Summary: How Job dealt with discouragement
“Dealing with Discouragement”
Intro: Did you know that there are a lot of errors in the Bible? It’s true!
A good example of this is in Genesis 3 - Satan comes to Eve, asks about the fruit, and says, “You will not surely die” - That was a lie! It was not true, but the lie is recorded in scripture. Satan says in Isaiah 14, “I will be like the Most High” - but it wasn’t true.
So also, as we come to the book of Job, I would remind us that not everything we read in Job is completely true. Job’s friends come and offer counsel, and the Bible records their advice, but their advice is not true. As we’ll see next week, God rebukes them for their wrong advice. I would start this morning by reminding us that as we read through the book of Job this week, we will see some wrong thinking on the part of these men. Yet the book is not written about these men, but about the God of these men.
Having said that, let’s look at our subject today: discouragement. Have any of you ever been discouraged? Job was. But let’s look at what kind of man he was.
Read Job 1:1-5
This is a story about the greatest man of his day. A man who had it all: wealth, houses, lands, family, relationship to God. Yet, he still faced troubles in his life. Often we think, “If only I had a little more, how much better my life would be.”
I. Who gets discouraged?
*blameless people get discouraged - Job was blameless. This term refers to “being complete” - not being sinless, but of spiritual maturity and integrity in his inner being. Not accused of open sin.
*God-fearing people get discouraged - Job worshiped God faithfully - yet he gets discouraged
*righteous living people get discouraged - Job tried to live the best way he could. His heart was right, his attitude was right, and his action was right. Yet he still gets discouraged.
Job is testimony that bad things do happen to good people. There is a famous book written a few years by a Jewish Rabbi, Rabbi Kushner, called “Why Bad Things Happen to Good People.” His reasoning is that Either it’s because God isn’t good or God isn’t powerful. He reasons that we serve a good God, so therefore God must not be powerful. I can’t accept that reasoning. I hold, and I believe that Job teaches, that God is good, God is powerful, and sometimes he allows us to go through difficult times for his glory.
Let’s look at why Job gets in a difficult situation. Read 1:6-12.
Job faces his problems because God and Satan are involved in a dispute. There is a heavenly reason for all that happens. So, let’s look at what happened. Read 1:13-22.
II. Why do people get discouraged? There are many reasons. Let’s look at what happened to Job.
*He lost his possessions - He lost seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and a large number of servants.
*He lost his family - seven sons and three daughters - all who were very dear to him.
*He lost his health - He was afflicted with painful sores. Satan couldn’t shake his faith because of financial loss, so he asks God to be able to afflict Job’s body. Look at 2:7-10.
*He lost his support - his wife, supposed to be a helper for him, becomes a hindrance. She encourages him to curse God and die. [She must have wanted the insurance!] No wonder Job gets discouraged!
III. How does discouragement show?
We see two ways discouragement manifest itself. Job does both.
*silence - often people who are discouraged stop talking. There are some people that when they stop talking, you KNOW something is wrong.
-1:13 - When Job’s friends come, “they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No-one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.”
-Job sits in silence for days, overwhelmed by the losses he has experienced.
Next, we see a second way discouragement evidences itself:
*venting - extreme expression - often after the initial time of shock and silence, those who are depressed need to share their feelings deeply. Sometimes they need to talk. Job does this as well. As we look at chapter 3, we see Job wishing he had never been born, wishing he had been born stillborn, and wishing he could die. We see him venting his frustration and hurt.
IV. How do we respond to discouragement?
There are two key lessons for us to learn today from these first chapters of Job.