKJV
It was this revelation that led me to figure out the root cause of my father’s fate. My parents had many responsibilities to handle, both in church and at home, and they did not guard their hearts from worry and fear.
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
“So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Hebrews 4:1-3 NKJV
We fear about what we should not worry about, and we do not fear what we ought to fear. Amongst all our fears, the only fear we should have is that we do not enter His rest. It is important for our activities to be always directed from our position of rest in the finished work of the cross.
So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.”
2 Samuel 12:13-14 NKJV
But even as we may face losses due to our own choices, our following response is important. David lost his son because of his adultery and murder, not because God took him away. Yet, David still responded in humility and admitted his mistakes to God.
When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.”
So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”
And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
2 Samuel 12:19-23 NKJV
Amidst his loss, David did not turn away from God. Instead, he arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshipped. In parallel, even when we fall to the ground, we can get up. We believe that because of what Jesus did on the cross, we are no longer condemned; we can simply dust ourselves off and rise above.
…that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word…
Ephesians 5:26 NKJV
We can wash ourselves by going to God’s word and learning what He says about us.
But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you…
1 John 2:27 NKJV
We can enjoy the anointing of the Holy Spirit knowing that He abides in us, and manifest that through praying in tongues.
And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments.
Genesis 35:2 NKJV
We can change our garments by lifting up to God our past, that of which might have contributed to our loss. We also go back to the house of God and enjoy His presence through our worship. All of these which David did can be done simultaneously in the midst of our loss as well. We also must be careful not to be legalistic in following these steps, as we should always follow the promptings of the Spirit, and through that, we will find that the Spirit never contradicts the Word of God. Nonetheless, I have personally found comfort in the Lord while going through a loss, compared to turning to other coping mechanisms like alcohol. As always, to each his own.
Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Now the Lord loved him, and He sent word by the hand of Nathan the prophet: So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord.
2 Samuel 12:24-25 NKJV
Now when we have the peace that God gives through resting in Him, we are then able to comfort others who are going through the loss as well. We then see how God restores what David lost, through Solomon. After which God blesses Solomon and led him to build His temple. David’s story is an amazing testimony of how God is able to turn our mistakes and losses around.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?”
Matthew 6:25-27 NKJV
Thus as believers, we do not need to worry about anything because we know that God has already finished what needs to be done in our lives. Even when we fall or do not see the physical manifestations we want to see, we can turn back to God and rest in the victory that God has already provided us with.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NKJV
A recent lesson that Pastor Prince taught blessed my heart greatly: God is the master of time, and He sets things in motion in the spiritual realm before they manifest in the physical realm. Satan can only react to what is happening in the spiritual realm and solely play catchup with God. Now although we may have opened doors for Satan through our fears and worries, Satan’s manifestation in the physical realm is merely temporary. Just like how Pharoah killed all the Israelite babies when Moses was born, and when Herod killed all the baby boys in Bethlehem when Jesus was born. Our temporal loss is met with the supply that God has already given. Therefore whenever we want to see what God is doing in the spiritual realm, we just need to see what Satan is doing in the physical realm and reverse it.
Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.
1 Corinthians 14:1-4 NKJV
There are times when I feel that I do not have the strength to go through the loss, or am too overwhelmed with negativity to find any encouragement. That is the most important time to pray in tongues. Every believer that believes in the death of Jesus receives the Holy Spirit, and gain that precious gift of praying in tongues. The gift of tongues is the only gift that we can willfully operate, and the gentle Holy Spirit will not force us to manifest that gift, we just simply need to open our mouths and let Him speak through us. And when we do, we will find that praying in tongues edifies our spirit, and builds us up. The Spirit encourages us when we are unable to motivate ourselves, and when we are built up, we can overcome.
“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.
Joel 2:25-27 NKJV
Two decades have passed since my father’s accident and these recent revelations have allowed me to overcome an issue that has plagued a large portion my life. God has led me to debunk this major erroneous belief in my life, and I am now certain that my God is always a giver, never a taker. He restores unto me so much more than what Satan can ever take away from me. My God is always faithful, and His grace has always overwhelmed me even when I don’t see it. Despite losing my father, He has sent me an anointed Godpa who truly knew the heart of God; he has been an overcompensation above all that I could have ever asked for in a parent.
Now even while I may experience losses in my life, I have the frame of mind to grasp what has happened in the realm of the unseen. I am therefore now able to put my confidence and hope in the oversupply of what God has already provided.