Summary: how to find God when life seems empty
FINDING GOD IN THE EMPTINESS OF LIFE
“Running on Empty”
We have spent nearly 3 months now on Wednesday evenings studying the book of Job. The story of Job is one of the best known in the entire Bible yet it is still one of the least understood. Most of us at one time or another have referred to someone is having the patience of Job for some of us that is about all that we know about the story. There are several things in the book I have noticed about this story as I have been preparing each week to teach.
(1) It is the story of a man who had great patience. In the area of patience I believe he is light years ahead of all of us, certainly me.
(2) It is the story of a man who experienced great loss. He lost his children, home, livelihood. Then he has almost zero support as far as a support system to help him.
(3) It is a story about the importance of how we choose our friends. Because when Job really needed help, all they do is criticize. All of us have to be careful about how we choose our friends because there comes a time for all of when we will really need them.
(4) It is the story of a man who went from being extremely successful-his life was filled with every blessing imaginable-then he fell about as far as you can imagine. Everything fell apart and for a period of time, Job was lonely, depressed and sitting at rock-bottom. He was the picture of emptiness.
Some of you have felt that you have walked in Job’s sandals. So hopefully there are some insights we can gain as we see how he worked through his trials and tribulations. There several phrases that come to mind for me it must describe how Job felt.
• Job was at rock bottom. We understand those words. Even if we haven’t been there we all know someone who has.
• He was empty. Without hope. We could even use the word depressed. Embrace it comes to mind for me is that he was running on empty.
Basically the book no tells us things that we need to understand to get hold of the purpose of this book.
1. Job was considered to be a righteous man. Scripture says he was the most righteous man in the East. He was a man of great faith.
2. job was a very blessed man. A wife and 10 children. He was a family man.
3. Job owned 7000 sheep/goats, 3000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 donkeys had many servants. Job had great fortune.
4. There was no one else like him. He feared God and turned away from evil. He was a God-fearing man.
5. Job was a man who had friends.
But tragedy strikes and everything he owned was taken from him. He lost his home, his means of earning a living, his children and his servants. Then just when you would think there was nothing else to lose, he lost his health. Joe was afflicted memorials from the top of his head to the soles of his feet.
Then for a moment it seems there is hope for him-his three friends come to see him. They are discouraged by everything that is happening so they basically tell him to just go ahead and die. They must’ve done something wrong-committed some sort of sin…. Something that he has not asked forgiveness for and everything that has happened is all his fault. If all of this is not enough, his wife advises him to just curse God and die.
So empty does not begin to describe Job’s life at this point. He is beyond empty ---he hits rock bottom and in chapter 14 he poses this question to God; if a man dies will he live again? In the midst of all of Job’s trials and troubles he was searching for meaning in life. We do too. All of us search for meaning when bad things happen and if we are honest we often come up empty. And the reason is that too often we look in the wrong places. Job was a man who had it all and suddenly lost it all. And when he did, his friends gave him one piece of advice after another----his wife gave up on him and Job could say well it’s just you and me God and I’m not so sure about you. I got nothin’. Everything is gone.
There is likely not one here today who hasn’t walked through a time when you felt alone. Not one of us who hasn’t felt the pain of grief and loss and some have felt the pain of losing everything you have financially. But not discounting anything you have been through I want you to consider two statements.