“But someone will say, ‘you have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18) and, “For as the body apart from the spiritis dead, so also faith apart from works is dead” (James 2:26).

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How can we relate to Job?

Job God allows not only bad things to happen in our lives, but terrible things. Why? The difficult truth is that God is glorified through the suffering of his children and through that suffering, we develop an unwavering trust in God, because no matter what happens, we can focus on God’s love and eternity: heaven. Let's take a quick look at the book of Job. Jobs prosperity: (Job:1-3)There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. God’s Odd Bet with Satan: (vs.1:9) Does Job fear God for no reason? (Job 1:11-12) 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. Job’s response to catastrophe: (vs. 1:22) 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong He still believes in God’s sovereignty amidst adversity.(Job 2:10) Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?”[a] In all this Job did not sin with his lips But Job doesn't understand his trouble.(Vs.3:1-26) Why is light given to him who is in misery, and life to the bitter in soul, 21 who long for death, but it comes not, and dig for it more than for hidden treasures, 22 who rejoice exceedingly and are glad when they find the grave? 23 Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in? 24 For my sighing comes instead of[a] my bread, and my groanings are poured out like water. 25 For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me. 26 I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, but trouble comes.” Job’s friends think it was because he sinned against God. a. (vs. 4:1 Eliphaz speaks—only the innocent prosper) “Remember: who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off? 8 As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.” b. (Vs.8: Bildad thinks Job should repent) “If you will seek God and plead with the Almighty for mercy, 6 if you are pure and upright, surely then he will rouse himself for you and restore your rightful habitation.” c. (vs.11:20:Zopher thinks Job deserves worse) “But the eyes of the wicked will fail; all way of escape will be lost to them, and their hope is to breathe their last.” d. (vs. 33:12-13: Elihu rebukes Job) Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you, for God is greater than man. 13 Why do you contend against him, saying, ‘He will answer none of man's words’? Through all this, Job maintains his innocence, but questions the Lord. The Lord answers Job: (Job 38-41) 38:1“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Dress for action[a] like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Job confesses and repents: (Job 42:1-3) 1. Then Job answered the LORD and said: 2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Herein lies our dilemma with bad things happening to good people. We don't always know why, but it happens and it is beyond our understanding. We don't know God's reasons, but he has them. As Job, did, we must trust in the Lord.