Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Transforming Job

Today my writing comes from the second chapter of Job. Here we see a man, righteous and blameless in every way. Why is he suffering so? Has this man of great faith  landed into the hands of Satan or is God really at work here? I am sure Job was asking himself the same question.  God was giving Satan Job's body, but not his mind, nor his heart. Job's heart was with God and never failed to leave Him.

We see this man crumbling, simply withering away like chaff. His skin is covered with boils. He is in severe pain and what is one thing He wishes? He needs? Comfort from his wife. But, she is not standing by his side. I don't think she heard the song, "Stand by your man." She was telling him to just curse God and die.(verse 9)"Then his wife said to him, 'Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!'" Here Job is, needing the security in his wife's loving arms and finds none. Is there anyone who will understand his pain? We see Job's friends come to his side. They can no longer recognize him. (verse 13) "So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great." They gather around him for seven days and seven nights. I can see it now. Here are three friends calling one another, "Have you heard about Job? We must do something. We must help him." These three friends knew just what Job needed. He didn't need his friends gathering around him telling him how bad he looked or just how terrible this was. Job already knew that. His pain showed all he felt. His friends surrounded him and saturated him with prayer. They reached out as they should have. Sometimes the greatest thing we need of all is a friend who will just take the time to pray with us. Job had that. Not just for a few minutes. These men, these friends stayed by his side. What strength this must have given Job.

Job loses everything. But does he really? In the beginning of the chapter God and Satan are going to head to head. God is sharing what kind of man Job is and Satan just wants a piece of him. Satan thinks Job will give everything for his life. But, Satan was so wrong. Job knew his life was in the hands of God. He didn't lose faith. We learn so much here. Satan might have been able to touch Job, but only with God's permission. We see Satan has no power over God. God is in complete control over Job's life. Even though those around Job might think all is lost, God is not finished yet. He will bless Job for his faithfulness.

Just as God restored Job, He too will restore us. We can be confident knowing our lives are in God's hands. We walk through our struggles today with perseverance. We can overcome any obtacle with faith. A strong faith is what led Job through his battle with Satan.

In losing everything, do you think once Job was restored he appreciated life on a whole new level? It just seems that we take so much in life for granite. We try to control everything around us, but our very heartbeat is in God's hands. Each breath we take is not determined by our will, but God's. He is in total control of our lives. Not one moment goes by that He does not know where His children are.

We may look around in wonder and ask, "Where is our supportive husband? Why is my wife not by my side? Where are those friends who say they love me?" God is enough. God is all we need. Job found that out. In the end it was God who never left him. Job may have been tested, but his faith carried him through.

1 Corinthians 10:12-13 "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." 

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

In our lives what is visible in not always what it seems. We have to look beyond skin deep, into the heart of man to see what he is made of and in Job we see a  picture of Christ. We see  restoration and healing. We see man taken into the depths, shaken, but not overcome. God had His hand upon Job never to leave nor forsake him.(Hebrews13:5)  Living a Christian life does not mean we will not go through struggles. We will have loss and pain that will  bring us to our knees. It is in those very moments when we think we can no longer move that God gives us the power to breathe again. To see life once again as He transforms us into a new day.


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