Daily Devotional for Monday August 17, 2009
The Real Message of the Book of Job is Don't Quit
(The Book of Job..TAKE THE 30 MINUTES NEEDED TO READ THIS ENTIRE BOOK!)
The real message of the book of Job is: 1)don't quit on God, and 2) don't quit on yourself! Job has always been the classic example that God gave to us, to help us deal with the very real trials and tribulations of day-to-day life that we all face. One of the great insights that God shares with us in Job is where these trials and tribulations stem from. When we sin against God, when we rebel, there are ALWAYS consequences. Sometimes those consequences are more severe than at other times. The important thing to never forget is that sin always has a price, a HIGH PRICE. Yes, we have the precious promise in 1 John 1:9 that when we sin, if we confess our sins to God, He will forgive us and bring us back into fellowship. But we still have to deal with the real life consequences of our rebellious choices!
However, what about when horrible things happen to us when we didn't do anything wrong? What about the great question that is often asked, "Why do bad things to happen to good people?" You see, the "bad things" that happen in this world are a result of sin in the world. God is NOT the author of sin, rebellious man is. Satan is the cheerleader and encourager of man's rebellion towards God. It is the sin in the world that is responsible for the evil and "bad things" that we experience in our life. We get an incredible transcript in Job chapters 1 and 2 of satan and God in conversation about Job. Note for the record, it is satan who has to get God's permission in order to do anything! While God clearly allowed the horrible things that happened to Job to take place, He also stepped in and would not allow Job to die.
UNTIL THAT DAY WHEN GOD STEPS IN AND BRINGS THIS WORLD AS WE KNOW IT TO AN END, "BAD THINGS" WILL ALWAYS HAPPEN BECAUSE OF THE REBELLION AND SINFULNESS OF MAN!
There is little doubt to me that satan decided to "attack" Job because of his faithfulness towards and love of God. I am sure he took it as a challenge to try and get Job to curse and denounce God. Because of his dedicated life to God, Job was a "light" to those he encountered in his day-to-day life and the spiritual head of his family. Satan realized that by bringing down the most faithful, it has a domino effect. When people see a man or woman of God, someone that is in a leadership position fall, it can cause many of those who are not as strong in their faith to fall as well.
Let this be a lesson to not only prepare for, but EXPECT the enemy to attack you full force on every front that you can imagine, whenever you are walking close to God and allowing Him to use your life to bless others. When you are not doing anything for God, you are not a threat to satan. When you are serving the Lord, satan will do his best to bring you down. That is why the Bible clearly tells us that our battle is NOT of flesh and blood, but it is a SPIRITUAL BATTLE!
Job gives us the road map to fighting whatever battles satan can throw us.
First of all, DO NOT GIVE UP ON GOD. When we are under attack, we have to press into God even more than we normally would. The natural reaction is to pull away from God, to question God, to grumble.
THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT SATAN WANTS YOU TO DO!
The further he can get you from God, the harder he can hit you, and the more chance he has of taking you down. While we will never fully understand WHY God allowed the "bad things" to happen, know that He is not the author, and it is the sin in this world that is the genesis of all evil we face in our lives. Never forget that satan is NOT a cartoon character, but a very being that the Bible clearly tells us is here to KILL, STEAL, AND DESTROY. You don't need much more warning than that. When the attacks come, DO NOT GIVE UP ON GOD!
Secondly, DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOURSELF. We still live in this real world. When I read the last chapters of Job and how God so richly blessed him with a new family, a greater business then the one that he lost, one thing is clearly evident to me.
AFTER ALL OF THE HORRIBLE THINGS HAPPENED TO HIM, JOB DIDN'T LAY IN HIS BED EVERY DAY HAVING A PITY PARTY FOR HIMSELF!
To have this great new family, he had to get out, court a few ladies, find the one God had for him, and get married. To have this business greater then before he had to get out, work hard, make wise choices in his business dealings, and allow his business to grow just like any business does. While we read in the end how God richly blessed Job, it didn't happen overnight, but over a period of time, and it happened because Job DID NOT GIVE UP ON HIMSELF!
I love you and care about you so much. My heart breaks each day as I get the breakdown of the 40,000 some prayer requests that we get each day. I personally still answer about 60 a day, and look over hundreds more. So many of the requests are from people like Job. People who have had horrible things happen to their marriage, to their children, to their jobs, to their health. They email me crying out for prayer, for answers, wondering where God is. Jesus said it best. Just hours before going to the cross, one of the last things He told those He was closest to was that in this world, you will have trials and you will have tribulation.
You see, Jesus didn't want them to be fooled into thinking that just because they had a personal relationship with Him, that their life would be easy. As a matter of fact, quite the opposite would be true. So out of His love for them, He tried to prepare them for the battles that they would face because of the sin in this world and because of their faith in Him. But he also gave them these reassuring words, ""but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
So as you face the day-to-day trials and tribulations of this life, as the enemy attacks you, never forget the example of Job.
DON'T GIVE UP ON GOD. DON'T GIVE UP ON YOURSELF.
Most important, "be of good cheer", for JESUS has overcome this world!!!
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller