Scripture Read: Job 1 - 2
Title: Worshiping God in the Midst of Suffering
(H) Highlight verse:: "(Job) a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil"" Job 1:1, 1:8b, 2:3b
(E) Explain: Job is a book about suffering; but not just about suffering alone, but working through your suffering and still keeping your faith. Job faces so many issues, he goes from having the blessed life (having everything) to experiencing the pain of loss and suffering. In all this Job's faith stands. His wife tells him to "curse God and die, which doesn't sound like an unreasonable response considering the circumstances. But we are told three times that Job is a "blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil." We see evidence of this in the first two chapters of Job. First he loses everything... his wealth, his security and his children. Secondly, he loses his health... he is "struck with loathesome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.". Job naturally grieved his loss, but he blesses God in the midst. He is charged to curse God because of his sores, but we are told that no sin proceeded from his lips.
(A) Application: My natural response to pain and suffering is whining and complaining. For years I did not like reading about Job, because I felt he got a bum deal with God. I felt like he was a pawn used in a bet between God and Satan. But then I saw past the story in the heavenlies and realized I am not focusing on THE POINT... Keeping your faith in the midst of suffering. Job didn't complain against God in all of this and he is the one person who has the right to do so. Job responds the way I wish I would in the midst of suffering... He blesses God and worships Him.
We are introduced to the divine being named Satan. His name literally means "the accuser". I think the story of God and Satan is to show Satan's accusatory nature. He works hard, even today, to cause God's children to turn their backs on Him (or curse God and die). He tirelessly accuses God of being unjust, mean, heartless etc. I see the response of Job and this encourages me and strengthens my faith because in all of this suffering Job's faith stands.
(R) Respond: Lord, give me a heart of praise as I go through suffering and difficulties in life. I have the natural tendency to complain and whine, but I want to look to you in praise and worship instead. Help me to look to you and to depend on your Spirit so that my natural response will turn from complaint to praise.
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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