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Summary: Is there any good news for those who suffer? In times when trouble strikes, we need to take an inventory to see if there is any good news that can cheer us up and help us to bear the burden of pain. Trouble and suffering are facts of life that all of us

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Title: How do you face trouble?

Text: Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:20-21)

Scripture Reading: Job 1:13-22

Is there any good news for those who suffer? In times when trouble strikes, we need to take an inventory to see if there is any good news that can cheer us up and help us to bear the burden of pain. Trouble and suffering are facts of life that all of us must cope with sooner or later. An incurable disease may afflict someone we love or even us personally. A financial disaster may wipe out our fortunes. A domestic tragedy may tear apart our home. There are fatal accidents on life’s highways. There are dead-end streets where all hopeful expectations are brought to a stop.

How should Christians cope with suffering and trouble? When trouble comes, some people turn to religion, hoping it will deepen and strengthen their faith. Others turn away from religion in disappointment and despair. Still others turn against religion in hate and cynicism.

How do people cope with pain and trouble? Some bluster and bluff and cuss. Some develop a headache and take an aspirin. Some drink or take drugs that enable them to escape the pain of reality temporarily. Some pray and trust God.

What will you do when trouble comes? Will you turn to God? Will you run from God? Will you turn against God?

Let’s take a look at Job, the ultimate example of a man who struggled with suffering in the times before Christ. Let’s begin by reading our Scriptures for today, Job 1:13-22. (From the New Century Bible)

13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house;

14 and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them,

15 when the Sabeans raided them and took them away—indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

16 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

17 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

18 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house,

19 and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped.

21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

Let’s begin by looking at several aspects of Job’s character to see what kind of man he was.

First, Job is a dramatic illustration of one who experienced undeserved suffering.

He is an example of how the innocent can suffer. These verses which we read, tell us four things about Job’s character that we should consider:

First, Job was a blameless man.

Verse 1 says, “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect…” He was blameless in the eyes of God, in the eyes of others, and in his own eyes. Job was a man just like you and me, only better. He was a praiseworthy man, an important man and a man of distinction, a judge, and a man who had authority over others. The country he lived in was the land of Uz, in the eastern part of Arabia; the same place where Abraham lived before God called him out of that place. This was a very wicked land, but it was to Job’s praise that he was so exceedingly good in such a bad place.

Second, Job was upright.

Verse 1 says, “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was upright…” This means that he was straightforward and genuine and right in his relationships. He was a very good man, extremely religious, and better than his neighbors.

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