Read Job 1. Close your eyes and take a minute to take the JOB TEST. You are traveling through life, and everything is going great. You are prospering every day. You have a nice car, a nice house, good job, a wonderful family, health, and money to do most anything you want to do.
Suddenly, life begins to cave in on you. You lose your job and cannot find another one. You begin to lose your possessions one by one, and not only that, but you also lose your entire family except your wife. You have all this to deal with, and then you become sick with sores all over your body. Your body rages with fever, and no one wants to be around you, lest you infect them. You are not handsome anymore, and as people come near you, they turn their heads lest you ask them some question or plead for some form of mercy.
Your wife is going through the struggle of losing her wealth, her family, and while her heart may go out to you, she struggles with what she sees. She tells you to give it up (perhaps she does not want to see you in any more pain; she is hurting too, and no one is there to bring her comfort either). “Curse God and die” is her advice.
You have three friends who come to be with you, yet when they see you, they tear their clothes, and are speechless. When they hear your hurt; when you open your mouth to complain, they then think that gives them the opening to admonish you to repent of whatever sin you have committed that put you in this situation. You see, like most of the world then and now, they automatically assume that you must have done something terrible to DESERVE these calamities in your life. So, adding insult to injury, they encourage you to repent, and as you discuss this with them, you grow angry because you know you haven’t done anything to deserve this!
You ask God, ”Why!” You yourself are wracking your brain to remember anything you may have done to deserve this. Your spirit is brought low. It doesn’t help that physically you are in great pain, and the draining effect of the fever just makes you more miserable.
He wished he was dead and cursed the day he was born – Job 3:3-9; 6:8
His three friends did not encourage but condemned him for his obstinacy Job 4:8.
He couldn’t sleep, and his exhaustion from the pain, as well as not being able to sleep, compounded his sorrow and added to his pain he was feeling – Job 7:1-5
Job did ask “Why me?” Job 10:1-2
In this situation, what would you do?
Would you remain faithful?
Would you lose your faith in God, after losing your family?
Would you curse God, your wife, and friends because they added insult to injury?
Would you walk away and blame God for every bad thing that happened?
Would you say that if anyone had the right to give up on God it was Job?
Job had it all taken away and remained faithful to himself and to God!
Consider how so many today leave the Lord and his church at the drop of a hat. . . .
Someone offended them at church.
The preacher hurt their feelings because he dared preach on sin.
Things are not going the way we think they should.
The elders made some bad decisions.
It doesn’t take much, and all the while Satan is in the background – discouraging you and reminding you that it is just so much easier to go along with the world than it is to live the Christian life!
Listen to Job 13:14-19 Hold your peace with me, and let me speak, Then let come on me what may! Why do I take my flesh in my teeth, And put my life in my hands?
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
He also shall be my salvation, For a hypocrite could not come before Him.
Listen carefully to my speech, And to my declaration with your ears.
See now, I have prepared my case, I know that I shall be vindicated.
Who is he who will contend with me? If now I hold my tongue, I perish.
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him! Words to live by!
Be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life (Revelation 2:10)
This article adapted from Jerry Sawyer, Dyersburg TN Via Bulletin Digest
HAPPY IS THE MAN WHOM GOD CORRECTS
HAPPY IS THE MAN WHOM GOD CORRECTS; therefore, do not despise the chastening of the Lord. Job 5:17
In the article above we looked at Job and saw how he reacted when everything that possibly could go wrong did. We saw that he kept his faith in God despite being encouraged by his friends as well as his wife to repent of sins he had not committed, and to “curse God and die.”
The Hebrew writer reminds the Christians of his day (as well as ours) that we cannot discount the fact that God does discipline his children. As an earthly father will discipline his children as they need it to make them better, so God does the same for his children. Note what God says in Hebrews 12:3-11 . . .
“For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Some points jump out to us as reminders of how we should react when bad things happen to us!
- 1.Consider Jesus and what he went through to save us. If he had to suffer, we as God’s children must suffer as well.
- 2.Living the Christian life is a life of striving against sin! It is a battle every day! Don’t grow weary! Don’t be discouraged! Don’t give up!
- 3.Loving chastening comes from a loving Father. As our earthly fathers disciplined us to help us become good human beings, our Heavenly Father will do the same to help us grow spiritually. The motive for discipline is LOVE!
- 4.We should not quit and give up when we are disciplined by the Lord, but try to see what it is he is teaching us!
- 5.If we do not receive chastening, then we are illegitimate, and not sons and daughters.
- 6.God disciplines us for OUR PROFIT. Our Heavenly FATHER knows EVERYTHING ABOUT US – our past, present, and future. He knows what we will have to face in the future and allows us to go through trials now to deal with what will happen later.
- 7.God’s greatest goal for Christians is that we attain the holiness that he wants to give us! Beloved, he wants us to be a holy people! Are we striving for that daily?
- 8.We do not enjoy being chastened. None of us do! But it trains us to be what God knows we are capable of being!
- 9.The fruit of the discipline will be righteousness. Notice in verse 11 that we must be trained. Considers what a football, baseball, or basketball player will have to go through to be the best they are. Consider a soldier, a marine, a Navy man, a police officer, a doctor. . . and the discipline and training they go through. Christians must produce righteousness.
Beloved, we owe God our very best because he gave the very best to us! What kind of fruit are you producing?
Rejoice in the trials and problems of life — ask God to help you understand what you need to learn, and submit unto his loving discipline, which is for our own good.