The Hope of a Tree
I have been studying the book of Job lately, and I came across something that I pray might help someone who is wondering why things are happening, in the way that they are happening, and who might be questioning as to why God is allowing such heartache to endure.
The book of Job was written with the subject matter on sanctifying the believer and why it is of the utmost importance.
At the time of Job, there was no one else quite like him. Not only was he one of the few who truly lived for God and was doing everything possible to do that which was right, but Job was also one of the richest (if not the richest) men in the world of that day.
However, God would allow his servant to endure more suffering than possibly any other human being has suffered. He lost everything—his children, his wealth, and his health. Even his own wife was telling him to, “Curse God and die.” On top of all of that, his three companions were insulting Job and proclaiming that he was to blame for all that was brought upon him.
However, Job knew that he was not to blame; he did not do anything to bring these trials upon himself. At the time, he had no idea why these things were happening to him. Job questioned God as to why these things were happening, and wished that death would come; death would be sweet.
But to his dismay, the answer did not come when he wanted it. Yet in the middle of his trial, Job would say something that, with the Lord’s help, I want to shed some light upon so that it might bring some encouragement to you.
Listening to his friends pontificate their reasoning as to why these things were happening to their friend, Job responded to them by saying that man’s days were full of trouble. How right he was.
Due to the fall, man’s days have been anything but blissful. All that has happened in the 6,000 years of recorded history—the wars, the bloodshed, the sickness, the disease, and all of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man—is a direct result of sin that entered the world through the fall of man.
Sin plunged this world into a veritable chaotic state, and the reason is that, due to the fall, Satan is now the god of this world (II Cor. 4:4). He is, as the Bible says, “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2). Satan controls the world system and, as a result, this world is not what God originally intended it to be.
You may be reading this right now and wondering why you are going through what you are going through. Even though you have cried out to God, there has been no answer and, in fact, you feel that when you pray, the words fall to floor.
Nevertheless, in spite of the world being under the domain of Satan and man’s days being full of trouble, there is a bright spot in all of this—a bright spot for you.
As Job addressed his friends and wondered why all of these bad things were happening to him and not understanding why, he said, “For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant” (Job 14:7-9).
Seeing the present condition that he was in, Job had just about given up regarding his restoration. He really did not see how things could change. If he were to spend the rest of his days here on earth, then he wished that the Lord would just take him home.
However, in spite of his current situation, and even though Job didn’t understand why things were happening the way that they were, the Lord was saying through his words: as a tree is cut down, it will sprout again! And as the tree could be restored, then he would be restored.
How does this apply to us today?
At times, we experience unfortunate situations that can cause us tremendous heartache. Everything seems to be going in the wrong direction and we would rather die than spend another day here on earth. But we must continue to hold on, for as a tree is cut down and looks as though it will be no more, that tree will sprout again. And as the tree will be restored, so will you be restored.
When the water is applied to that tree stump, it will once again bring forth life. What you may be going through will not last forever; ultimately it will pass. But until then, continue to hold on. Don’t give up, and keep your eyes on the prize. I know that it may seem easier said than done, but continue to keep your faith anchored in Christ and the Cross. By doing that, He will never let you go.
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