Summary: God is worthy of trust and adoration!
The Sovereign Hand, Job 1:1; 2:1-10
In times of trials, heartache, despair, it is altogether too easy to believe that we are the only one with problems, isn’t it? When the trials come our way it is easy to lose sight of the sovereign provision and care of God. It is in the hard times of life that those who will abandon the church or abandon their Faith in God will do so. Let us consider the life of Job. In the book of James the author writes, "You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord – that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful" (James 5:11).
Let us put ourselves in the shoes of Job for a moment: (1) HE LOST HIS WEALTH. In rapid succession three messengers came telling Job of the destruction of his property and servants by bands of robbers and by lightning. (2) HE LOST HIS FAMILY. A fourth messenger came telling of the death of all of Job’s children. Seven sons and three daughters were crushed in a moment when the house fell.
(3) HE LOST HIS HEALTH. Job was smitten from head to foot with most loathsome ulcers. He was constrained to sit down among the ashes and scrape himself with a potsherd. (4) HE LOST HIS FRIENDS. His servants turned their backs on him. The children in the streets despised Job and mocked him. His friends told him that his sufferings were because of his wickedness. And his wife told him to curse God and die. If you take any of these trials separately they would be great, but view them collectively and one is almost overwhelmed. But in the midst of calamity, "Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped" (Job 1:20). And you know what? Job learned that the Lord is very “compassionate, merciful and most of all, that God is sovereign and trustworthy.”
This morning we are going to revisit the major theme of the book of Job; God’s sovereignty. Here is the thesis for this sermon: No matter where we are, no matter what we are going through, no matter what condition we find ourselves in, God is ultimately in control of today, tomorrow, and our eternal destiny; we are not going at this stranded, lost, and alone. God is worthy of trust!
The sovereign hand of Almighty God is visible in all of our circumstances. The peace of God is available to all who trust Him.
As D. L. Moody said, “Trust in yourself, and you are doomed to disappointment; trust in your friends, and they will die and leave you; trust in reputation, and some slanderous tongue may blast it; but trust in God, and you are never to be confounded in time or eternity.” Luther gave a similar testimony when he said, “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” TRUST
Pain generates disbelief: In the trials of this life our most natural and seemingly reflex reaction is to declare that life is unfair. We cry out why me? What have I done? Inherent in that most common response to pain, sorrow, and suffering, is the idea, the misguided notion really, that I am not supposed to feel pain in this life unless I do something wrong. This is not the case, though, is it?
The universal condition of the world is that it is less than perfect. In each of our hearts the echo of the fall resonates. We see its consequences all around us. In ways too vast for us to fully comprehend, the fall of man brought a curse upon the world. The biblical message is that in choosing self-will over God’s will man asserted his authority over God’s and God consequently allowed him to try it his way. The folly of Adam’s decision is all around us as man fails in that enterprise.
The point is this: pain, sorrow, suffering, sadness, are parts of this fallen world. Every time we are in pain it is not the case that God has sent the pain to punish us for some secret sin. Pain is a part of the world in its present condition; its current state. The Bible tells us that it will not always be this way, that the day is coming and even is at hand when Christ shall return to destroy the works of the devil and will destroy the evil present condition of this world; ushering in a day of perfect beauty where there will be no more pain or sorrow.
Until that time comes, however, here we are, surrounded by pain, tempted to be angry with God, compelled by the world around us to abandon even the notion of God, or to assume, the truth of Nietzsche’s claim, as do many modern philosophers and critics, that God is dead. Even within the confines of the Christian Church there are some who have seemingly abandoned the reality of the living God who dwells within us and is sovereign over and in our very lives; this is true when the Gospel becomes only a means of social progress or an ethic based on Jesus teachings and the supernatural power is lost.