Summary: Learning to maintain integrity and resisting the urge to blame God during a disaster in life.
TEXT: JOB 1:13-19; 2:7-9
Objective: To help the listener learn to maintain their integrity and resist the urge to blame God during a disaster in life.
I conclude my series today on Moving Forward in Life. We have learned how to overcome disappointments and difficulties. Today, we will look to God’s Word to help us overcome disasters.
What is a disaster? According to Webster, a disaster is, a sudden calamitous event that brings damage, loss or destruction: a sudden or great misfortune or failure. A disaster certainly would be a terrible storm, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, volcanic eruption, explosion, devastating fire, attack, etc. A disaster could also be, an accident that caused permanent injury, a massive accident causing multiple deaths and injures, a victim of a violent crime, a horrifying relationship, financial ruin, etc.
Let’s compare disappointment, difficulties, and disasters.
1. A disappointment is when something fails to meet our expectation.
2. A difficulty is when we are faced with something hard to overcome.
3. A disaster is a great calamity that brings damage, loss or destruction.
Let’s look at an example:
1. A disappointment is when I don’t get the job. (easily overcome by changing expectations)
2. A difficulty is when I lose my job. (harder to overcome, but possible)
3. A disaster would be that I lost my abilities to perform my job. (longer and harder to overcome, sometime never regaining the loss)
A disaster can evoke a greater emotion than a difficulty or a disappointment. However, we need to maintain our composure in a manner that can bring honor to God. This is not to say that we cannot express emotion, but rather that we should not allow the situation to keep us from moving forward in life.
Here are four steps we can take to overcome disaster.
I. RESIST THE URGE TO BLAME GOD.
A. Many people think that God is the one who brings death, disease, disaster, and destruction. This concept is inconsistent with God's character.
B. Satan is the one who brings disaster and destruction.
1. "And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in YOUR POWER; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord." (Job 1:12, NKJV)
2. "So SATAN went out from the presence of the Lord, and STRUCK Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head." (Job 2:7, NKJV)
C. God is not the author of chaos and confusion.
D. Job’s disaster was allowed to prove to Satan, Job’s character.
E. Blame prevents healing and damages the relationship.
F. In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God." (Job 1:22, NLT)
II. RETAIN YOUR INTEGRITY.
A. Through humility - "Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground before God. He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be stripped of everything when I die. The Lord gave me everything I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God." (Job 1:20-22, NLT)
1. Tore his robe as a sign or sorrow, shaved his head as a sign of mourning, and fell to the ground before God in humility.
2. He worshipped Jehovah as the provider of all things, and consecrated himself to leave the world as he came.
3. He acknowledged the sovereignty of God, and refused to sin.
B. Committed to God - "His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” But Job replied, “You talk like a godless woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?”(James 1:13-16; Mat. 6:13) So in all this, Job said nothing wrong." (Job 2:9-10, NLT)
C. Confident of a positive outcome - "When he has tested me like gold in a fire, he will pronounce me innocent." (Job 23:10)
D. Controlling your tongue - "…my lips will speak no evil, and my tongue will speak no lies." (Job 27:4, NLT)
III. RENEW YOUR FAITH.
A. "“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last." (Job 19:25, NLT)
B. "Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You ask, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I. And I was talking about things I did not understand, things far too wonderful for me. “You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ “I had heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”" (Job 42:1-6, NLT)