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Stunned


Life will show up with some undesirable moments. The people of Jabesh had such an encounter in 1 Samuel 11: they said to the Ammonites let’s make a treaty, let’s live peaceable but the Ammonites would not hear of it. I suggest to you that it is in these moments when life slaps you unexpectedly across the face in the middle of doing the right thing that you get stunned. You were married and had a few issues, but you did not see the divorce coming. You were working on your job for years, a few years short of retirement; you didn’t see the pink slip coming. You just moved into a new chapter of life you did not see the life-threatening illness coming. The person that you love with all your heart has suddenly taken ill and is now gone, you got the promotion, and the people that were supposed to be your friends have turned against you. So, you are stunned for a moment and you recover just long enough to say, “Lord help me!” The people of Jabesh asked for seven days, sometimes life does not give us that much time. In these times we trust that God is able. This is so hard to do because in these moments we must choose what to believe, the world or God. Life gives us ample opportunity to remember our failures, God gives us abundant chances to learn from them and growth through them. If you keep reading, you will see that God had already prepared a way. In verse 6 it says, “When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Him, and he burned with anger.” God does not like it when anyone messes with His children. He gets angry when you hurt, and your pain and prayers drive him to action. It is easy in these times to withdraw from Christ and even allow the comfort of the safe internal rival to emerge, with sayings like, “What is the point?” At that moment the phone call comes, the lifesaving treatment that is needed suddenly becomes available; healing from the hurt and betrayal leads to peace that surpasses all understanding and joy comes again. God’s love is real, and His faithfulness can be felt most in these times. So, the question is, “What do you do when it all goes wrong?” The hardest thing for us to do as human beings is to be still. Yet, in Psalm 46:10 He says, “be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Exercise your faith by standing on God’s word and believe that you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. If you are still having difficulty trusting God then, take a page from the people of Jabesh. Reach out to the irons that God has placed around you for such a time as this. Be strong enough to ask for help. Do not allow death by independence.

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