job >>> the man

job

Job. Such a little name for such a great guy. Stripped of his family, wealth, livestock, and health, Job endured much, probably more than most of us could handle. As we read the book of Job, we expect the story of a man who turned his back on God, especially after all he went through. But, in actuality, it’s the complete opposite! Praise the Lord for that. In all that Job went through, he did not once sin before God. Ponder that for a sec. He did not sin. That’s a #mindblown moment right there!

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In today’s devotional, I want to share with you something that stood out to me a few days ago. But first, I want you to review Job’s circumstances. In the beginning of the book, Satan approaches God. God mentions to Satan how righteous His servant Job is. After “attacking Job’s character”, as my Bible says he did, Satan tells God to destroy all of Job’s belongings, believing that only then will Job curse God. God refuses, and instead permits Satan to do the job, without laying “a hand on his person.” Later, we read that Job loses his property, his children, and his health. And on top of all that, his wife turns against him. The next several chapters of the book is a detailed conversation between Job and his wicked friends who claim to be righteous. His friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, blame Job for all that has happened to him. They repeatedly say that it’s all because of Job’s sin. Yet, Job was a righteous man. Job, however, always has a great comeback. He relays to his friends that God did allow those bad things to happen, and yet Job still doesn’t curse God. What faith! Throughout the discussion, we also see Job’s immense sorrow. He is obviously shocked by his troubles, and undoubtedly so. He has every right to be sad. Yet, he doesn’t sin before God.

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Now that you have a review of Job’s circumstances, let’s get into the devo. As I read Job’s conversation with his friends, I was convicted by his patience, faith, and trust. He was patient with his friends, he believed that God knew what He was doing, and he trusted that God would deliver him from this trial. Let’s read this excerpt from Job that’s just so amazing:

“Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! That they were engraved on a rock with an iron pen and lead, forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! If you should say, ‘How shall we persecute him?’ since the root of the matter is found in me, be afraid of the sword for yourselves; for wrath brings the punishment of the sword, that you may know there is a judgement.” -Job 19:23-29

 Let’s just ponder the first few sentences. Here, Job is wishing that his words would be put in a book. What’d ya know! They were!! God is so entirely faithful. From there, Job goes into several verses of praise to his Redeemer! I love that Job praises God despite his troubles. We tend to often think that its the actual trials that define us, but I believe it’s our response to the trials that defines and refines us. Define, meaning that it proves who we are in Christ, and refine, meaning it strengthens us in our relationship with our Lord. As you read the book of Job, you can clearly see Job’s personality and personal maturity in his faith. Without his trial, the book of Job would be a blank. And without Job’s life troubles, I wouldn’t be writing this post. Job’s hardships defined him, and definitely refined him.

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So, how do you respond to trials? Do you freak out? Or are you calm and composed? Do you regret you were ever born, like Job did? Or do you praise the Lord in everything, like Job did? Do you curse God? Or do you humbly submit to God’s decisions, like Job did? How do you react? Ask yourself this question. Whether you’re not currently going through something, you’re in the midst of a trial, or you just went through one, it is a beneficial and important question to ask and answer. Examining ourselves is a vital aspect of being a Christian. The Bible says in Psalms 139:23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties.” We need to periodically ask God to reveal any wickedness in our heart. God knows our heart better than we even do! So let Him search your heart and reveal to you anything that needs to go.

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Job’s response to his trials was his defining point. His response was out of this world amazing!! At this point, his friends have turned against him, his wife has told him to curse God, and all of his children have been killed. He has nothing and no one in the world except for his life and his faith in God. He has been stripped of everything except those two things.Yet in the excerpt mentioned above, he praises the Lord! He comforts himself by stating that when he dies, he shall at last see God face to face. Job’s hope is Heaven. He says, “how my heart yearns within me”. How right he is. Job is obviously very heavenly minded. He doesn’t long for material wealth, he longs for the things of God. Here’s where we can take application for our own lives! The Bible says in Philippians 3:18-20, “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…” The point is, our citizenship is not here on earth. Yes, we live here (obviously), but we are not permanent residents. You could say that we are “renting” here on earth while Jesus builds our house in Heaven. 🙂 So we must “eagerly wait for the Savior”. Don’t focus on the stuff of the world, because it’s all going to pass. Only focus on heavenly things, because those are the things that will last forever and ever, into eternity.

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At the end of chapter 19, Job speaks to his friends directly. He basically says that since they believe the fault is in him, they need to be afraid of the judgement that is coming quickly for them! What a convicting thing to say to your friends. But Job, in a sense, is being kind to them and warning them. His friends believe that the reason for Job’s hardships is because of some secret sin he’s committed. Job knows that that is not the case, but instead of getting angry, he kindly but firmly warns them to stop, examine, and be prepared for God’s wrath and judgement. If only everyone had a friend like Job!

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Job. The man. And what a man he was! I highly encourage you to read the book of Job! It’s packed full of applicable life lessons that everyone needs to read! Let’s make sure our response to trials is holy and right. Let’s be determined to be a light to all who know and meet us. And finally, let’s be like Job and give God all the praise and glory, no matter the circumstance.

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