Tag Archive | Job

All things..

 

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Romans 8 : 28 is one of my favorite scriptures.  The NIV says And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

I also like the KJV version of this verse..And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Both translations are making the same point. God works everything together for our God and to fulfill His purposes. It is reassuring to know that nothing is happening without His permission.. that He is always working behind the scenes and His plans and purposes will prevail. I was recently reading the first chapter of Job.. it is quite an eye opener when it comes to explaining trials and tests. The NLT version tells the story this way;

“One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan,came with them. “Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan.

Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.”

 Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”

 Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”

 “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence.”

The Lord granted the enemy permission to test Job. That’s right.. He allowed all those things to happen to a righteous man. Job’s losses were not punishment. They were from God.. He was involved and He even suggested that Job be tested.. why? Because He knew Job and He was going to use all of this suffering for good in this man’s life. Of course while Job was suffering.. he did not know that and he doubted and challenged God. Eventually by the end of the book.. he realized his folly in questioning God.. The Lord reminded him of who He was.. the creator and sovereign God of the universe. Job was humbled and realized he has no right to question God’s ways.. All things will work together for the good of those who love Him.. those who trust Him ..those who submit themselves to Him.. those who lean into Him when times are hard.. ALL THINGS!

 

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A Dip

We spent the weekend at a church theological retreat. Our speaker was a wonderful seminary professor, Mark Futato. He taught on the wisdom books of the Bible..Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and today at church we heard his perspective on the book of Job. All of the teaching was amazing and enlightening, but today really touched my heart.

His insights on Job were so refreshing, I’ve never heard anyone explain it so well. We often hear Job’s name and think of nothing but all the suffering he went through, but that is not the heart of the book. Job’s life started well and ended even better. He was a man who honored God and he was one who walked on the path that God prepared for him. His life was filled with blessings before the dip. When God allowed him to be tested, everything was taken away.

We hear his friends telling him to repent and we read of Job crying out in desperation to the Lord. He knew he was innocent and that he had done nothing to deserve what was happening. He had no idea why God allowed these things to happen, but he persevered..even in his confusion. Exactly what we need to do when we go into a dip.

Mark reminded us that a dip is not a dead-end. He helped us remember that we can take all of our confusion and angry emotions to the Lord and that He will not be shocked or surprised since He already knows our struggle. The one thing that we cannot do is quit..we have to continue, to persevere, and to trust that God will come for us and we will be restored the same way Job was.

So if you are in a dip.. a place of loss and stress..an unbearable situation that makes no sense and if you know that you did not stray off the path and that God has been leading you..be like Job. Be tenacious and hang on because you will receive the blessing that he received. By the end of the book he has been restored and has twice as much as he had in the beginning. He still never truly understood the reason for the dip..God did not reveal that to him, but He knew God in a deeper way than ever before.

Lord, for those of us who feel left alone in the dip, we choose to believe that you will come for us..that you have not forgotten us and like Job, we will praise your name when you pull us out. You will get the glory and we will enjoy the blessings that you bring into our lives. 

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The last chapter of Job says this…

“So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters.”

Every piece is in place..

Exactly where it a should be. I have written about this before..an important thought that we must never forget. God has a plan for our lives..we don’t know what that plan looks like because it is His plan and not ours. Yes..we make choices..mistakes..we fail..everything does not go perfectly. That does not mean His plan is not in place..in fact it is proof that it is.

Suppose we decide how we want our lives to go and everything happens exactly according to our plans for our own lives. What does this suggest? Yes! You got it. We are living our lives without including God. We don’t need Him..our ways are perfect. Of course that never really happens.. I am creating an extreme example of how we tend to view things when we are taken by surprise and challenges overwhelm us. We feel like something is wrong. Not according to the Bible and what it says about God.

” His ways are not ours”..” His thoughts are not ours”..” In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world”.. ” My plans for you are for good and not for evil” . I often think about the ending of the book of Job. Remember the story? Job loved God and God took away everything from this man. Why? Well..that is never totally explained. God doesn’t have to explain what He does or why. We do know that God gave him back everything he had plus more.. He is the Redeemer.

At the end of the story Job says to the Lord..” I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You asked ‘Who is it that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I–I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things too wonderful for me. You said,’Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I have said, and I sit in the dust and ashes to show my repentance.”

Job was humbled..by his own story and by the greatness of God. Maybe he needed to suffer the way he did.. to be able to say what he said in this last chapter of his story. Maybe the very things that we wish never happened will enable us to truly see the face of God. Maybe God’s plan for our lives is unfolding perfectly with every piece in place.

“I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.”

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