Summary: Job experienced what we might call the "Perfect" storm of life... we can learn how to handle these times by looking to his example.
Date Written: January 21, 2010
Date Preached: January 24, 2010
Where Preached: Oak Park (AM)
Sermon Series: A Series on Job
Sermon Title: The Perfect Storm of Job’s Life
Sermon Text: Job 30:26-31 [NLT]
26 So I looked for good, but evil came instead. I waited for the light, but darkness fell. 27 My heart is troubled and restless. Days of suffering torment me. 28 I walk in gloom, without sunlight. I stand in the public square and cry for help. 29 Instead, I am considered a brother to jackals and a companion to owls. 30 My skin has turned dark, and my bones burn with fever. 31 My harp plays sad music, and my flute accompanies those who weep.
This morning I am going to ask you to do something that may sound a bit strange… I want you to look squarely and honestly into the center of the dark clouds and the raging storm of your life!
Why would you want me to do that pastor… that is the most frightening and terrifying thing you could ask me to do… Well this morning I want us ALL to do it, so that we can come to the realization that when we look honestly at the storms of our life… when we see them for what they truly are, I know that for the believer you will find God has kept His promise to never leave you, to never forsake you, and to never stop using you for His glory.
This morning I want to bring 3 points to your attention...
A perfect storm of suffering may overwhelm you.
A perfect storm of suffering might drive you away from God.
God is most clearly revealed in the worst moments of our suffering.
Have you ever seen the movie, “The Perfect Storm”, it is a tragic dramatization of a true story about the fishing vessel named the Andrea Gail. She sunk in a storm of the Northeastern coast of New England!
Now for us to fully understand why the Andrea Gail never had a chance, one needs only to search the clues along the shoreline of the Eastern Seaboard.
The Andrea Gail had a crew of six, and the small fishing vessel was caught square in the crosshairs of the colliding storms. Sustained winds of 60 knots and sea swells of 39 feet were recorded, and unconfirmed reports told of even stronger winds and higher waves.
The movie that told her story, and coined the phrase “the perfect storm,” painted a graphic picture of a crew caught in the middle of overwhelming difficulty, pressed in on every side by the colliding weather patterns.
The fishing vessel went down sometime after midnight on Oct. 28, and ironically, its search and rescue, satellite-aided tracking system washed ashore a week later on Sable Island.
Strangely enough, the tracking device was found with its power switched off. Could it have been an accident…or was it a case of a storm so overwhelming, so devastating, that the captain of the ship simply turned the device off as a symbolic gesture of giving in to the worst storm he’d ever seen?
(Source: “The Perfect Storm, October 1991,” NOAA Satellite and Information Service, National Climatic Data Center.)
Have you ever been there in your life, a storm so violent, a storm so strong that you simply believed you would NEVER survive it? If you have, then you are in good company because that is where Job is when we find him this morning. Job would understand what you have lived with because he lived it himself!
Again, as we look back at his life we see that his story is so very painful! On top of the world at one moment and wallowing in misery and ashes the next. Wealth and position one moment, and penniless and a pariah on society the next moment.
In fact Job’s story is so strong, and has such deep cutting pain that even his name has been associated with the very idea of suffering itself. To have a “Job-like” event in your life tells the world around you that you are suffering the worst of the worst…
This “perfect storm” in Job’s life involved grief beyond description, physical pain that defied understanding, and a spiritual pain that might have been the worst of all.
This was a painful time for Job as he came to the understanding that the God he has faithfully served, and the God who could have prevented any or all of his suffering had chosen to allow it to happen. In his eyes, the God who should have noticed his faithfulness had decided to reward his faith with torture.
To make matters worse, his wife didn’t help, as she struck out at God in anger and wanted Job to do the same! Then on top of that Job’s friends showed up and their ‘help’ only added to his misery and pain! As the skies of his life turned dark and this terrible storm blew in around him, Job connected the dots between the storm, and his set of very difficult circumstances.