Summary: A sermon series on Job
God is Good…All the time!
“Praise God…Even when your world crashes in!
Bad days come in all shapes and sizes. The title of this message is “What to do when your world crumbles in.” This world is full of pain and suffering. From the cradle to the grave, there are things that happen that bring tears to our eyes. But the point of this series is that our tears can either obscure our vision of heaven, or they can be telescopes that help us see eternity. This world is filled with suffering, but there is another world that we can anticipate, a place of no more tears, pain, sorrow or death.
It’s been a bad week for a lot of people, but few people have ever had the kind of bad week Job suffered. If you missed the earlier messages, let me review the story. Job was a righteous guy who was blessed with great wealth and a wonderful family. At a gathering in heaven, Satan alleged before God that the only reason Job served God was because he was so blessed. Satan charged that if Job lost it all, he would curse God to His face. God knew Job’s heart, but in order to demonstrate for Satan and all the hosts of angels, both good and bad, God gave Satan permission to test his theory. Satan went to work–and Job suffered. But never lose sight of the conclusion of the story. Job endured all the pain and trials the devil tossed his way and never lost his faith. In the end, God restored to him MORE than he ever had in the first place. Read Job 1:13-22. Life has a way of crashing in without warning. Job is the best model we have on how to deal with pain and suffering. From him we learn there are some things to do when your world crashes in:
1. Its okay to express grief.
Job expressed his agonizing grief in three ways. It says in vs. 20 “he tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship.” The tearing of clothes was a customary way of expressing immediate grief in the ancient world. You’ve probably felt so much inner pain before that you wanted to tear something. Tearing cloth is a metaphor for a broken heart. There’s the strain of pulling, and the release when the cloth tears. Tearing his clothes was an immediate expression of his grief, but the shaving of his head was a long-term expression of his pain. Every time he felt his head, or felt the chill on his scalp he was reminded of his grief. As his hair grew out, it was also a gradual reminder to him that life goes on and with time, the pain lessens. Then he fell down; he collapsed. But he didn’t collapse into helplessness or hopelessness; he fell down to worship God.
When you’re hurting, it’s okay to express your grief. Moreover, it’s important to express your grief. Grief that is submerged and suppressed can lead to unhealthy emotional problems. To express your grief, you need to understand what grief is. There is an equation for grief that can be expressed this way: CHANGE + LOSS = GRIEF. Change is never easy, and some life changes are minor. But there are major changes in life in which we lose something precious and that creates grief. Job’s life changed in one day when he experienced material and personal loss. He lost all his wealth in a single day. I checked the current price of livestock and according to today’s prices, Job’s livestock was worth over $50 million. It would be as if you lost your job, your bank account, your investments and your retirement account in one day. Worse than his loss of $50 million was his personal loss, his three daughters and seven sons were gathered in a house when a killer storm blew in. The walls of the building collapsed and they were all killed. On the heels of hearing of the loss of his wealth, Job learned his children were dead. His world came crashing in.
Job didn’t deny his grief. He didn’t slap a fake smile on his face and flippantly say, “Everything is going to be okay.” He cried long and hard, but he never lost his faith in God. In chapter 16 Job admitted how deeply he was grieving. He said, “I have sewed sackcloth over my skin and buried my brow in the dust. My face is red with weeping, deep shadows ring my eyes.” (Job 16:15-16) When you lose something, you grieve and the greater the sense of loss, the greater the depth of your grief. I’ve been told there is nothing to compare with the depth of grief over the death of a child. But death isn’t the only thing that causes grief. When you lose a job, you grieve. When you lose a mate through divorce or death, you grieve. When you lose a friend, or lose a house to fire or flood, or lose your freedom, you grieve. Whatever the nature of your loss, it’s important to express your grief honestly.