Thursday, February 23, 2023

Trust God and Have Rest

 "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:..." Job 13:15

Job sat among the ashes. His friends were terrible comforters saying nasty things about him. And from a purely human point of view, God had abandoned Job. 

Yet, Job set his mind to trust God.

Job bore the burden of great loss, of illness, and now of bitter friends. I don't think anyone would deny that this was a heavy burden to bear. However, Job demonstrated in these words the secret behind Sabbath keeping.


Yes. The Sabbath is about rest. The Sabbath day is a picture of the inner rest a person can receive when he has peace with God, fully trusting Him for his life. F. B. Meyer (an 19th Century preacher) put it this way: 

The pause in the outward business of life was but a parable of that inner hush, which is not for one day but for all days; not for one race but for all men; not for the Hereafter only but for Now. (F.B. Meyer, The Secret of Guidance. © 2018 Merchant Books, p. 41) 

The true strength of Job came through that trust in God's goodness. The decision made to do so enabled Job to wait in faith and not foolishly deny the existence or love of God. Job later says: 

   For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: (Job 19:25)

 This doesn't mean Job didn't struggle. It doesn't mean he didn't feel hurt or abandoned. It simply means that settling in his heart to surrender his life to trusting God was a choice. One that took strength and faith to execute. He determined to push onto God the burden he was feeling, though he did so clumsily. He didn't understand, and he wanted understanding. He struggled to see the goodness of God in all of this, and that caused him to question God. But in the depths of his soul, he chose to trust.

Trusting when you can't see what will come is difficult. It is a tough exercise. But when you release you grip of worry on the unknown and open your arms abandoning your hold on your situation, leaving it wholly in God's hands you'll receive serenity. You'll receive that perfect, wonderous, awesome and amazing true Sabbath rest. Peace and joy will push out the fears, anxiety, torture, worry, handwringing, blame-casting, anger, tears, and whatever else you did when you weren't trusting God.

Job fought for this Sabbath rest, and discovered in the end, that the Lord would sustain him, even bless him. Not sure we can answer the question 'Why' in every situation we face, but we can answer each situation with trust in God's goodness, love, and willingness to carry our burdens.

"Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:22

Thursday, February 16, 2023

God in Control

 "...although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause." Job 2:3

Satan comes again to present himself to God, and I can see God smile with a twinkle in His eye, before he says, "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? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause."  (Job 2:3).

I've drawn the conclusion that no one (including God) has singular motives. We're complex people. We may set out with a specific objective, but we secretly (even fooling ourselves), have at least two, and likely more, reasons for the actions taken. 

We're not specifically given God's motives for once more putting Job up in front of Satan. We can probably come up with several:

  • Job hadn't learn the lesson of who God was. 
  • God wanted us to have an example of holding to faith under difficult circumstances. 
  • God wanted to prove His glory and control.
  • And more. 

However, here we see Satan had motives, and God allowed him to fulfill them. 

But note: God specifically pointed Job out to Satan (Job 1:8; 2:3). It seems one of God's intentions was to test Job (as seen in the last chapters of the book). Job would become our example. He would be a testimony of God's Sovereignty, of our frailty, and of our need to remain faithful.

The ultimate point being God is in control. We must trust that. Trusting that enables us to be faithful. Trials in our life strengthen our understanding of that truth. 

Question is, are we willing to surrender to God using these trials?

Lord, thank you for Your sovereignty in my life, for weaving and putting the puzzle or threads of my life together for Your glory and Honor--always. 

"Behold, God is great, and we know him not,..." Job 36:26

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Meet Job

 "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 1:8

Job: a man who loved and served God. One God praised; whose faith made God proud. He wasn't a nobody. Job held great wealth and prestige. He had a family that he loved, and he interceded with God on their behalf.

So why did God point him out to Satan?

I confess, I'm afraid of pondering that question too deeply. Why? Because of what God says to Job:

Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Job 38:2-3

I think if the voice of God came out of a whirlwind and spoke those words to me, I'd run and hide. So, I reason, if God answered Job this way, how much fiercer would He answer me, who lacks the faith of Job? 

I'm not really sure Job was written to give us the answer to, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" I just don't believe any human being in this present age, on this present earth, can even come close to comprehending God's answer. But perhaps, in reading it under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, we can grasp the specific message God has for us as individuals.

The beauty of God's Word blossoms before our eyes when His Holy Spirit ministers directly to our hearts while we read it. The answer we seek may not be written in plain English, but the answer we need to hear blooms in our spirit releasing a fragrance that calms and assures. I think when this happens, the value of what we read increases a hundredfold.

Perhaps, if we approached Job with a heart open to hear the Holy Spirit, we'll find a message that shatters our fears, burns up our anxiety, and heals our wounded spirits. 

Perhaps, approaching God with a willingness to accept His love may penetrate our hearts like a scalpel cutting away cancer, as well as produce the soothing effect of a healing balm...perhaps if we can be open to look for the good that may flow from circumstances we'd rather not be placed in, maybe we'd be able to respond as Job did and find peace in it:

I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not....I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Job 42:2-5

And the Chase Is On

  Years ago, I set my iPad on the treadmill, started up a movie   and pressed 2 for a warmup. I had just begun to punch the button to speed ...