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By: Larry Shaffer
Job Lesson 4
There are times when, in the middle of suffering and dire situations in my life, I will spend considerable time in prayer on my knees. However, sometimes, my specific prayers, which are prayers for good (in my eyes), are not answered. I have seen the exact opposite of what I’m praying happen. This is very frustrating. Once again, I fall into the ‘WHY? WHY? WHY?’ ditch.
Has this ever happened to you? How are we supposed to process this? Others may try to console us with “God’s ways are not our ways,” or “The Lord has greater plans,” or “Keep trusting God for a miracle.” These are true and certainly well meaning. But when you are really in a pit of despair, they often fall short of making us feel any better.
For me, the words of others are all fine and good, but I have found the daily reinforcement of God’s Word in my heart and soul, gives me the strength and grace to maintain my faith in God. There’s no shortcut to spending time in His Word and infusing the truth of God’s grace and mercy into the depth of your heart. This infusion strengthens our souls and affirms the noble and good purposes of God in our lives.
So, you had a bad day?
Just when I think I have it bad…consider Job! A messenger came to Job and said, ‘the oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, and the Sabeans attacked and took them. They also slew the servants with the edge of the sword…
While he was still speaking, another also came and said, ‘The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them…
While he was still speaking, another also came and said, ‘The Chaldean’s formed three bands and made a raid on the camels and took them and slew the servants with the edge of the sword…
While he was still speaking, another also came and said, ‘Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died…
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped…Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God. 1:13-22
Job was tough as nails but he eventually caved in and demand that God justify himself. I don’t think any of us blame him. God gave us the story of Job to reveal the extremes of suffering and the testing of a Godly man. But once God accomplished His purposes in Job’s heart, He brought blessings.
The Lord restored the fortunes of Job…He blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. 42:10ff. Job chapters 1-41 are excruciating. But be reminded that chapter 42 is coming! God restored and blessed.
Ruth and Naomi returned to Bethlehem and cried; The Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. The Lord has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me. But be reminded, God send Boaz and the people of the village spoke of Ruth and Naomi and said, blessed is the Lord who has not left you with a redeemer today! God restored and blessed.
Mary and Martha wept when their brother Lazarus died an untimely death. They scolded Jesus for not being there to heal him. But be reminded, Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God? God raised him from the dead, He restored and blessed.
Three times, Paul pleaded with God to remove the thorn of the flesh. God said no! But be reminded, Jesus said to him, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. God restored and blessed.
On Friday, Mary, the mother of Jesus wept uncontrollably. But be reminded, Sunday is coming.
God will bring restoration and blessing to you. (I just wish He would hurry up sometimes 🙂
Father, may I love You with a passion that can never cool; believe in You with a confidence that never staggers; hope in You with an expectation that can never dim; delight in You with a rejoicing that cannot be stifled. I’m too weak to this on my own. Show Your strength in my weakness. Amen.