God is the one who gives and takes away.
I know that there are people, maybe even you, who don’t want to focus on the taking away part of God. In my opinion, I believe most of the time when we hear that God gives and takes away, we think that giving is good and taking away means losing something that will cause pain and sorrow. It hurts when we lose things in this life. I hurt when I lose a loved one. Losing a job, a home, or a big opportunity hurts. I think as humans we have grown accustomed to associating taking away or losing something with pain.
But even in the Lord’s taking away; even though loss hurts, is God not still good? Doesn’t He always have our best interest at heart? Isn’t His great work ultimately for His Kingdom?
In the Bible, the book of Job is probably the hardest one to swallow. We see how God allowed satan to attack Job time and time again, but not kill him; to prove that he is truly upright and faithful to God. Satan took away Jobs livestock, servants, and family, and yet Job still praised God…
Job 1:21 “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
I think we usually stop there at that verse in our mind, but the very next scripture says this…
Job 1:22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
So “the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away”. No matter what, He is good and His acts are always worthy of our praise and thanksgiving. In my opinion, to praise God in His giving, but to turn our faces away from His taking away and not praising Him for it, is “charging God with wrongdoing”. It is a sin. God IS love. The only thing that comes from Him is good, whether He is giving or taking away.
Who are we, to even think that we don’t need to learn to focus on, and love ALL of who our God is? After all, He is the same yesterday today and forever.
He says that we do not need to fear or be dismayed; we should be strong and courageous; we should be content with what we have… Because He will NEVER leave us or forsake us! He didn’t say these things because He knew we wouldn’t never feel afraid, weak, in need, or alone. He said these things because He knows WE WILL feel these things at one point or another in life. But He wanted to let us know so that when those times hit, WE CAN take heart and have hope, and trust in Him because He is good and He said, He will never leave us or forsake us. I believe it because in Isaiah 55:11 it says that God’s word does not return void. God says what He means, and His words are life to us; for us; in us!
So is it okay for us to pick and choose what we take from Him and what we don’t trust about Him?
There is a worship song that part of the lyrics say “you give and take away”. And there are churches who won’t sing that part because it’s not positive. Well, I am positive that those words; however harsh they may seem; are and always will be true! The Bible was inspired by God; each word written by Him in truth and in love. I am positive that the God who is loving, faithful and just knows exactly what we need Him to give to us, and He knows exactly when we need something taken away.
Here is another thought… Not all the things that God has given ‘seem’ good. He gave plagues to some, He gave instant death to some, He gives judgement and punishment, He allows trials and tribulation in our lives, He allows persecution to come to us… How then is it okay for those of us who omit the “and takes away” part (because it is negative) to still sing the “He gives” part. It also seems harsh and negative. It might “send the wrong message” about God.
Maybe you think I sound harsh by saying this. But isn’t it true? We cannot pick and choose the parts of the Bible and the parts of God that we want to believe or not. We either take it all or we have chosen to not really believe it! Will you choose to stand firm on the Word of God, or will you choose to stand on sinking sand?
Now I really don’t want to leave this as just a harsh message that God gives harsh things, and God can take away if He wants, so get over it… No, there is more, because God loves us. And because He is love and He is good, He extends His mercy and grace. His Word ALWAYS points to redemption. So even in the “taking away” part of scripture and life, God has a good, loving plan.
If God was not a God who takes away, or if taking away is a bad thing, then we would all be lost for eternity. The very reason He sacrificed His own earthly life and died on the cross, was to TAKE AWAY our sins!!! God takes away our shame, our guilt, our pain. He takes away the burdens that we cannot bear. He takes away our brokenness and makes us whole again! Every negative thing that He works out of our hearts is exchanged and replaced with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. MY GOD is constantly and consistently changing me, taking away things from my life and in my heart that keep me from growing closer to Him!
I thank You, Lord, Jesus, that You are God who gives and takes away.You know exactly what I need, and exactly what needs taken away. I say, take it away, Lord! Whatever needs taken away in my life! Take away the things that seem good or the things that seem bad, because, Lord, only You truly know what is best for this life that You have so graciously given to me. My life is not my own. It is yours to give to and to take away from. And I say, that You are good when You give; whatever You give. And You are good when You take away; whatever You take away… BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD!!!