THE WISDOM TRILOGY #1: SUFFERING – TRIUMPH OVER TRAGEDY (BOOK OF JOB)
(Pastor Chris Jordan – Beausejour Church)
To listen to or download the audio MP3 or printable sermon notes, click HERE.
INTRO TO SERIES: For the next three weeks, we are going to look at three of the five wisdom books from the Old Testament: Job, Ecclesiastes, and Psalms. (We have done a whole month series in Proverbs and a two month series in the Song of Solomon already).
INTRO TO TOPIC: Life is hard, and all go through difficult storms and trials in our life!
THE PROBLEM OF PAIN: “If God were good, he would wish to make his creatures perfectly happy, and if God were almighty he would be able to do what he wished. But the creatures are not happy. Therefore God lacks either the goodness, or power, or both.” (C.S. Lewis).
THE SUFFERINGS OF JOB: “After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. And Job spoke, and said: “May the day perish on which I was born, And the night in which it was said, A male child is conceived.” (Job 3:1-3, NKJV).
- “Why is light given to him who is in misery, and life to the bitter of soul.” (Job 3:20).
- Today, we are going to consider the topic of pain and suffering…
PRINCIPLE #1: JOB WAS A GOOD MAN:
“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.” (Job 1:1-3, NKJV).
- Job was a good man who had a big family and many possessions.
PRINCIPLE #2: GOD IS GOOD AND LOVINGLY CARES FOR HIS CHILDREN:
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.” (Job 1:6-10).
- What Satan said here was true: God did lovingly care for and protect Job.
- “The eyes of the LORD watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the LORD turns his face against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:12, NLT).
- God was bragging on Job, but Satan said Job only loves God because God blesses him.
- God said, “You can do anything to his stuff, but don’t touch him.
PRINCIPLE #3: SATAN IS OUR ENEMY BUT HAS LIMITED POWER:
“But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” (Job 1:11-12).
- The Reality of Spiritual Warfare: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8).
- However, ultimately God had to give him permission before he could do anything.
- Job’s livestock was stolen, his servants were killed, and his children died in a tornado.
HOW DID JOB RESPOND?
- “Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” (Job 1:21-22).
- He grieved his losses, and then he blessed the name of the Lord!
- God brags about Job again, Satan said, “If you stole his health, he’d curse you.” (2:1-6).
- God let Satan attack Job’s health and cover his body with painful boils (2:7-8).
- Job’s wife said, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (2:9).
- Job lost everything but he didn’t turn to drugs or alcohol, or turn away from God.
- Many people get mad at God when they go through tough times.
- Job’s response: “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (2:10).
- How could Job have such confident faith, even in the face of suffering? “For I know that my Redeemer lives.” (Job 19:25).
- If we want to have a faith that will triumph over tragedy, we need to have a personal encounter with the living God – to know Him for ourselves!
PRINCIPLE #4: SUFFERING ISN’T ALWAYS BECAUSE OF OUR PERSONAL SIN:
- Next in the story, three of Job’s friends show up: Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar.
- The majority of the rest of the book of Job is the conversations they had (Job 4-31).
- Bildad’s quote sums up their teaching: “But look! God will not reject a person of integrity, nor will he make evildoers prosper.” (Job 8:20, NLT).
- In other words = “Job, you’re suffering because you have sin in your life!”
- Elihu, another friend, gives more speeches (Job 32-37). He says you just need faith.
- Finally, God Himself shows up to speak with Job (Job 38).
PRINCIPLE #5: THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO TRUST GOD:
“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.” (Job 38:1-4).
- God then questions Job for four chapters!
“Then Job answered the LORD and said: Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth. Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further.” (Job 40:3-5).
- Finally, Job was speechless. He humbled himself before the Lord.
QUOTE: (RC Sproul, What’s in the Bible).
“Job repented, not of any past sins that might have caused his (trouble), but of his mistrust of God in the midst of it. Ultimately, God never answered Job’s questions. Job never actually found out why all of this loss and horror had occurred. It was as if the answer to Job’s queries was simply God’s presence. God was saying, “If you know Who I am, then you will trust Me. That will be enough.” In the final scene, Job was restored. God triumphed over the mockeries of Satan, Job’s possessions were multiplied and the story was complete.”
THE BIG IDEA: Even though we don’t always understand why sometimes bad things happen to good people, God is always good, and His love for us never fails.
APPLICATION – BIBLE TRUTHS TO REMEMBER ON THE BAD DAYS:
- LOVE: “35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? … 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. 39 Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39, NLT).
- JOY: “When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4, NLT).
- PEACE: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
CLOSING: HOW DID JOB’S STORY TURN OUT?
“So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters.” (Job 42:12-13).
- I don’t have an answer to the why of pain and suffering. I am speechless.
- But like Job – I can truly say, “I know that my Redeemer lives!” And – He loves us
CHALLENGE: If you’re overwhelmed by troubles, go to Jesus!
- “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18, NLT).
PRAYER: For those going through a challenging season – to experience God’s peace and joy.
- Pastor’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/