Summary: Life is full of suffering. In this fallen world, marred by sin and plagued by Satan, suffering is par for the course. How we respond to our suffering says so much about us. In this message, Pastor Dunn helps us look at one man who faced one tragedy after
One Man’s Tragedy
Life is full of suffering. In this fallen world, marred by sin and plagued by Satan, suffering is par for the course. The effects of the curse are everywhere. But how we respond to our suffering says a lot about us.
Many people hide or mask their suffering while denying the reality of its existence. Oftentimes, Christians will hide behind the mask of piety, fearing that if people really knew how scared and worried they really are, that people will think they are a weak Christian.
Listen, suffering is a part of the sovereign will of God. Jesus Himself suffered as no one has ever suffered before. Suffering is a reality in this fallen world.
Oftentimes, in the midst of suffering, our hearts and souls ache for explanations that will reveal why we suffering. Why the trouble in my job… why the pain in my marriage… why the loss of my health? Why?
At times, Heaven is silent. We don’t receive the answers that we long for. But it is in such times that the only answer God gives is a deeper understanding of Himself. We learn that He is the answer we seek.
Job learned by experience the grace and sustenance of God in His life. When we study the life of Job, we find that in the end, his faith did waiver. He mourned. He cried. He protested. He questioned. He even cursed the day of his birth. But in all of the emotional, physical and spiritual drain, not once did Job ever curse God.
Maybe what I just detailed in the life of Job, describes you. When we read the Book of Job, we have an advantage over Job and the others mentioned in his story. We can look at the script and know what is about to happen and why.
We see how Job loses all that he has through no fault of his own. We watch as he struggles to understand why all this is happening to him. We observe that in all of his suffering, it becomes clear that he is not meant to know the reasons.
Job will have to face life without the answers and explanations. Only then would his faith fully develop. We have to experience life as Job did – one day at a time and without complete answers to all of life’s questions.
Few people have ever suffered like Job. Listen to what happened to him. In a single day, Job had his family and wealth instantly take from his life. In the second wave of attack, his health was removed. All that he had left were his life and his wife. He was given no warning. No explanations. No options. Job was left to pick up the broken pieces of a shattered life while trying to make sense of it.
As I read the life of Job, several questions come to mind:
1. How did he cope?
2. Where did he find strength?
3. How did he fail?
4. When would God intervene?
5. What else could go wrong?
6. How long will this last?
7. How did he move ahead?
Job: The Man:
1. A real man- lived over 4500 yrs. ago.
2. Lived in a real place.
3. Attacked by a real enemy.
4. Confronted with real problems.
5. Experienced real pain.
6. Who experienced real comfort.
7. Who knew the real God.
The Calm before the Storm: Job 1:1-5
There are 5 vital characteristics of Job that are revealed in these 5 verses: In His book, “When All Hell Breaks Loose” Steven Lawson describes these characteristics of Job so that we can better understand the man.
1. His Faith – vs.1 – Strong and Alive - the most important and vital area of any persons life is his/her faith, or in other words, his/her spiritual life. There are 4 aspects of a strong, vital faith.
a. A Faith that is blameless
b. A Faith that is straight… stayed on track… not drifting from God’s path.
c. A Faith that is reverent… Job “feared” God… respected, honored.
d. A Faith that is repentant… Job knew how to say “no.”
2. His Family –Full and Blessed vs. 2 - if faith is most important, what is second? A man’s family life.
3. His Fortune – Vast and Great - vs. 3 – after family life, career is next.
4. His Fame – Far and Wide - vs. 3 – Job’s reputation
5. His Fathering – Spiritual and Sacrificial – vs. 4-5
In 1991 at the U.S. Open, something unusual happened at the Hazeltine National Golf Course, just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The day was calm, peaceful, nice… just a gorgeous summer day.
Far out on the horizon, the front wave of a bank of gray clouds rushes swiftly overhead within minutes. Turbulent skies blacken and boil. Swirling banks of electricity collect overhead.