Summary: Are trouble and suffering a sign of God's judgement in your life? How can a person persevere during great tragedy? The answers are found in the testimony of Job's life.
JOB 14:1-17, 19:23-27
Hurricane Katrina- Man who cancelled his flood insurance 3 weeks before Katrina. What terrible timing. I had a similar thing, although not as costly. I cancelled the insurance on our mini-van because and my daughter wrecked it and totaled it 4 months later. Bad things happen to each of us whether we are prepared for them or not.
Many people think that when bad stuff happens, it must be a sign that God is angry with you.
1. Was Hurricane Katrina God’s Judgement on New Orleans/Miss.Coast?
I don't know. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. I know I got angry listening to other preachers declare it to be God pouring out His wrath on New Orleans because it was such a sinful place. My response to them was this. If God was angry with the sinful things going on in the French Quarter so much, why did He destroy most of the residential areas of New Orleans but completely missed Bourbon Street? If God created that storm to punish homosexuals so much, why was the Mississippi coast destroyed and not a single gay bar in the Quarter destroyed?
We simply don't know whether God was behind that storm or not. And we ought to be careful assigning the blame or the credit to God for something He may not have had anything to do with.
Keep this passage in mind before you proclaim God's judgement on someone else's misfortune.
Luke 13:1-5 1 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
2. Truth is, the righteous and unrighteous face many problems/calamities.
** Job- lost his family, his fortune, his business, and his health.
Only thing he had left was a depressing wife and worthless friends.
His friends kept telling him he was suffering because of some secret sins he is committing.
His wife's advise to him was "to curse God and die." WOW.
After much time of suffering and being unjustly preached to, he began to feel very depressed and began to question God, his faith, and his whole spiritual life. Big problems do this to us sometimes.
1. THE TROUBLES OF LIFE.
Job 14:1-6 “Man, who is born of woman, Is short-lived and full of turmoil. 2 “Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain. 3 “You also open Your eyes on him And bring him into judgment with Yourself. 4 “Who can make the clean out of the unclean? No one! 5 “Since his days are determined, The number of his months is with You; And his limits You have set so that he cannot pass. 6 “Turn Your gaze from him that he may rest, Until he fulfills his day like a hired man.
A. It is not “if” you will have troubles, but “when” and “how will you respond to troubles?”
John 16:33- Jesus said, “In the world you have troubles, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
1. Knowing in advance about troubles helps you to be prepared; So Satan cannot deceive you.
2. Knowing in advance, you can take courage to know that the victory is won.
B. The question is not “if” you will die, but how you will live and how you will die.
** Job has been bombarded from every direction about his “apparent” sinfulness.
** Sometimes when you hear negative stuff enough, you start to believe it.
** Job begins to ponder the question of dying clean or unclean.
Each of us should do the same thing because you don’t want to stand before God on Judgement Day a sinner condemned.
** The problem is that his terrible circumstances has depressed him for a while and Satan is attempting to wear him down.
This is also Satan's plan for you!
2. THE DESPAIR IN LIFE.
Job 14:7-12 7 “For there is hope for a tree, When it is cut down, that it will sprout again, And its shoots will not fail.
8 “Though its roots grow old in the ground And its stump dies in the dry soil, 9 At the scent of water it will flourish
And put forth sprigs like a plant. 10 “But man dies and lies prostrate. Man expires, and where is he? 11 “As water evaporates from the sea, And a river becomes parched and dried up, 12 So man lies down and does not rise.