These hard times won’t lastPublished 9:07am Friday, July 27, 2012
Across the Pastor’s Desk
By the Rev. George Marin, Grace Christian Church
In the book of Job we read about an upright man who made a habit of avoiding evil. He was a generous man and a man of integrity. Yet so much trouble came into his life. According to scripture, we learn that Job was not personally responsible for the troubles that had befallen him. He had done no evil to deserve his trials and loss, yet the troubles came.
There are so many lessons to learn from the story of Job. These lessons go far beyond the obvious ones of patience in the midst of trials, keeping a positive attitude or even choosing not to curse God for what had happened to him. Those are the obvious lessons that jump out at us. Yet, I’d like to bring you a word of encouragement from a little bit different perspective. I hope it blesses you and lifts you today!
We read in the first chapter of Job’s story that Satan came before God and accused Job. His accusation was that Job only served God because God had been good to him. Satan challenged God to stretch forth his hand and to trouble Job, but God did not take the bait. What God did instead was to allow Satan to try Job and his loyalty to God. As Job’s life began to fall apart, all those around him thought it was God who sent the trouble into Job’s life. However, this was not the case. So, the first thing we see is that God was not the one that sent the trouble, but the enemy, Satan, was the responsible one. Please know this today: If you are facing trouble and trials in your life, if you can’t seem to see clearly because of all that has come your way, know that God is not mad at you. He doesn’t hate you, and he certainly does not have it in for you! God loves you more than you could ever fathom. He is on your side. Even though there is an enemy of your souls that wants to see you give up God and yourself, God is on your side!
The second lesson we learn from Job’s story is that there was a beginning, a middle and an end to his trouble. The trouble began when Satan challenged God to trouble Job, but God wouldn’t do it. Satan then had permission to bring Job trials and trouble. In the beginning, Job lost all of his physical, temporal assets: his cattle, camels, sheep, donkeys, etc. Then all of his children lost their lives in the house where they were eating. This was all the beginning of Job’s troubles. Then when Job would still not curse God to his face, Satan secured permission to attack Job’s body. At that point, when his health went down the tubes, Job was so troubled that he sought God. He wanted to plead his case before God but he couldn’t seem to find him. It is at that point, in the middle the story, that Job declares his famous quotes… “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. But he knows the way that I take and when he has tried me, I will come forth as pure gold. Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.” What a positive attitude this good man had. In spite of all that had happened to him, he was still faithful to God!
At the end of Job’s story we read, “…and God turned the afflictions of Job!” The turnaround was so great that God gave Job twice as much as he had before his troubles. God had literally given Job “double for his trouble!”
I leave you with these thoughts:
1. There was a beginning date and an ending date to Job’s trouble. Know that the same goes for you. There is a beginning date and there is an end date to what you’re going through! Don’t give up before things turn around for you! Please don’t give up on yourself and certainly don’t give up on God!
2. Job was able to trust God! “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.” My friend, you can trust God. He’s not the sender of your trouble. He will see you through!
3. “And God turned the afflictions of Job.” God is about to turn your situation around. Don’t give in, don’t give out and don’t give up! God will not leave you in the trouble you are in. He will save you. You are his child and he loves you. He is your savior. He will save you because that’s what he does!