Monday, February 9, 2015

a study in Job: our perspective through discouragement (part 4)


For those just joining us, we are mid-way through studying the book of Job together. So, let's see, where did we leave off? Oh yes. God intends to use Job as an example for overcoming adversity and coming out victorious in His holy Name. WOO HOO!  As such, in the beginning of the book of Job, God allows Satan the freedom to test Job's loyalty, and Satan jumps at the chance - instantly killing all of Job's children and removing all of Job's wealth. That said, Job chooses to praise and trust God!

As a secondary attack, the enemy decides to inflict Job with painful sores and disease all over his body. Struck by the magnitude of bad fortune, Job's wife panics and urges him to curse God so that he might die and be relieved of his misery. But again, Job chooses to honor and trust God while recognizing his wife's foolishness, and calling her out on trying to misguide him and dishonor the Creator.

Finally, by the end of chapter 2, Job's friends show up. Since Job is in such bad shape, they are afraid to even speak to him. Instead, they sit and mourn with him as he suffers... waiting for poor Job to break the silence from his torment. For one week, they sit quietly as he weeps and scrapes away at his sores with a piece of pottery.  (Yuck!)

In the chapters that follow, scripture exposes many perspectives through Job's trial: Job's, Job's friends, and finally, God's holy perfect perspective. All in all, it is important for each of us to relate to Job's journey. For we too will face difficult trials as we walk this earth. Notice that by chapter 3, we read Job's own discouragement which finally causes him to lose it and question everything. The overall tone of his dialogue insists, "Why me, God?" WHY???? (Ohhhh, how many times I've been there! How about you?)

Yes, Job's perspective changes as he allows the pressure of his sorrow and the pain of his physical trauma to bewilder his reasoning. Satan had penetrated his weakened mindset and influenced Job enough to jump to several wrong conclusions about the value of his life. Just read the many exaggerated statements said by Job in chapter 3. Within one week's time, Job is cursing His own birth. Thinking back to his earlier conversation with his wife, I wonder which is worse in the eyes of God... wishing you were dead, or wishing you were never born? Either way, this is what immense depression can do to even the strongest of the faith.

We read Job as he sums up his sorrow with these words, "For sighing has become my daily food; my groans pour out like water. What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”

Can you hear the "why me, Lord" in Job's tone? Can you relate to his depression? I sure can. I think I've sighed out these same words on many occasions... when Satan chips me down to rubble... when I lose myself in life's painful tragedies and temporarily take my eyes off the only hope I have: Jesus! Job... buddy... I hear ya, man! I get it!

Ladies, God allowed this spiritual giant of a man to be broken down by sudden pain, gloom, anxiety, confusion, helplessness, and long-term heartache. Job had reached the darkest place of adversity. He was physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually suffering to the greatest of depths and turning more and more pessimistic as the days past. All understandably so.  But please take note to this most important fact... it is in these worst of times that God will test our true faithfulness!  We see, in this difficult moment, that God will teach and get through to Job so that he might become a man with a victorious living testimony that showcases the Almighty's loving and generous throne.  What an honor!!!

I don't know about you, but when all is said and done, I want to come out victorious as Job does at the end of this book. I want God to mold me and use me for His purpose too - proudly bragging about my loyalty and faith in Him!  Yes, no matter how discouraging this life becomes, I want to know that I've trusted my Master in all circumstances. Sure, I understand that in this life, I will be exposed to much pain and suffering. (I already have been.)  But such suffering is clearly the unfortunate result of man's sin. But through each trial, my prayer is that I will continue to look to my Savior so that He might always use me to benefit God's kingdom and my ultimate good!  I believe He will always, ALWAYS save me!!!

Today, consider where you are at in your worst trial?
Are you questioning God?
Are you so consumed with feelings of depression that, perhaps, you have forgotten to live by faith?

It is a choice to trust God, you know. We must remember, that if we fail to keep our eyes fixated on His hope and abide in Him completely, we can easily become overwhelmed and discouraged and lose the correct perspective. Let's stand against our own wrong conclusions in Jesus' Name! Let's reject the enemy's snares and trust the LOVE of our lifetime instead! For God loves us!!! THERE IS NO GREATER LOVE THAN HIS!!!  So, no matter what may come, God has promised to supply for all our needs. No matter what we face, God has promised never to leave or forsake us. No matter what pain we endure, God has promised to give us no more than we can handle.  Ultimately, He will always save us and see us through! He promised!  (Thank you, Jesus.  I love you too!)

So, will you choose to trust God?
Will you believe your King's promise - even in your worst moments of despair?
I encourage you to prayerfully think on these things and ask Jesus for His gracious aid.

Until tomorrow, sweet DW's... LOVE!!!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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