February 27, 2012

Job 1:8
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

If ever there was a person who can claim they were picked on by God, Job would be the one. He even has Biblical proof that God picked on him. Here is Job, a blameless man who has a good life. He has a wife and children, he prays for his family, he thanks God for all that he has, and he is a very rich man so he has a lot and still gives glory to God. God sees this in Job and acknowledges how righteous Job is by His own words, calling him blameless and upright. Why then do you suppose that God challenged Satan with Job?

First, God is the One who has blessed Job with seven sons and three daughters and a lot of livestock and land. So God is not mad at Job for being wealthy, God blessed Job in that way. Secondly, God is pleased with Job and we know this because God calls Job blameless and upright and one of His servants. The reason why God throws this challenge out is because Satan is convinced that Job praises God because there is a hedge of protection around him. Hmmmm, amazingly that is what a lot of Christians believe too.

Christians have this idea in their head that as long as they go to church on Sunday, tithe, listen to Christian music, pray and read the Bible, God will put a hedge of protection around them. Christian women will pray that for their own children. We have this goofy idea that just because we are obedient to God, then He will move heaven and earth to insure us a wonderful life, free of trials and complications. We are wrong, seriously wrong, and that belief is unscriptural.

Now with that said, not every trial that comes our way comes through a challenge between God and Satan. Job is our example and not necessarily the norm. Trials come to us through two ways: natural evil and moral evil and I will explain. Natural evil is all the stuff that happens to us by way of nature or naturally. This would include floods, accidents and illnesses. All of us are born, live and die. We are human and mortal. We are prone to disease and sickness. Our bodies are fragile and break, tear and wear down. Moral evil is the crimes that others perpetuate against us. Rape, murder, and abuse of all kinds fall under moral evil. God can stop any evil from occurring to us. God does stop a lot of evil that we don’t see. God allows evil because God allows us freedom. We are not His robots and we have free will. If we want to maintain free will then we have to live with these evils.

We are aware of these evils and we gladly pray for those who are affected by these evils. We just pray to God to keep all these evils from us. We want God to put a hedge around us and make sure no evil, moral or natural, breaks through our hedge. That is unrealistic and really proves to Satan that we love God because that hedge is present. Now remove that hedge and do we still love God? Well, not at first, because at first we fall on our knees and scream out to God like He is asleep. Then we ask where He is, and then we ask for Him to stop or change what is happening. We hurl questions at God like what and why? We don’t understand how God could allow this evil to come into our life, and yet here it is.

If you read the book of Job you will learn that after many days Job confronts God, then God answers Job and then God restores Job. That is not the norm. I do not want any of us to think that when God allows a trial in our life, He then owes us restoration. God can and sometimes God will, but God doesn’t all the time. Sometimes when the evil passes all we will have left is God and trust me, this is enough. By the time you get to the end of a trial you too will agree.
As we continue to fast and pray through the season of Lent I want us to be mindful of the trials in our life both past and present. Give them to God and ask Him to help you through it. That is what I am doing. I am praying for Gary and it is becoming obvious to me that certain parts of Gary may never come back. As I typed this, Gary tried to get his wedding ring off and when I asked him why he denied doing it. Yep, I am in the midst of a trial and for the life of me I can’t figure out the why. But I know who I can lean upon and that is God, and He is the only One who can hold me up and get me through this trial. He can and will do the same for you. Let us pray.

Abba Father, today my heart is heavy with sadness as I sit here and tell You about my trial. I don’t know the what or the why but I know You, God. You love me and You are my Abba, and You will be here with me and help me get through this trial. Today I pray that I can feel Your presence and find comfort in Your arms for You do hold them out to me and I just need to be still for You, Abba Father, are God. In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit I do pray, Amen.

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