Do you ever have days where you ponder life and realize life isn’t what you always imagined it would be? Perhaps your career went awry. Perhaps marriage is disappointing. Perhaps your family is a mess. Perhaps you have chronic health problems. What should we do when this happens? Should we give up? Does the Bible have any words of comfort?
4,000 years ago, there was a man named Lot who surely wondered where life went wrong. When the Bible first mentions Lot, he was rich. Twenty five years later he was living in a cave, fearful, having lost his wife and his possessions. Read the following verses and follow Lot’s progression from prosperity to despair.
Gen. 13:5 Now Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents.
Gen. 13:6 And the land could not sustain them while dwelling together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to remain together.
Gen. 13:10 Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere — this was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah — like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar.
Gen. 13:11 So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they separated from each other.
Gen. 13:12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled in the cities of the valley, and moved his tents as far as Sodom.
Gen. 13:13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the LORD.
Gen. 14:11 Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food supply, and departed.
Gen. 14:12 They also took Lot, Abram’s nephew, and his possessions and departed, for he was living in Sodom.
Gen. 18:20 And the LORD said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.
Gen. 18:21 “I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”
Gen. 19:15 ¶ When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.”
Gen. 19:16 But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the LORD was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city.
Gen. 19:23 ¶ The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar.
Gen. 19:24 Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven,
Gen. 19:25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
Gen. 19:26 But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
Gen. 19:29 ¶ Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.
Gen. 19:30 ¶ Lot went up from Zoar, and stayed in the mountains, and his two daughters with him; for he was afraid to stay in Zoar; and he stayed in a cave, he and his two daughters.
Gen. 19:31 Then the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of the earth.
Gen. 19:32 “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him that we may preserve our family through our father.”
Gen. 19:33 So they made their father drink wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
Gen. 19:34 On the following day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve our family through our father.”
Gen. 19:35 So they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
Gen. 19:36 Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father.
Gen. 19:37 The firstborn bore a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day.
Gen. 19:38 As for the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the sons of Ammon to this day.
Not only did Lot go from being rich to living in a cave, he was also tricked into impregnating his own daughters. Imagine Lot’s state of mind when he learned about that. Surely Lot had days where he wondered how life had gone so wrong.
What should our state of mind be when life goes awry? Should we give in to bitterness and jealousy? Should we give up on God? Should we end it all? Consider the following verses.
James 1:2-4 ¶ Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Rom. 5:3-4 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
Rom. 8:28 ¶ And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
It isn’t easy, but when life goes awry, we should consider it an opportunity to become a better person, knowing that tribulation produces good character and that God will work all things together for good.
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