Day 9: Job
In all my Christian life, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a sermon from the book of Job. It’s generally avoided, because it’s main theme is suffering and lets be honest, it’s nobody’s favourite topic.
Job (pronounced johb) was a prosperous and righteous man, who God allowed to be tested. Through no fault of his own, Job lost his wife, his children, his home, his herds, his livelihood and his health. Almost overnight his life lay in ruins, and everything that made him happy was taken away from him.
In the end Job was restored, and was blessed even more than before, but as we delve into Job’s painful journey towards that restoration, we can learn some key lessons about how we respond to challenge:
Lesson 1: Worship is a powerful weapon against adversity.
Job would go on to react in many ways, but his first response can be found in Job 1:20-21. We read that he fell to the ground in worship, and declared may the name of the Lord be praised.
Lesson 2: We have ups and downs, but don’t lose hope.
In times of crisis it’s normal to experience a full range of emotions. Job cried, he was depressed, he was angry and even borderline suicidal. But, under girding all of his emotions was a conviction that God hadn’t left him. This is captured perfectly in Job 19:25-27
25 I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
Lesson 3: Be wary of those who have all the answers.
Chapters 3-31 tell of three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar who try to explain Job’s calamity. Our biggest temptation during times of suffering and challenge can be to ask why, yet God nearly always points us away from this question towards trusting in him absolutely. Jobs’ three friends all had explanations for what he was facing, and although they were well meaning, they were ultimately all wrong.
Lesson 4: God is in control.
Chapter 38:1 – 41:34 is God’s response to Job. God didn’t answer his questions, but in a powerful and poetic way, he restored Job’s faith in that fact that God is sovereign and ultimately in control. Give this section a read for some helpful perspective on life!
Lesson 5: Look towards Jesus.
Although Job was written before Jesus came to earth, so many of Job’s questions and problems are answered perfectly in Jesus who is the mediator, the advocate and the redeemer that Job sought. Unlike Job, we have a clear path to God and an advocate in Jesus who is seated in heaven on our behalf.
It’s our reaction to challenge which defines us. Remember even in the darkest of situations, there is hope.
Bishop Auckland Campus Pastor