Tuesday, January 6, 2015

When You Have Had a Really Bad Day

     Life can throw us some curve balls can't it?  Whether it is illness, a difficult day at work, whiny children, or sudden loss, we all experience times when we feel like we want to go back to bed and pull the covers over our head.  However, God has a purpose through all the the circumstances of life and according to His Word it is all meant for good (Romans 8:28 and Jeremiah 29:11).  Jesus never told us that life would be easy if we followed Him.  To the contrary, it is often very painful.
This is true in the life of Job.
     We often read this book of the Bible overlooking some very important facts.  For example, we know that Job was a very wealthy man with a large family.  He was a good person who loved the Lord with all his heart.  What Job did not know was that a heavenly challenge has been issued regarding his faithfulness to God.  As the Lord praised the fidelity of Job before the host of heaven, Satan told him that Job was only faithful because God had protected him.  So the Lord allowed Satan to test Job by allowing him to take away all the wealth and even his children in one day. Talk about our bad days!  They are nothing compared to what Job experienced.
     In Chapter 1:13-19, Job learns as one messenger after another comes to tell him his animals had been stolen, his
Troubles in life like small gators can become big ones if
we don't trust God.
 servants were killed, fire fell from heaven destroying his sheep and their servants, his camels were stolen, and worst of all,  the house where his children were dining fell upon them and killed them all.  This was a devastating loss and Job tore his robe, shaved his head and fell on the ground.  Verse 20-21 tells us that he worshipped God and said:  "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return.  The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."  Indeed, Job loved the Lord with all his heart and did not curse Him in all he lost.
     Further reading reveals Satan's further challenge to God concerning Job.  He told the Lord that if Job was afflicted he would certainly curse his Maker.  Once again, God allowed Job to be tested but not put to death.  Satan then attacked him with sores and boils all over his body causing great pain and suffering.  Now, not only was Job grieving for his lost children and holdings, but he was also enduring chronic ill health.  His own wife mocked him for remaining faithful to God.
     Certainly, Job did not know what was going on in heaven.  He could not understand why all this happened to him.  He was unaware of any sin which he had committed so he had no reason to repent. Lets consider for a moment how we would react.    Haven't there been occasions when we have all undergone hard times?  We cannot imagine why this has happened to us either.  There are some things we are not meant to know, and this is where trust in the Lord comes in.  Deuteronomy 29:29 says:  “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."
     Job did not know what was going on in heaven.  He was living with veiled eyes as we do.  However, God, through His Word, has pulled the curtain back for us to see what was behind everything that happened to this man.  For us, it should be encouragement because at every turn God was in control.  He knew Job was faithful.  The Lord had His purposes for testing this man, and He has a purpose for all that comes to us as well.  We may never understand them in this life, but for the Christian, a day of understanding will come when we see the Lord.  The Apostle Paul wrote these words of encouragement in I Corinthians 13:12:  "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known."
     God has called us to a walk of faith not based on sight or our senses but based upon the full counsel of His inspired and infallible Word.  He has given us the Bible so that we may know Him and what He requires of us.  The secret things, however, belong to Him.  This is why we must live in a trusting relationship with the Lord.
     In the end of this book, God restores to Job twice as much as he had before including seven sons and three daughters.  Of course, Job had no way to know that this would happen.  His trust was based not on what God could do for him but on God's perfect character.  The Lord is gracious and full of compassion which is demonstrated in this story.
     As we walk through the trials of life, let us remember Job.  Because he loved the Lord, God did sustain Him through all the heartache.  He will do the same for us.  We may not always understand why things happen the way they do, but we are not privy to all that is going on behind the scenes for our good and God's glory.  Therefore, let us be bold to live a life in faith trusting God to work all things together for good as He said in His Word.  Selah!

No comments: