My life in Christ is not dependent on how I feel, the weather condition, the church’s doctrinal divisions, the government’s decrees, the doctor’s report about my health, the lacking of wealth to make ends meet, the approval of my family and friends, the welfare of my marriage, the decisions of my children, nor any other created thing. For nothing can separate me from the love of God; I am His beloved and He is mine! This marriage with Christ is till death do us part!
There may be many times, like Job, that I have wanted to die, because the emotional, physical, mental, spiritual pain was so excruciating! Satan has been given permission by God to try… to cut off my seed from salvation, destroy my ministry of reconciliation, inflict infirmities on my mind, body, and soul, kill my relationships I have invested my life into cultivating, increase extreme emotional stress, and hinder my intimate walk with God. I may not understand what is happening to me or have all the answers figured out, but through it all God has sustained me and is using these things to build my faith and give me compassion to comfort others with the comfort God has given to me. It is times like these that I increase my worship, mediation of the Word, relying on the Holy Spirit’s power who gives wisdom, rebuke, and warning from His Word.
Personally, I have been listening and meditating on the book of Job. Are you going through suffering, pain, trials, persecution and need prayer or want to study Job together, contact me? 1225-590-3444
This is what I am learning …
• Job was a wealthy prominent man in his community who loved the Lord and walked in His ways making sacrificial offering for he and his family every day. Job was righteous and lived righteously (He had a heart for God and did what was right in God’s eyes.). Christians are made right by the blood of the Lamb, the works Christ has already done through His death on the cross, His rising again, and now seated on His judgment seat. Jesus’ works for us will always produce good works through us to others! Shouldn’t we be confident about our position in Christ as a child of God … we are God’s beloved. This knowledge and understanding of who we are in Christ will determine how we react during a crisis!
• Satan asked to test Job’s faithfulness to God. God gave Satan permission to afflict Job. This good news not bad news for Satan meant this for evil in our lives but God will use it for good in our lives and others. He has a master plan that is for good not evil!
•Job questions God… why? Do we experience suffering because of the consequences of sin, the disciplining of His children for their good, testing and building of our faith in Him, or administering wrath and punishment on the wicked (those who do not repent) or other. Abraham’s faith was tested, Aaron’s sons were killed because they were wicked priest’s of God, Jacob was disciplined for His deceit, and so on. What we do know is God is in control of all things, good and bad. Nothing (storms, wars, betrayal, sickness, famine, persecution, death, loss of a job, or any other kind of pain or suffering) takes God by surprise!
• Everything Job owned (his home, income, employers, friends, wealth, health, reputation, including all his sons and daughters) were destroyed and also afflicted with physical pain. Suffering did not come upon Job because He sinned (rebelled against God in thoughts or actions) or being wicked (those who do not repent of evil), but for righteousness sake! Satan and those he uses, will try to deceive, accuse, lie, blame you into thinking God is not good and does not have your best.
• Yet during all that Job suffered, He still praised God and offered his usual daily sacrifices to God demonstrating his love and devotion to Him as always. Should we continue to deny self, finish the task, and follow Jesus no matter what? Yes, what ever task God has called us to, we must continuously do it cheerfully through the power of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus Christ, and for our Father. This is our “perfect and living sacrifice that is acceptable to God”.
• Job’s friends did not comfort, console, or have compassion, but heaped only misery by giving advice and reasons why God had abandoned Job and he deserved to suffer. Like Job, this is what some “friends” told me during times of extreme suffering and pain… “You are wrong to mourn because God did this.”; “You caused this to happen?”; “You need to repent?”, “This would not have happened if you did this, this, and this.”, “You are haughty and prideful to question God why?”, “You aren’t really suffering because I saw you smiling?”, “You haven’t suffered, like I have suffered?” The advice and accusations about Job nor God were true about why people, who trust & love God, suffer. Should we make assumptions concerning another person’s trials? Unless, we have walked the talk, we are ignorant fools to try to explain why? “Angus said to Scout, ‘we can’t understand sometimes why somethings bad happens to others until we have walked in their shoes for awhile.” To Kill a Mockingbird
• Job answered his friends that he already knew these things about God and man and that this was not the time to remind him; He desired comfort and compassion! God is sovereign (nothing happens without His permission); God punishes the wicked; I do not understand all God’s ways and reasons; No one can stand before a holy and just God. This is a case of the “wrong reason at the wrong time”. Job says it would have been better if his friends kept silent. So true, suffering people really need… hug, holy kiss, a serve (meal, babysit, clean house, monetary gift or other), prayer, a comforting Scripture, and just being there says volumes. Ecclesiastes says “There is a time for everything.”
• Job was in tremendous mourning and grief over his losses and pain that he wanted to die. Job begged God to take his life and gave God reasons why. Who wouldn’t want to be in a peaceful, pain free, sinless world during extreme mental, emotional, or physical pain? Paul said it like this, ”It is better that I leave this world to be with Jesus but better for you that I stay.”
Actually, the friend that told me I was Biblically wrong for mourning was wrong! All throughout the Bible, heroes of the faith mourned. King David did not stop mourning until his son’s death; God answered his prayers, not with a yes but a no. Mordecai tore his clothes, heaped ashes and wept bitterly for his people’s possible annihilation by Haman’s decree; God answered yes and delivered the Jews. It is natural to weep! Asking God for mercy is a good thing… it is a way of humbly declaring who God is and admitting who we are without Him. On the other hand, Aaron was rebuked by God for mourning God’s judgment of death of his rebellious sons. Aaron should have wept for their souls while they were alive, now it was too late; judgement and God’s wrath were administered, justly!
***The statements about the book of Job was what I wanted to say but this author said it best… “God answers Job and his friends, not with answers but questions (38:2-41:34). By these questions, and their implied answers, he teaches Job.
1.Was Job there at the beginning. (38:4).
2. Is Job the great architect and builder (38:4-6).
3. Did Job set the limits (38:5,8-11).
4. Does Job sustain everything (38:12).
Does Job govern all the nations.
5. Did your creative work bring forth praise and joy (38:7).
Like Job, we can also learn for our trials…God knows what He is doing and is in control. God vindicates Job’s conviction that God is not punishing him for sin, and on the other hand, calls him on to an enlarged knowledge of God, and to an enlarged faith (40:4,5). Job’s knowledge of God had been true; what it needed was a massive filling out of the meaning of that truth.
From 40:6 to 41:34 God points out that just as it is impossible for man to capture or subdue behemoth or leviathan so also it is impossible for Job to call God to account for his justice, or even for Job to administer justice on earth.
God has revealed himself, making known his power and wisdom. Such a self-disclosure draws only one response from the man of faith: ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner’ (Luke 18:13 KJV);’Woe to me! …I am a man of unclean lips… and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty (Isaiah 6:5); ‘…now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes’ (Job 42: 5b-6).This is always the response of faith, face to face with almighty God. God has told us through Job’s miseries what is truth… ‘The fear of the Lord is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding’ (28:28).This verse tells us exactly why Job was right and the friends were wrong: he was a God-fearer, a believer in God and His Word. There was a lot about God and his working, Job didn’t know, but he knows God. Confronted now by the trauma of his own massive suffering, Job also knows that the traditional explanation, which up to the point of his suffering he had carelessly and thoughtlessly assumed to be true, cannot be true. God is now doing to him what others experienced. He knows there has to be some other explanation. But when God speaks, it is not with answers and explanations, but with a whole series of questions meant to teach Job more about the God he loves and serves.”
1. I can see the wisdom of God that His children endure testings by Satan and go through trials. Satan’s question to God is logical … “If you take away everything from man will he curse or bless your name?” Though Satan’s motives are evil towards Job and you and I, God is going to use it for good! My answer to Satan’s question is how I live out my faith in God during extreme pain…I will either curse God or praise Him and even in that there is granted repentance. God is a merciful God and a pursuing lover till I die! 2. How many times have I assumed that the reason a person is suffering is because of some sin? An example of this kind of foolish thinking was when I had to receive government care when I lost my eye sight. As I sat in the waiting room, I noticed the people all around me. I met lawn care workers, cash attendances, maids, family members of the military, etc.. These people were not pimps, prostitutes, and lazy bums off the streets but hard long hour working people who needed care. (Not theat the others do not need extreme love & ministering too!) I was himbled and I cried for my selfish and evil thinking of these people. Many of those sitting next to me year every year were God fearing people! I not only learned something about me, but about God!
3. Through God’s questions, God reminded me that this is true about God and myself…God is God; I am not. God is infinite and I am finite. God is strong; I am weak. God is sinless; I am not till I get my glorified body! I live in a world of sin, suffering, evil; one day I will live with Christ in a pain and sin free world.
My prayer: Lord let me…remember who I am in Christ; do not despise your disciplines for you are good all the time, and comfort others with the cofort you have given me. “Through it all I will learn to trust in Jesus!” Love, your child, merle
PS…If you are suffering, please contact me so we can pray, meditate on the word, and comfort one another.
Suggestions: If you read or listen to Job..I recommend Job 1-15 then jump to 38-42 for short.
When you are suffering sometimes you do not have the strength to read the Bible; this is a Bible audio to listen to the book of Job!