Summary: Keeping the right persceptive and hope in difficult times
We are going to read of a man during the next few weeks that had everything taken from Him.
Job would lose his wealth, his health, his family, his happiness and everything that could
possibly give him any type of comfort emotionally or physically.
His so called friends even were not loyal to him and criticized him. Really it might be said that all He would have left was the breath that he breathed.
Never the less….
21 Job said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” 22 Through all this Job did no sin nor did he blame God.”
We may never understand suffering or why it happens but we can understand God’s overwhelming power and majesty and justice.
Job even comes to the realization at the end of Job that there were things to wonderful for Him to understand and repented from His attitude of despair.
We often think that we would like to end all suffering in our lives and control the circumstances ourselves.
The message of Job I think is that we focus on the wrong thing. We focus on the suffering when we should focus on the power, wisdom and majesty of God.
How should we respond when difficult times come our way?
1. We keep the correct perspective. (21a)
21 Job said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.”
The truth is this: The very breath that we breathe will soon be taken from us.
This is not a fatalistic statement for a Christian but a true statement and one that should push us to look for and to hold onto that which can never be taken away from us.
We act and live our lives as if we could actually install a trailer hitch on the hearse that will one day carry our bodies to the grave and haul a U Haul trailer with us to the cemetery.
You can’t take your riches with you but you can send them ahead.
Matthew 6: 19-20 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.”
The correct perspective is to understand that we are only partakers in the Lord’s handiwork for a short period of time and He gives and takes away as he pleases.
To take it a step further, we make a mistake in thinking that material wealth is a sign of God’s blessing. Many time it is that wealth that we cling to that keeps us from experiencing the true peace of God.
How easy it is to put much stock into that which is not eternal. Our houses, bank accounts, hobbies and expensive toys mean nothing in all eternity.
Is it wrong to enjoy for a period of time that which God has blessed you with? No, but there really is a fine line between enjoyment and worship.
Difficult times have a way of defining our true heart and its loyalty.
2. We praise God for who He is not what He does for us. (21b)
“Blessed be the name of the Lord”
Can we honor and praise God simply for who He is even when our earthly circumstances seem very dark and difficult?
What a spiritual blessing and lesson we can learn that will strengthen us throughout our life. God doesn’t change depending on what happens in our life. He controls circumstances of our lives as His children, but His character cannot change.
In the most difficult times of life, when the sorrow is the very greatest and our burdens seem to weigh down our souls, is when the unchanging nature of God can often be seen the clearest.
How hypocritical it is to think God is good only when the circumstances of our lives or those we love go the way according to that which we desire. Later on we read in chapter 2 Job telling his wife in verse 10 ”…Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?”
If anything, the changing circumstances of this life which include our wealth, health and happiness, should push us to hold on fast to the unchanging character of God.
The longer we live the more we understand that change is a constant. We have health one day and sickness the very next. We have money in savings one day and are broke the next. We are talking with our love ones on one day and then left in loneliness the next.