LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF JOB
“Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”
Intro: Why do we suffer? How do we respond to suffering?
I. The Man Job
A. Job was a holy man. (Job 1:1, 8; 29:11-16)
B. Job was a happy man. (Job 1:1-4; 29:21-25)
1. Holiness and happiness are ordinarily connected. (1 Peter 3:10-12; Ps. 35:27; Matt. 6:33)
2. The prosperity of God’s servants does not always have to be in terms of material possessions and material comfort. (1 Tim. 6:6-8)
II. The Mystery of God’s Ways (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-8)
A. The mystery is God allows people to suffer. (Job 23:13-16; 2:3) Job was terrified by the realization that suffering was something God appointed for him and that there was probably more to come.
B. Some reasons for suffering:
1. To reveal what is in our hearts. (Deut. 8:2) Do we obey God for the things we can get from him or for his sake alone?
2. For our holiness. (Heb. 12:10) Pain is God’s megaphone. When God lays us on our backs that’s when we look up to him.
3. To try our precious faith. (1 Pet. 1:6-7)
4. To prevent future sin. (II Cor. 12:7)
C. God never told Job the reason for his suffering because he wanted him to trust Him even when he did not understand why all this was happening.
D. We can’t put God in a box. (Isa. 55:9) He has his reasons for dealing with us that are none of our business.(Deut. 29:29) We are in no position to instruct God how he should run the moral universe, when we don’t even have the slightest clue as to how to run the physical universe. (Job 38:1-6)
III. The Malice of Satan
A. He seeks to hurt us. (1 Pet. 5:8)
B. He is nevertheless in a mysterious way God’s servant to do us good. (II Cor. 12:7) There is comfort, however, in the fact that evil cannot happen to us without the permission of our loving and all-wise Father.
C. In our afflictions the malice is Satan’s, not God’s. (Lam. 3:31-33)
IV. The Misery of Job
A. He was afflicted:
1. In his property
2. In his family
3. In his body
4. In his dignity
5. In his spirit
B. God’s people are not exempted from the worst things in life. (Ecc. 9:1-2) Therefore let us not give people false hopes. Beware of an escapist Christianity. Instead let us teach people to prepare for suffering. (John 16:33; 1 Pet. 2:21)
V. The Mastery of Job (Job 1:20-22)
A. He acknowledged his nothingness.
1. Our sense of loss comes from our mistaken sense of ownership. It is God who owns everything; everything we have is merely on loan from him. And the time will come when we simply have to return everything to him.
B. He acknowledged God’s sovereignty. (1 Sam. 3:18) God has a perfect right to do what he pleases when he pleases simply because he is God.
C. He blessed God in the midst of affliction. (1 Thess. 5:18)
D. He did not charge God with wrong.
VI. The Mercy of God (Job 42:10-17, Jas. 5:11; Rom. 8:18, 28). God seeketh again that which is passed away (Ecc. 3:15). “All that has been taken, it shall be restored” (For the Glory of the Lord – Steve Green) – and more! Let us weep but let us not lose hope. Someday God will change our mourning into dancing. Weeping may tarry for the night but joy comes with the morning (Ps. 30:5)
Conclusion: A greater than Job, perfectly righteous and innocent, (like Job he was naked and he too cried out why) willingly embraced the suffering that his Father appointed for him because he trusted in his Father’s good purpose in the end: the salvation of you and me. (Isa. 53:10-11). Put your trust in this greater Job and he will make sure that in the end all your weeping will turn into joy.