Monday, January 19, 2015

Did Job struggle? Can he teach me anything?

"Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he 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.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.' (Job 1:20-22)


Who has not read this passage for the first time and thought, "Wow, Job is indeed a righteous man, I could never be like that..." or read it during a trial of some sort and thought "Wow, now there's an exception, there's an extraordinary man.....I just can't seem to get to that place Job was at...".
On the one hand we might be tempted to believe that Job was a different 'sort' of man, that he was unique and if that's the case then what's recorded concerning him has no application for us, God forbid we think that. On the other hand we might be tempted to assume that Job didn't have to wrestle against the flesh when he worshiped and praised the Lord.
Even in the short introduction of Job we see that Job was a man who feared God, a man who had a habit of turning to God, a man who was concerned even about inward sins, a man who resisted evil, thus Job was a man who's mind was renewed by truths concerning God.
A righteous man is not a perfect man, but a man who makes a habit of turning to God, a man who repents quickly and often. Job was such a man, a man like other men who had to resist temptation, who had to cast down thoughts, who had to cling to promises, and who had to IN ALL things come before the throne of God seeking grace in his time of need!
It would be no stretch or assault upon the passage to assume even in chapter 1, that Job was TEMPTED to think and believe LIES which he never uttered. 
Perhaps the thought that God was not good crossed his mind, the thought that God was not in control, the thought that God did not care, and perhaps that God was unjust in all of this. Can you not relate to such temptations? You might not only be able to relate to the temptations, but you can easily recall the death birthed from yielding to those temptations, the sorrow upon sorrow, the hopelessness, the fears, the doubts, the suffocating anxiety, the endless complaints, the bitter envy and anger that flows from yielding to the flesh at such times.
Furthermore it needs to be pointed out that Job's SORROW was not considered sin or lack of righteousness, THAT my friends is normal and good. Can you then, see his statement, his confession in the midst of these sufferings as a rebuke to those lying temptations, as a thrust of the Sword of Truth defending the unchanging character of God Almighty?! 
“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.”
Hence the NECESSITY of hiding the WORD of God in our hearts, that we may cling to WHO He is, that we may fight the lies of our mind with the truth revealed by God, that we may command our emotions to bow before the Word of our Lord!
The Lord our God is not only in control, but He is GOOD and working all things for the GOOD of His people, He is just and ultimately never gives His people what they deserve but has purchased grace for us through the death of His Son (which just happens to be how God 'demonstrated His love for us'), and that He cares! Can we not see this being proclaimed throughout scripture? We see God comforting His people over and over again by reminding them that He is WITH them and that He is working towards an end, namely our joyous eternity WITH Him. We see God encouraging/instructing/commanding us to seek Him in our 'time of trouble', to ask as a child to a father, to make 'our requests known', to 'cast our cares upon' Him ('because HE CARES for us'). Yes EVEN when it's a result of discipline for sin, we see a pattern of God using such to the same end; DRAWING us closer to Him, for our good and certainly for HIS GLORY!
Yield not to those lies that demand to be heard, rather make a habit of meditating upon the words of the Lord, especially upon His immutable attributes, and make a habit of crying out to Him for increased faith and strength especially in our times of trials BEFORE we let our thoughts and emotions have their way within us, then by God's grace we too might exclaim in worship WHO our God is, just like Job!

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