Summary: Part two focuses on the unbelief that is taught based on the story of Job.
When Our Faith Fail – Part 2
Two weeks ago in part one of this series I shared with you the five equations that I will be covering in this series. As a reminder, they are:
o Faith + Stupidity + Action = Stupid Actions
o Faith + Unbelief + Action = No Results
o Faith + Wrong Belief + Action = Wrong Results
o Faith + Some Belief + Action = Some Results
o Faith + Right Belief + Action = Right Results
In part one I covered the first equation: “Faith + Stupidity + Action = Stupid Actions”. If you recall, my example was the woman who believed God for a husband, but the man she believed God for was already married to someone else. I also briefly talked about Simon and his desire to purchase the ability of laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I shared with you that there is a little bit of Simon in all of us as we all desire power, praise and adulation. However, these desires can work against our faith as it did in Simon’s case.
I ended part one with a brief introduction of the second and third equations. I combined them because of the overlap between them. The example that I used to get your minds to start thinking about what you believe about God and how that belief impacts your faith was sickness and calamity. I talked briefly about individuals who believe that when they get sick it is God who made them sick in order to get their attention or as a test for them to pass. This belief is also held by those who believe that when bad things happen God is sitting in heaven orchestrating these destructive things to teach us lessons. During the discussion on sickness I asked you this question: “If God was the cause of your sickness, should you pray for healing?” I asked you to consider the fact that if it was God’s will that you be sick then it would against His will that you be healed so why pray about it? I asked this question to help us understand how this belief really does sound different when we ask the logical questions confirming the outcome of such beliefs.
In my introduction to these two equations I shared with you how we actually teach unbelief in our Churches. From the pulpit we tell people that God is good and good all the time, but then turn right around and tell them that God will use sickness, disease and calamity to punish them when they sin or to test them to see if they will be faithful. This is one reason why God’s children find it hard to believe in Him and trust Him. We are sending two different messages when we praise God for the blessings and then credit Him for the sickness. What I hope to accomplish this morning as I continue with the second two equations, is to get our minds focused on the balanced teaching of God’s word. In part one I told you that some of these beliefs around God using sickness to get our attention comes from the story of Job; Paul’s thorn in the flesh; and the story of Peter. This morning I want to start with the story of Job and dissect what truly happened in the story with Job. Hopefully after today you will consider this story in a different light, or just possibly in a way that will help you see God in a different light. Before we go to Job I want to remind you of the Scripture Rev. Williams read for us last week from Jeremiah 29:11. It reads: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.” These are the thoughts that God says He has of us, thoughts of peace and not evil; thoughts of ways for us to have a future and a hope. He is not thinking of sickness, pain, death and other calamities. Keep this in mind as we examine a few Scriptures from the book of Job that calls into question the beliefs that God will cause us to be sick in order to get our attention and use calamities in order to teach us a lesson.
I. Job’s Understanding And Statements Were Not Based On Truth
Let’s start with Satan coming into God’s presence and ultimately questioning why Job serves God faithfully. Turn to Job 1:6-8. It reads “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Consider Satan’s response to God’s question. When God asked Him where he came from Satan answered that he had been walking to and fro throughout the earth. At this time Satan was already the god of this world because Adam had given his authority over the earth into Satan’s hands in the Garden of Eden. God knew what Satan had been up to – he had been seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8 says ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.) Remember, even though the world was wicked and Satan had many followers, there was still a remnant that belonged to God. To this end God asks Satan had he considered His servant Job. I believe God did not ask this question in order for Satan to test Job, but I believe God was actually bragging on Job and the fact that Satan had not been able to make him falter.