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Trust God | Job
It is very easy to trust God when things are going good. But when one goes to a difficult phase in life, that is where our trust in God really matters. Having faith in God during difficult times can be incredibly hard. But I want to testify that trusting God in difficult times, even finding joy in trials is possible for any of us.
What Does The Book Of Job Teach Us? Trust God.
I want to show you that it is possible to have HOPE and JOY when you’re trusting God through a difficult time. We are going to base our study on the book of Job.
Let’s us look at the closing section of this book.
7After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. 8So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” 9So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.
10After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silverand a gold ring.
12The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.
16After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 17And so Job died, an old man and full of years.
God rebukes Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar because they have not spoken the truth about God.
God declared that everything Job said was right.
Job said a lot of things in the book which was wrong. But here God is giving approval that whatever Job has spoken in response to YAHWEH’s speech in Job 42 is right, which include his repentance.
So this is not a rebuke to the three friends for their initial speech but this is a rebuke to Eliphaz and his friends for not giving a penitent response when God spoke. They could have repented off their words but they chose to remain silent when Job repented. The friends have not repented at the light of the theophany, or the appearance of God.
When God ministers to us, we must be quick to repent.
The problem with Eliphaz is that he spoke as God’s spokesman and now God compels him to repent as he was wrong.
God asks Eliphaz and his friends to sacrifice for their sins.
The Lord accepted their prayer.
Job prayers for his friends.
God restores Job’s fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.
Job lived 140 years and died an old man, full of years.
This is happy ending to a story but this is not a legitimate conclusion to the book, that you repent and you get prosperous and that is not what the Bible says.
Prosperity is not a reward Job has earned nor a reward that God is obliged to give. Whatever prosperity Job experiences is a gift from God.
The restoration of Job’s prosperity is not intended to erase his pain. Restoring Job’s prosperity does not erase the suffering he experienced. It is a hollow understanding. Providing Job with more children does not heal the grief for the children that he lost.
What do we learn from the book of Job? Today, as we are concluding this book, I am going to look at the overall message of this book. This will give us the input on trusting God in difficult times.
Role Of Job
First, Job did not respond well to suffering.
Secondly, he spoke and behaved during his suffering with inadequate wisdom.
Also, Job said: Why the righteous have to suffer? God is unjust. God is his enemy. Job’s prescription to the remedy for his pain: Confront God. They are all incorrect.
Do not take your lead from the life of Job.
Job is only commented not for how he responds to suffering but for the quality of his righteousness in the beginning and for his eventual recanting.
Role Of Eliphaz And His Friends
Eliphaz’s assessment of suffering revolves around understanding his retributive doctrine.
Eliphaz brings a worldly (Edomite & Mesopotamian) wisdom perspective.
Then again, Eliphaz falls short because he fails the acknowledge the wisdom of YAHWEH as supreme.
Eliphaz is taking the role of a worldly counselor but fails because his counsel is not based on the true source of wisdom
The World in the book of Job
The world around us is not fully endowed with God’s attributes.
Romans 8:18-23 18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21thatthe creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.
Everything in the world is not in order because of sin.
That is why there is suffering in this world.
Christ will eventually bring order at His coming.
We, the redeemed work with God to bring order in the world with us.
How Do We View God In The Book Of Job?
Readers of the book Struggle with the picture of God. God too is a character in this book. The author has shaped the character of God. We don’t have to believe that God’s actually works that way. God’s question to Satan about Job does not mean that God is not knowledgeable. God seems to wage with a man’s life. God ignores jobs pleas of explanation of his charges.
Points About God That We Can Apply To Our Thinking?
God Cannot Be Manipulated.
In the ritual approaches like Job’s beginning, we think that God maybe overattentive in his expectations. In his suffering Job thinks that God is apathetic, violent, preoccupied or perhaps even inept. It is too easy for us today to believe that God can be manipulated by our giving, our church attendance, our worship our performance, rigidly of Christian disciplines, we think that somehow we can manipulate God to do what we want him to do. That is a benefit-oriented way of thinking. We cannot do that.
Man Cannot Judge God’s Policies.
God Is Not Accountable To Us.
God Created The World In His Wisdom As He Deemed Appropriate
God’s Ways Are The Best Ways
God Is Not Picking On You.
Sufferings In The Book Of Job
Job teaches Suffering is there in this broken world we live in.
Type Of Sufferings
Physical suffering Pain or injury
Psychological suffering Grief, shame, anxiety, worry, abusive or broken relationships etc.
Circumstantial suffering Living with an eating disorder, any illness or disease condition in the body.
Surrogate suffering Suffering because those near us suffer. As we care for the aged, sick etc
Systemic suffering Hunger, human trafficking, threated by people in power
Suffering can break us. Suffering is there in this broken world we live in
Four Perspectives On Suffering
1. Suffering Is The Lot Of All Humanity.
Job 5:7 Yet a man is born to trouble as sparks fly upward.
John 16:33 In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
If you are not suffering now, the odds that you will be suffering eventually. In that sense God is not picking and choosing one person to suffer here and one person to suffer there, it is that we all corporately and individually experience suffering; some more some less obviously.
2. Suffering Is Not To Be Intrinsically Connected To Sin.
Suffering can be a result of a disorder. Someone commits a sin and someone else suffers for it. it can also be result of non-order in complete creation. However, some suffering is inarguably the direct natural consequence of one’s sin, God can use suffering as punishment for sin. But do not presume that our suffering or anyone else’s is an act of punishment from God.
We can believe that we can reap what we sow, Galatians 6:7. But that does not allow us to have a one-to-one correspondence between behavior and circumstances.
Suffering can however, lead us to evaluate our lives to see whether we are in the right path. Trusting in God’s wisdom is the strongest counsel that the Bible has to offer. It must suffice. Trust refrains from asking why. Why did God do such a thing or allow that to happen? Our language is inadequate to explain God.
John Polkinghorne, “The Suffering and evil of the world are not due to weakness, oversight or callousness on God’s part, but rather they are the inescapable cost of a creation allowed to be other than God.”
3. Sometimes Suffering Can Provide An Opportunity To Deepen Our Faith.
Whatever amount of suffering any of us have experienced in our lives, that suffering has contributed to making us who we are for good or ill.
Romans 5:3-4 3Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope.
James 1:2-3 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
We cannot conclude on the basis of biblical teaching that God wants everyone to be healthy and happy. So we only need to act on faith for a situation to be resolved, sometimes God may not choose to do so. We can pray for healing for us and others, and we need to have faith that God can heal. But our faith that God can heal is based on the fact that if God chooses to do that. We cannot make demands of God. God sometimes will lead us through the trouble. Perhaps it is more important for us to pray that God would strengthen us to endure the suffering, to be faithful to God throughout the trial or crisis rather than to take it away. It is important that we do not respond with disappointment with God.
If God has not met our expectations does not mean that there is a problem with God, we must reexamine our expectations.
It is important for us to try to honor God when life is at its lowest.
Trust God even when hope is gone.
That is what God expects from us. We are in a world subject to suffering, how we respond to it means everything.
4. When We Suffer, We Participate In Christ’s Suffering.
Christ was showing a different way that would bring triumph through defeat. That is what the cross testifies. The cross testifies triumph through defeat. We should not always expect deliverance from enemies.
Philippians 3:10-11 10I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
We can try to withstand suffering when we imagine that we participate in Christ’s suffering.
None of these suggest that we must look for suffering in our life, or expect suffering to be eliminated from our life. Suffering is the condition of our world and our human plight. We should not look to blame God. We should look rather to what purposes can be served through our suffering as we testify to him in our lives.
Message Of The Book Of Job
a. The Question The Book Poses Is: Does Anyone Serve God For Nothing?
Do I, do you serve God for nothing?
Be willing to serve God for nothing.
As Christians we have benefits. We have eternal life, forgiveness, salvation. But we don’t earn those, it is not like we deserve them. We should be willing to serve God for nothing.
We do not live for the benefits. Our partnership with God is foremost. He has made us partners for a great enterprise for his plans and purposes for the cosmos. We need to be participants, partner with him in what he is doing. What we get out of it has value but must not be the driving factor in our commitments and behavior.
The message of the book of Job: Do you serve God for nothing? Are you only serving God for what you get from God? Abraham had to do that on the altar when God asked to sacrifice his son Isaac. The covenant lay on the altar. When Abraham laid Isaac on the altar, he has nothing to gain. He gave up everything that he could have gained. That is why God says in Genesis 22:12
That is what disinterested righteousness is, be willing to give up everything and still serve God.
b. Trusting God Is The Only Possible Response.
The worse the situation is, the harder it is to trust but the more it is necessary to do so. That is what trust is. If we had all the answers, we would not need to trust.
Trust comes in where reasons fail.
The Bible does not give us a quick fix solution for life. The Bible makes us think differently. When we think different we will act differently. As we think differently, we will be prepared for whatever might come in our life.
It is preparation that gives us the chance to succeed. A marathon runner just does not come to the field out of nowhere. A concert pianist comes to the concern with years of preparation. Life is no different, we need to prepare for the contingencies of life, the things that come upon us without warning. If you wait until it is upon you, then you are not really going to be prepared for it. It will be too late to prepare. Prepare ahead of time.
The book of Job is tough to read during sufferings because it takes time for these principles to sink in. So it is important that we learn these lessons, get those thinking points engrained in us. Fill the reservoir of understanding so that we can draw on it when we need it in life.
Job does not get comfort from friends, family or YAHWEH. Many time when we go through situations we may feel like that. This book does not bring comfort. The alternative to comfort is that the book helps us to learn to trust God. See ourselves in a different perspective and see God in a new light. The book helps us to cultivate trust in God without seeking benefits.
Sometimes we need strength to live with physical problems rather than healing from those problems. We need to accept that.
Your kingdom come, not mine. your will be done, not mine.
The prayers God delights in answering are those that ask Him to shape us into a person who can honor him wherever He places us.
God’s wisdom prevails, trust is the only possible response.
Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know that you are loved. You are loved by God.
Many of us doubt God when our lives are falling apart.
Romans 11:33-35 33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34“Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” 35“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?”
Trust Him. Amen.
James 5:11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
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