Friday, July 17, 2009

Remaining faithful when life gets hard

Job 27:1 Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,
Job 27:2 As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul;

The things that were happening to Job, he had no answers as to why, he was not understanding and vexed by the advice of his two friends. We do not have to know why God allows things to happen in our lives. We just know that he is greater than our circumstances. Job is for our example.

Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Job 27:3 All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;
Job 27:4 My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.

Job was not going to blame God or bring dishonor to his LORD. We are tempted to react in the flesh as others of the flesh, but we are to trust God and not complain. Usually with time, things will get better for God is faithful. Job had suffered greatly for no fault of his own. Satan was allowed to afflict him; the purpose was to show that Job was faithful to God. Will we remain faithful? We must keep our eyes on Jesus.

Heb 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
Job 1:11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Hear this now; we are going to face persecutions and afflictions and hard times. In these times we are to remain faithful, trusting the LORD. All others may fail you, but you must remain faithful. As the song goes: the God of the mountain is God of the valley, he doesn't change, so we do not leave our walk with him, we keep going.

Job's wife was to be his companion and comforter, but she had little faith in the LORD. She was less than helpful.

Job 2:7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
Job 2:8 And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.
Job 2:9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
Job 2:10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

It takes faith and commitment to remain faithful when your closest friend gives you bad advice. This is why Jesus spoke of loving him and following him to be his disciple.

Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

The Greek word for hate means to love less and less, whereas we are to love and follow Jesus and to serve him more and more. We are to know the voice of God and obey him above all others, even those who try to help us with their wisdom; the wisdom of God is greater.

1 Cor 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1 Cor 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
1 Cor 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Job 27:5 God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.

Job was not going to agree with his friends who found fault with him, giving reasons why he was afflicted. He was not going to give them a piece of himself, but he was determined to stay faithful to God, who is the judge of all.

Job 27:6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.

His righteousness was as Abraham, through faith in the word and promises of God. Our righteousness is by faith in Jesus Christ who was not yet revealed to Job.

Job 27:7 Let mine enemy be as the wicked, and he that riseth up against me as the unrighteous.
Job 27:8 For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?

Mat 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Mat 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

We are not to envy the worlds wicked who make gain by wickedness. The soul is eternal. We are to prepare for eternal life in all that we do. When life disappoints you, count your many blessings. Often we covet what God has not ordained for us. Trust God for all good things and in times of heartache and pain. Do as David, who when all blamed him and forsook him, he encouraged himself in the LORD.

1 Sam 30:6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

Job 27:9 Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him?
Job 27:10 Will he delight himself in the Almighty? will he always call upon God?

This is the final proof of who trusts the LORD. Will God hear the wicked? maybe not.
If Job were wicked and sinful as his friends reasoned him to be, would he continue to delight himself in the LORD? Will he always call on the LORD?

2 Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

The wicked will turn away and curse God, but Job proved his righteousness by faith, by remaining faithful. We will remain faithful, no matter what comes. Trust the LORD, realize the enemies of your soul and continue to trust. Life will get better in His time.

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