Summary: Today's Message looks at the living hope we have through the belief in Jesus Christ, and through our own resurrection from the dead and into His presence for all eternity in heaven.

“Obtaining A Living Hope”

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I liked to introduce a very unusual verse. It was a statement made that very few people would have ever made given the circumstances this person found themselves in. It was Job.

“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 1:21 NKJV)

This is not what someone would normally say under such horrific circumstances. Not only did Job lose everything that he had, all of his flocks and herds, but he also lost all of his children to a freak storm. Later, he was smitten with a horrendous disease of boils from the top of his body to the souls of his feet. And these were not little boils, but big huge form altering boils.

What we might say, to an extent, is that Job is where many people find themselves today in the midst of this current pandemic sweeping the globe, as they are experiencing the loss of a job, finances, a place to live, family, freedoms, and even their health, or the loss of a loved one.

But here’s the kicker, and what holds this story out amongst so many, and that is in the midst of these horrendous circumstances, Job not once criticized nor complained against God. Instead, we see from our verse that he worshipped God through it all.

And when we look at what Job said, and understand its implications, we wonder ‘how could he say this,’ especially seeing all the horrible things that happened to him and the adversity he had to endure, including his wife telling him to “Curse God and die.”

But Job knew God, and knew the folly of criticizing and complaining against God even though everything had been taken away on the physical side of the equation. But what we see is that Job still possessed a faith and a hope that is far too often missing in our culture and society, not to mention the church.

Today, humanity places its hope upon science and education that these will in some way come up with the solutions to what has plagued our world since the beginning of time. But, in the end, all these things that humanity had pegged their hopes upon have come up empty, and that’s because all the scientists, philosophers, and educators have yet to find the cure for what plagues humanity, which is nothing less than death.

But Job’s hope was not in humanity’s solutions. Instead, Job’s hope was in the Lord. Job knew that death is the inevitable outcome of life, but he also knew that this life isn’t all that there is to life. He knew that one day he would die, and that after death he would be in the presence of the Lord in bodily form.

“And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God.” (Job 19:26 NLT)

Job knew that he only had one shot at this life, and then once this life was over he would stand before God and give an accounting of the life he lived.

This is what the writer of Hebrews brings forward saying, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV)

Further, Job knew that this had nothing to do with how good he was, or if he had done enough good deeds to outweigh the bad ones, but rather he knew that it all had to do with his faith in the Lord.

The Apostle Paul knew this same truth when he penned these words,

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV)

So, in the midst of his tragedy, Job did something that most would never consider doing, and that is, he blessed and thanked God, having faith in Him and Him alone. And it was such a faith that saw Job return to health and even greater prosperity.

The writer of Hebrews wrote of this hope that the men and women of the Old Testament had as they went through horrendous times as well, and that, in and by faith. Why? So that they could “obtain a better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:35 NKJV).

Consider what it says about Abraham; that he dwelt in a foreign land that wasn’t his own, and by faith Abraham waited, “for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10 NKJV).

Job was able to handle the tragedies of life because he believed in the Lord. Therefore, he had this hope that even after his death that he would still see the Lord, not only in his soul and spirit, but also in his body as well. And for Job, this became a living hope.

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