Summary: A sermon series on Job
God is Good…All the Time!
“I will Rise”
Did you hear about the two workmen who sat down for their lunch break? The first guy opened his lunch box, took out a sandwich, unwrapped it and said, “I can’t believe it! Baloney again. I hate baloney. This is the fourth time this week I’ve had a baloney sandwich!” The second guy said, “Well, why don’t you say something to your wife?” The first guy said, “What good would that do? I make my own sandwiches.” The truth is that some of the baloney in our lives is there because we put it there. When we make bad choices we have to suffer the bad consequences. But sometimes, we find ourselves struggling and suffering and as far as we know, we didn’t make the baloney sandwich ourselves.
Surveys have revealed Americans are more afraid now than they were ten years ago. People fear terrorist attacks, monster storms, escalating gas prices, or worse–no gas at any price. Jesus said that in the last days, “Men’s hearts would be failing them from fear.” (Luke 21:26) I think one reason people are more afraid is because we know so much more about what’s happening in the world. In a world of 24-hour news and weather channels, we can turn on the TV at any time day and night and hear about hurricanes, bird flu, and suicide bombers. That’s the nature of the news–to report on the bad news. When it comes to bad news, maybe ignorance is bliss. The Church of the Lord Jesus should be a 24/7 good news station! I’ve got good news for you today: If you’re afraid, if you’re in pain, if you’re lonely, if you’re suffering–there is hope–and that hope is found in Jesus Christ.
This morning we’re going to see that Job was a great example of a man who had hope in the midst of terrible pain. Job was a famous and wealthy man who lived almost 4,000 years ago. In the space of a few days, he lost everything, including his precious children. Today, it would be like Bill Gates and Microsoft going completely under in one day. To make matters worse, Satan inflicted a painful skin disease on Job. His body was covered with sores from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. Three of Job’s friends found him sitting in an ash heap scraping his inflamed skin with a piece of pottery. 90 percent of the book is devoted to the conversation Job had with these three friends.
In these middle chapters we learn how Job was feeling toward God and about himself. It is like reading someone’s personal journal. In today’s passage we can open Job’s journal and read two amazing statements Job made. Job was in a fight for his life. He was still grieving and suffering miserably. His friends were there, but they told him God was punishing Job for some terrible secret sin in his life. In spite of all that, listen to what Job said. Read Job 13:15-16. Job meant he would not give up hope in God–even if God killed him. God wasn’t going to kill him; God was the one keeping Job alive. But Job considered what we often call the “worst-case-scenario,” and decided he was going to maintain hope no matter what happened.