How do you survive when storms come and God seems to be silent? That is the story of Job. And we can learn a lot from the way in which Job handled the storm that hit his life.
Job was righteous [Job 1:1]. He was blameless, upright, and feared God. He was a blessed man [Job 1:2-3]. He was the greatest man in the East. He was a family man [Job 1:4-5], who prayed for his children. God Himself spoke very highly of Job [Job 1:8]. Satan hated Job and came into God’s presence to accuse him. Satan’s ability to come into God’s presence was removed when Jesus defeated him on the cross, but people do still experience the negative things that Job experienced. Satan made two basic accusations against Job:
Job only fears God because God has blessed Him [Job 1:9-11]. At this accusation God gives Satan permission to take away Job’s wealth! [Job 1:12-13]. Job loses everything, except his integrity [Job 1:13-19]. Job’s response was amazing– He mourned and worshipped [Job 1:20-21], but he did not sin! [Job 1:22]
Job only fears God because God gives him health [Job 2:4-5]
God gives Satan permission to take away Job’s health! [Job 2:6,7-8]. It is important to understand that God allowed Satan to do this but God Himself is not the author of sickness! Job’s makes one of the most amazing statements in Scripture, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity” [Job 1:10] How did Job stand firm through all of this? How did he survive the whirlwind? Perhaps five attitudes revealed in Job’s life are a key to his survival
HE TRUSTED IN THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
Despite what he was experiencing, Job’s testimony was that God is good and that he will trust Him whatever happens – “Though He slay me I will trust Him” [Job 13:15]. He recognized that somehow God would bring good out of the trial - “When he has tried me I shall come forth as God” [Job 23:10], and believed that God had a right to do what He did in saying “the Lord gives and takes away” [Job 1:21]. Beware of only trusting God in the good times, and remember He is Lord at all times, even in the storms. Even Satan cannot act unless God allows him to do so! Even when God seems to be silent He is still in control. That is the time to trust Him!
HE BELIEVED THERE WOULD COME A DAY OF RESURRECTION
Despite the trials Job’s assurance of a future day of blessing is clear – “I know that my Redeemer lives….” [Job 19:25-26]. In the midst of such trials it would be so easy to get your eyes on the circumstances – like Peter, to look at the waves and begin to sink!
Here is Christian hope – Job is looking ahead to a life beyond this life! It is this hope that holds us firm [Romans 5:2b-5] and this hope is a protective “helmet of salvation” [1 Thessalonians 5:8]
HE RECOGNISED THAT HE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING
Job admitted that there were things that he did not understand [Job 42:2-3]. In a day when knowledge has been deified it is humbling to say that we don’t know and it is so releasing to recognize that we don’t have all the answers. Paul says, “We only know in part…we see through a glass darkly.” God doesn’t ask us to understand everything but He does ask us to trust Him!
HE WAS CAREFUL WHOSE ADVICE HE LISTENED TO
Various friends had counsel and advice for Job – but it was not the counsel that he needed! They basically blamed Job for the situation he found himself in – he must have sinned! This is what Job’s friends said about Job but it is interesting to see what God said about them!!! [Job 42:7-8]. Here are two things to beware of - the danger of teaching that brings condemnation, and negative words that people speak that bring you into bondage!
HE FOCUSED ON THE NEEDS OF OTHER PEOPLE
God turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends [Job 42:10]. Is there any better cure for self-pity that to reach out to others in their need! At this point God restored to Job everything that Job had lost – twice as much as he had before [Job 42:10]