Friday, January 31, 2014

Living Through "Job's Life" Part 4 - January 31, 2014

Job 2:3-7 (New Living Translation)
3 Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil. And he has maintained his integrity, even though you urged me to harm him without cause.”

4 Satan replied to the Lord, “Skin for skin! A man will give up everything he has to save his life. 5 But reach out and take away his health, and he will surely curse you to your face!”

6 “All right, do with him as you please,” the Lord said to Satan. “But spare his life.” 7 So Satan left the Lord’s presence, and he struck Job with terrible boils from head to foot.

Losing those around us is one thing, but how would we react if we "lost our health"? How would we react to God if He allowed us to be stricken with a debilitating illness? I am sure that this is very close to home for many Christians, because many who love God suffer daily as their lives waste away. When you read Job, you wonder how God could so callously allow such a righteous man suffer so for the mere sake of proving Satan wrong. How could God play with people in that way?

In reading this I was struck by a couple of things. First, it is Satan who brings disease and trouble into our world. He is the originator of all that is evil and bad( it's a wonder that so many people unwittingly serve his side by turning their backs on God). Second, God permits the righteous to suffer at the hands of evil. That is a real eye-opener for some people; how could a loving God in His permissive will allow evil to happen to good people?

My belief is that the story of Job shows us that God is ultimately the steward of our lives, and even though the go through tests and trials, they are meant to strengthen us in our faith. God desires ultimate good for us and eternal intimacy with all of us, but we go through a process to get there. The Book of Job is one of the oldest in the Bible, and as you chronologically go through its narrative, you experience God's working through His relationship with mankind, eventually restoring His communion with us in Jesus Christ.

Sickness and ill health our very difficult for us to go through, but God has a purpose for everything we go through. Our responsibility is to seek Him and to stay close to Him, reflecting the love of Jesus as we go through our trial. Many do this, and they are a testament to all of us. There is nothing that brings Him glory more than when we identify with Christ in our suffering and we maintain the joy He gives us. He will see us through our circumstance, and at the end He will bless us for it.

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