Posts Tagged ‘Job’

Stable in the Storm

March 30, 2015

Job was a man who had been blessed by God.  He had a large family and he was materially wealthy.  He was a faithful servant of God.  One day, God allowed him to be tested to the breaking point.  In a single day his children died, and all of his material goods were lost.  His response is classic.

I.  Job’s Response to Loss:  Job 1:20-22

Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

This response to loss has become the ideal by which believer’s measure their own response to loss.  We do not always measure up.  Fear, anger, depression, sorrow, are all a part of how we may respond in ways that fall short.

Job handled the initial loss so well, that God allowed him to be tested even further.  His health was the next area to be attacked.  Even his wife encouraged him to abandon his faith.  Job held firm.

II.  Job’s Response to Illness:  Job 2:9-10

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”

10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

The ability to accept both good and adversity is an ability we should all desire.  The ability to remain stable in the storms of life is a wonderful testimony of a mature faith.

III.  Stable in the Storm

A.  Seek God

Psalms 37:4

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

If our delight is in the Lord, God will be our source of strength and stability.  If our greatest desire is to know God, God will reveal Himself to us.  Our joy, our delight, should be foremost in our relationship with God.  No one can take that from us.

Romans 8: 38-39

 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

B.  Serve God

Colossians 3:23

 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,

We serve God in all areas of our life.  It is not just in going to church, giving, praying and so forth.  We can serve God by how we live, how we work, how we play; in all areas of our life.

Romans 12:1

 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

We give our whole lives to God, not just a portion of them.

C.  All Good Gifts: James 1:17

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

As we seek God, and serve God, He will bless us with a variety of gifts.  Sometimes those gifts can become a threat to our relationship with God.    It is important that we always seek the Giver, not the gifts.

God is to be, and remain, our true source of stability in the storms of life.

These are the sermon notes from 3/22/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

My Redeemer Lives

December 23, 2013

Job is an unusual book to begin a Christmas message, but that is where my message is starting today.

I.  My Redeemer Lives:  Job 19:23-25

“Oh, that my words were written!
Oh, that they were inscribed in a book!
24 That they were engraved on a rock
With an iron pen and lead, forever!
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;

Job is considered by many to have lived about the same time as Abraham.  That would place him about 2000 BC. In his misery, as he is arguing with his friends he blurts out this statement of hope.   “My Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth:” .  At the time it was  a deeply held conviction that God would somehow redeem him.   As we look back, we know that Jesus Christ is the Redeemer, and that he did indeed stand upon the earth about two thousand years ago.

Job looked forward to the time of Christ and professed his hope.  We look back to the the time of Christ and profess our belief.  Still today, we can cry out “Our Redeemer lives!”  and “He shall stand at last on the earth”.  The difference is that we look back to the time when Christ came as a servant, and we look forward to the time when He returns as King.

II.  The Word Becomes Flesh:  John 1:1-5,14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

We know that Jesus is our redeemer.  I love these verses in John that speak of the incarnation of Christ, here called the Word.  It is one of the scriptures which clearly identifies Christ as God.  That is, of course, what we truly celebrate at Christmas, that God became a man, and dwelt among us for a time.  He was the light that shines in the darkness.

Not everyone understands.  Not everyone is drawn to the light.  We should not be surprised when people reject the message of hope that we offer.  We should not be discouraged, but continue to allow the light of Christ to shine through our lives.  Some will reject that message, but some will receive it.

III.  I Shall See God:  Job 19:26-27

And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
27 Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!

The Old Testament does not speak frequently about life beyond the grave, but in this instance Job cries out a conviction that we share, that after death, we shall see God.  I am reminded of the verse “to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5:8)

Christ came to earth to be our redeemer.  We celebrate His birth at Christmas, but more importantly we proclaim our faith in Him as the Messiah, the one who saves us from our sings, the one who reconciles us to God, the one in whom we have the hope of everlasting life.

Our redeemer lives!

These are the sermon notes from 12/22/13.  You are welcome to ask questions or make comments.

Any advertisements attached to this blog are placed there by wordpress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

A Lesson From Job

September 20, 2012

I.  Job’s Test: Job chapters 1&2

The summary of this story is that Job was an upright, godly man whom God had richly blessed with material wealth and ten children.  God gave permission to Satan to take away everything that Job had been given, to see if he would still praise God.  Job responded with the words. “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1: 21b)

Satan is then given permission to afflict Job’s health.  He again responds with wonderful words of faith. ” Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”

Clearly Job passes the test in the first stages.

Job’s friends then come to comfort him and instead of offering comfort they accuse him of wrongdoing.  He argues with them, saying that he is not guilty of anything, and that he does not understand why these things have happened to him.

II.  Job’s Misery Job 7:1-10

Is there not a time of hard service for man on earth?
Are not his days also like the days of a hired man?
Like a servant who earnestly desires the shade,
And like a hired man who eagerly looks for his wages,
So I have been allotted months of futility,
And wearisome nights have been appointed to me.
When I lie down, I say, ‘When shall I arise,
And the night be ended?’
For I have had my fill of tossing till dawn.
My flesh is caked with worms and dust,
My skin is cracked and breaks out afresh.

“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
And are spent without hope.
Oh, remember that my life is a breath!
My eye will never again see good.
The eye of him who sees me will see me no more;
While your eyes are upon me, I shall no longer be.
As the cloud disappears and vanishes away,
So he who goes down to the grave does not come up.
10 He shall never return to his house,
Nor shall his place know him anymore.

As time has gone on and Job continues in his misery, he longs for death to take him.  He is tired of life.

III Job’s Faith Job 19:23-27

“Oh, that my words were written!
Oh, that they were inscribed in a book!
24 That they were engraved on a rock
With an iron pen and lead, forever!
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
27 Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!

This is a wonderful declaration of faith and hope in the midst of misery and despair.  Job believed that even after his flesh was destroyed he would one day stand before God his Redeemer.  I see in these verses both hope for today and confidence in tomorrow, a confidence placed in faith in our redeemer, a hope that goes beyond the grave.

IV.  Job’s Lesson

When bad things happen in our life, I believe it is appropriate to ask ourselves some important questions.

Has this evil come about because of the consequences of some bad choices on our part?  If we get hurt because we decided to try “car surfing” and we fall off the vehicle, do we really need to look for any other reason for our injury?

Are we living in unrepentant sin?  If we are willingly, and knowingly, continuing in a sinful behavior it is entirely possible that God has removed his hedge of protection, or his hand of blessing.  If this is the case, we simply need to repent of our sin.

Are we living in rebellion or disobedience.  Are we like Jonah?  Has God given us direction that we have refused to take in our lives?  If this is the case, then we need to listen to the voice of the Spirit and follow the guidance that God has given to us.

If none of the above questions apply to us, then we can recognize that the circumstances are a test.  We can pray and ask God for deliverance.  We can remember that God is with us, that He is in control, and that we are ultimately victorious as we trust in God.