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The View from a Troubled Heart

The View from a Troubled Heart

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O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! (Deuteronomy 32:29 KJV).

And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich (Ruth 3:10).

So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses (Job 42:12).

Have you ever had the feeling that no matter what you tried to do nothing ever seemed to turn out alright? Most of us have felt that at one time or another. Some continually feel this way because life has been so difficult for them.

Jeremiah was distressed because the righteous seemed to suffer and the wicked prospered (Jeremiah 12:1). Job, in his terrible trials, forgot all the good he had enjoyed and became so focused on his tragedies that he wished to have never been born. The prophet Elijah cried out that he would be better off dead since he was hunted by his enemies and "I, only I am left." To which the LORD replied, "I have 7,000 left who have not bowed their knees to Baal" (1 Kings 19:18). The truth is, that until these "considered their latter end" of God's work, they could not make any sense of the affairs of their lives. It is not possible to see, from our limited viewpoint, just what God has in store for us or how He will use us in His service.

One of the best told and most beautiful stories found in the Bible is about just such a situation. An Israelite wife and mother, Naomi left her homeland with her husband and two sons because there was a great famine in their land. After arriving in a foreign land, her husband died and left her with the two sons. After a time, the sons married and then they also died without children. Naomi had heard that her homeland was once again reaping harvests so she determined to return to a place where she had kin. After her two daughters-in-law had traveled with her for a distance, she implored them to return to their own houses in the hope that they, being young, might find other husbands and raise families. When they pleaded with her to let them continue with her, in the accumulation of misery that had befallen her, Naomi said "My life is much too sad for you to share, because the LORD has been against me!" (Ruth 1:13).

"The LORD has been against me!" How bitter Naomi must have felt! After all, nothing of value in her entire life remained; she was old and alone. But that for which she could never have dreamed was in the making. One of the young women who were her daughters-in-law refused to leave her and under her direction married the wealthy and kind Boaz. And beyond anyone's wildest dreams, Naomi's faithful daughter-in-law became one of three foreign women in the line which produced the Lord Jesus the Christ! Through God's providence, Naomi and Ruth found joy in the present world and have gone down in history as two of the most famous women of all time!

Perhaps we — like King David, Job, Elijah, and Naomi — need to wait to see the "latter end" before we assume that the LORD is unfair. When we look back at our lives from the Eternal Kingdom, I suspect we might just find a few things of real glory in the life which seemed so empty. I guess "hind sight" will always be clearer than our present view. Perhaps that is one of the most important reasons to trust in God's providence. God didn't make anyone who is not important in His eyes — no matter how it may look at the moment from our own point of view!

About the Author

Bill Sherrill
Bill is a long time minister in Nacogdoches, Texas who loves world missions. His passion for ministry has led him all over the world. In addition to his work as a minister, he is also a licensed professional counselor. Bill's family is also involved in ministry and service to the world and community.

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