Summary: The difficulties in life are not what cause us to suffer. It is our response to these difficulties that cause us to suffer. The ultimate challenge in the book of Job is:- Will I Trust God ... Or Not?
“The Ultimate Challenge”
Who is Job?
Read Job 1:1-3
Job had buckets of money and was very well known. Not just because of his money, but also because of the type of person he was.
Read Job 29:11-17
Wealthy, but not stingy. The cream of society, but down to earth. Famous, but approachable. An entrepreneur who had a social conscience. Understanding of how the world works, but firstly a man of God. That was Job. And his world was about to turn upside-down. This particular day started like any other day – he would think about his family first.
Read Job 1:4-5
Job never put his job before his family – he knew what was important. He understood what it was like to be young and did all he could to protect the hearts that could sometimes waver. He was a Dad who took his spiritual responsibilities seriously.
Once the sacrifices were over it is time for business. It was just an ordinary day ... until the terrified messengers started to arrive.
The oxen (500) were plowing and the donkeys (500) were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you! (Job 1:14-15)
The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep (7000) and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you! (Job 1:16)
The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels (3000) and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you! (Job 1:17)
Your sons (7) and daughters (3) were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you! (Job 1:18-19)
What would you do? How would you deal with these situations? It might not be exactly what Job is going through, but difficulties wear many masks don’t they.
Lost jobs. Not enough money. Identity issues. Dissolved marriages. Lower social standing. Loneliness Rebellious children. Disease, Pain, Death.
In fact difficulties can take all sorts of guises can’t they? So when we think about the question, “How do we respond to difficulties” there is another issue we first need to grab hold of. You see if each of us were to write a list of events that cause us to suffer – all of our lists would look different.
I found this blog on the internet. It is by a person who has recently become a paraplegic.
“I despise being paraplegic and other people’s views on it could not possibly be of less concern to me. I am who I am, I love what I love, and given what I need from life, existence is no longer tenable for me. Being alive is not necessarily better than being dead. I can’t do much. How meaningless and devoid of value can you possibly get?”
Jonnie Erickson Tada is also a quadriplegic, she has been since she was a teenager. She dove into a pond and broke her neck. She was once asked, “What are you going to say to God when you see him?” She said, “I’m going to fold up my wheelchair, hand it to Jesus and say, ‘Thanks, I needed that’.”