Can God Be Trusted When Life Falls Apart?July 1, 2017
Are you in under a cloud? Is there suffering, loss, a severe trial in your life—and you’re asking, “Where is God?”
If so, this study is for you. Don’t miss it!
All of us have trouble. Most of us think we’re having more trouble than other people. But few—perhaps none—have ever had the trouble of a man named Job. And in the midst of his trouble, sorrows and questions about them, still in his heartbrokenness and bewilderment, he makes one incredible statement, which we’re going to be looking at.
Job’s journey can help you when you’ve reached what you feel is the bottom and can’t look up to see the light. This month’s study is vital if you are now—or ever have been—in this place.
Most of us will find as we live our lives that we are always in one of these 3 places;
- coming out of a storm
- in the middle of a storm
- going into a storm
1. Turn to Job 13:15 for Job’s incredible statement. We’re going to look at many other verses in this book, but this key verse sets the tone for our study. Fill in the key words. Job says concerning Jehovah:
“Though ____ _______ ____, yet will I __________ ______.”
All of us know God is necessary—we couldn’t exist without Him. But that’s not the greatest question. God necessary, but the great question is: Is God enough?
We all know God brings blessings, but we have to also admit that God allows troubles. Can God be trusted with our troubles?
2. You know what the devil thinks? That anybody who serves God without some ulterior motive is a fool. Turn back to the beginning of this book, Job chapter 1. Look at verses 1-3.
There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was ____________________ and _____________, and one that _____________ God, and eschewed [turned away from] evil. And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. His substance also was seven thousand sheep and three thousand camels and five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred she-asses and a very great household, so that this man was the __________________ of all the men of the East.
Spiritually he was a great man. Financially he was a great man. Domestically he was a great man.
3. But skip down to verse 6.
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and [watch this] Satan came also among them.”
a. For all Satan’s rebellion and his exile from Heaven, this scene should take you by surprise. Isn’t this interesting…. Satan is a rebel. He fell from his former position as the chief archangel. He was cast out of Heaven, along with 1/3 of all the angels—those who followed him. Knowing this, what strikes you as surprising about verse 6? Actually, there are a couple of things that should be surprising!
b. The word “Satan,” by the way, means “adversary.” Turn elsewhere for just a moment to Revelation 12:10. God’s adversary—Satan, from before even the creation of the world—is described here.
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the _______________ of ____ ______________ is cast down, which ________________ them before our God [how much?] _____ and _________.”
4. Back to the scene in Job chapter one where the angelic creatures have come to present themselves before the Lord, and here comes Satan.
7 And the LORD said unto Satan, “Whence comest thou?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro in the ___________ and from ____________ up and down in it.” [Satan is still doing that today, by the way.] 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, “Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, and one that feareth God and escheweth evil?”
b. For all Job’s greatness, nevertheless Satan goes straight to undermining Job’s character and attacks his motives:
9 Then Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Doth Job ________ ______ _____ ___________? 10 “Hast Thou not made an hedge about him and about his house and about all that he hath, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands and his substance is increased in the land.”
4. What is Satan saying about Job? What (according to Satan) is Job’s motive for serving God?
5. Now I want us to pause here and think about something. Smearing character—lying about an individual—has been Satan’s modus operandi from the beginning of the creation of the Earth.
Turn to Genesis chapter 3, verses 4 and 5.
a. Who is being lied about in this passage? Whose character is Satan attacking? ______ What does this reveal to you about Satan—a quality about him that every person should be aware of an on guard against? ______________________
6. Back now to the scene in Job chapter 1, the scene in Heaven. God and Satan are talking. (Just think what you might be feeling right now if you were one of the 2/3rds of the pure angels who had not fallen and who serve God in holiness and light every day, as you witness this conversation!) Immediately, without pausing, Satan throws a challenge directly into the face of God:
11 “But put forth Thine hand now and __________ all that he hath, and he will ___________ Thee to Thy face.”
What is Satan’s challenge?
A CLOSER LOOK INSIDE THE MIND OF SATAN
Satan is thinking, “Wait a minute, the only reason Job serves God is that God has been so good to him. God has bribed him and bought him off.” Character assassination and accusation are Satan’s normal frame of mind. , “God, he loves You ‘because.’ He loves You because You’ve been good to him, because You’ve given him riches, because You’ve given him children and put a hedge around him. That’s the kind of love he has for You: ‘because’ love.”
Something else Satan is saying:
“I’ve been trying to get through that hedge and You won’t let me. You just let me at him, let me give him some industrial-strength problems. Let me hurt him, let me put him into darkness, let me cause him loss and suffering and pain, and God, I’ll show You how much he loves You! He will curse You to Your face.”
Satan could not believe Job loved God for who God is. There had to be some ulterior motive.
Have you found that the world thinks exactly that way? It’s because the secular world—those who don’t know God—follow their leader, Satan. They’re just unaware of who’s their master. The world, like Satan, says: “Well, that man just goes to church for business reasons.” Or “That man is in the ministry just for what he can get out of it.” Or whatever. You see, the devil is full of that kind of a lie—that no one can love God simply because he loves God.
12 And the LORD said unto Satan, “Behold, _____ that he hath is in thy power. Only upon __________ put not forth thine hand.” So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
Satan was given permission to attack ____________________________________, but was forbidden to touch what?
As we’re going to see, Satan is going to cause incredible trouble for Job. And finally, after all of this trouble, Job says, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”
Here is the theme for the book of Job:
God in Himself not only is necessary, but God Himself is enough.
We can love and trust God even in the midst of our problems.
There are three questions I want to ask you. If you can answer: “Yes” to those questions, you have the same kind of faith Job had.
1.—Can God be trusted when you are submerged in suffering?
Job suffered incredible loss.
8. In Job chapter 1, go to verse 13:
There was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house and there came a messenger unto Job saying, “The oxen were plowing and the asses feeding beside them and the Sabeans fell upon them and _______ ______ _________. Yea, they have __________ the servants with the edge of the sword and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.”
- Job lost his finances. He was a rancher. In one fell swoop, he lost his animals, his flocks, his herds. They were all taken away. Now, if tomorrow morning you wake up a pauper, if the stock market crashes and everything you have is in stocks and bonds and fortune is gone—your retirement is gone—can you still trust God? Job became bankrupt overnight.
9. Proceed to verses 18.
And when he was yet speaking, there came also another and said, Thy _______ and thy __________________ were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house, and behold there came a great ________ from the ____________________and smote the four corners of the house and it fell upon the young men and _______ ______ ________, and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.”
- Job lost his family. A great tornado from the hand of Satan hit the home where Job’s children were, and they were blown into eternity. The entire house fell in upon Job’s family. He’s just lost his finances, then back to back, he now loses not only his fortune, he loses his family.
But the devil is not finished with him yet.
10. Turn to Job chapter 2, verse 4:
And Satan answered the LORD and said, “________ for _______. Yea all that a man hath will he give for his ______, but put forth Thine hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will ___________ Thee to Thy face.” And the LORD said unto Satan, “Behold, ____ is in thine _________, but ________ his ________.”
- Job lost his fitness. Now Job is covered from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet with great ulcers and boils that wrack his body with fever and pain. His body is consumed with infections that erupt with such purification that Job goes out on the ash heap, takes a broken piece of pottery, and begins to scape away the substance that oozes from his boils. Can you imagine: covered not with one painful boil, but from the top of his head to his feet.
He has lost his fortune, his family, his fitness and the devil isn’t finished with him yet. Three friends come to be his comforters—but some comforters they are!
11. Continue to Job 4:7. Good old friend Eliphaz says,
“Remember, I pray thee, whoever perished being innocent? Or where were the righteous cut off?”
What is Eliphaz accusing Job of?
(Remember Satan’s 1st attack is character assassination.)
Eliphaz proposes that nobody ever suffered like this who was innocent. Have you found that to be true among your family, friends, and associates?
Eliphaz declares that if Job had been doing right, none of this would have happened!
- Job lost face. Now his reputation is gone—his closest friends assume he’s been living a double life—he’s not a righteous man, after all. It’s all been an act. What if your reputation were taken away from you? What if you’d done nothing wrong and everybody thought you did? What if people are criticizing you and blaming you?
A CLOSER LOOK AT FINANCES, FAMILY, FITNESS, FRIENDS/FACE
Some people go on television (I call them “the joy-boys”), and preach this message: if you get right with God, you’re going to be healthy and wealthy. It’s the Gospel of Cash, Comfort, and Cadillacs. You’ll have it all. And to get there, by the way, send me a little money. Their idea, their philosophy is the same as Eliphaz! The only reason you suffer is that you’ve done wrong. You can just get right and believe God and have anything you want.
There’s just one thing wrong with that philosophy—it isn’t so! Some of God’s choicest saints have suffered.
Job has lost it, folks. He is submerged in suffering. He becomes bankrupt, his kids die in a tornado, his body is infected with a horrible disease, and on top of that, everybody’s saying, “I wonder what he did wrong.”
12. Put a bookmark here in Job and turn to Hebrews chapter 11. This is the famous chapter known as the Faith Hall of Fame. God calls the roll of those people who did incredible things by faith.
Like most preachers, the writer of Hebrews begins to run out of time, so he begins to give just little vignettes, little snapshots of their victories. For 31 verses he recounts the stories of the Heroes of Faith, then in verse 32 he says,
32 What shall I more say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon and of Barak and of Samson and of Jephthah and David also and Samuel and of the prophets, 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again... STOP RIGHT THERE.
If that’s all there was to it, I’d be sold on it. I’d say, “Sign me up—if that’s the Christian faith, that’s for me!”
But wait. That’s not all. We stopped in mid-verse. The writer goes on to tell, as Paul Harvey used to say, “The Rest of the Story.”
13. The rest of verse 35 and in 36, there is a change. Underscore in your Bible the two words “And others…”
35 …And others were_________________, not accepting deliverance that they might receive a better resurrection. 36 And others had __________ of cruel _______________ and _____________, yea, moreover, of bonds and ____________________. 37 They were ____________, they were ________ asunder, were tempted, were ___________ with the ____________, they wandered about in sheep skins and goat skins, being ____________________, _________________, _________________, 38 (of whom the world was not worthy). They _________________ in _____________s and in mountains and in ________ and __________ of the earth.”
According to Eliphaz and “the joy-boys,” these scoundrels must be terrible sinners, or God would never have allowed this.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith…
Had they done anything wrong?
Those in verses 31 through 35a who had escaped the cruelty of torture and death how did they escape? They were given faith to escape.
How did they endure? They were given faith to endure. Some had faith to escape, some had faith to endure. Some were delivered and some died. Do you have faith to be delivered? I’m happy for you. Do you have faith to die? I wonder.
WILL YOU HAVE FAITH TO ENDURE—EVEN TO DEATH?
Corrie ten Boom was greatly troubled by the same question. She agonized over the thought that she would one day perhaps face martyrdom (as so many faced during the oppression of the Nazi regime in World War II), and wouldn’t stay faithful. She feared she would crumple under such a situation. One night she shared that fear with her wise father. Corrie tells the story in her book, The Hiding Place.
“Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. "Corrie," he began gently, "when you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?"
I sniffed a few times, considering this.
"Why, just before we get on the train."
"Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we're going to need things, too. Don't run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need—just in time.”
You can have faith and calamity all at the same time. Faith does not mean you’re always going to escape. Faith is not receiving from God what you want; faith is accepting from God what He gives.
We come back to our original question for this study: Can you trust God when you are submerged in suffering? Some reading this right now are overwhelmed with suffering. Can you say with Job today, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him?” If you can, you will shut the devil’s mouth.
15. Continue to v. 20. This is the heart of the struggle. We are deep into it at this point.
20 Then Job arose and rent his mantle and shaved his head and fell down upon the ground and ______________________ 21 and said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb and naked shall I return thither. The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, _________________ be the name of the Lord.” [Now watch this] 22 In all of this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
You see, the devil thinks, “Just let those Christians have a little trouble, let them have some persecution, let them have some bankruptcy. Let one of their children die, let them have some greedy malady that consumes their body—let them have those troubles, and then have people blame them for doing wrong when they haven’t done anything in the world wrong, and they will curse God.
But Job said, “I’m not going to curse Him; I’m going to praise Him.” Job said, “The LORD gave, the LORD hath taken away, blessed be the name of the LORD.”
In the middle of all this, Job praises God and gives God the glory. Can you do that? Can you trust God when you are submerged in suffering? Do not think that faith is the way to get out of suffering! Faith may be a way to endure suffering.
2.—Can God be trusted when you are forsaken by friends?
It’s one thing to be submerged in suffering, but what about when we suffer and there’s nobody there with us to suffer with us, no one who cares? Job had three friends, three comforters, but all they did was to come and give platitudes; to critique and criticize him.
16. Turn to Job 19:14 and 19
14 “My _____________ have failed and my familiar friends have forgotten me.”
19 “All my _____________ _____________ abhorred me, and they whom I loved have turned against me.”
Perhaps even worse than suffering physically is to have friends to forsake you. What happens when you’re in trouble and nobody seems to understand? They cannot understand because they didn’t know anymore about what was happening than Job did. Job was completely in the dark, and so were they. Can you trust God when you’re forsaken? Are you going through that right now? Has your spouse forsaken you? Have your children abandoned you? Has a friend you’ve trusted turned on you, perhaps a business associate?
The devil says, “Let that happen, God, and he’ll curse You to Your face.”
17. Few hurts are as deep as this. Does God understand? Can Jesus relate to you in this situation? Turn to Psalm 41:9
“Yea, mine own familiar friend in whom I trusted which did eat of my bread, _______ ___________ ____ _____ ________ ____________ ____.”
b. Turn to Psalm 55:12-14. Can David relate?
12 For it was not an _____________ that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him:
13 But it was _______, a man mine equal, my _________, and mine _______________________.
14 We took ___________ ____________ together, and walked unto the house of God in company.
c. Can the apostle Paul relate? Turn to 2 Timothy 4:10. Paul is writing a letter while confined to a Roman dungeon.
For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica;
Paul needed comfort, but Demas had forsaken him.
d. How about even your spouse? Turn to Job 2:9-10
Then said his wife unto him, “Dost thou still retain thine _______________? __________ God and ______!” But he said unto her, “Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive evil?”
Job is sitting on the ash heap and his wife comes in and says, “Just look at you. Look what God has done to you. Job, why don’t you just curse God and die?” His own wife! Job says, “I don’t understand this, but I tell you one thing, I am trusting God and I will not deny Him.”
18. When Mrs. Job said this, she sounds most like which personality in this drama so far? _______________. She was doing his work.
When everybody else turns their back on you,
When nobody understands,
When friends forsake you,
When you are suffering, and may be suffering alone,
Can you trust God?
If you can,
if you will say, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him,”
you’ll shut the devil’s mouth.
3.—Can God be trusted when you are dismayed by darkness?
Before we tackle this most difficult part of this study, let’s remember:
Today, WE understand why all of this was happening. We’ve read the first chapter. We know what was going on in Heaven. Job wasn’t privy to that knowledge, like we are. Satan has slandered the character of Job and the character of God. We understand God is allowing Job to be tested, not to show that Job would fall, but to show that Job would not. But Job didn’t know any of this. He is in absolute darkness.
If tomorrow you were to wake up and everything went sideway: you went bankrupt. You lost everything, all your children died, and you were stricken with a horrendous disease for which you had no treatment, your friends are saying it must be because you have a bad character, and your spouse tells you to “Curse God and die,” you would be in overwhelming darkness.
19. Turn to Job 23:1-5.
1 Then Job answered and said,
2 Even today is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.
3 Oh that I knew where I might find Him! that I might come even to His seat [throne]!
4 I would order my cause before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
5 I would know the words which He would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me.
In your own words, what is Job saying here?
20. Continue to verses 8 and 9. Job says,
Behold I go forward, but He’s _____ ________; and backward but I cannot ________________ Him. On the left hand, where He doth work, but I cannot _____________ Him. He ____________ Himself on the right hand that I cannot ______ Him.
In the darkest of suffering, Job says in exasperation and confusion, “Maybe God’s over here. No. Maybe He’s back here; I know He’s not over there. Maybe He’s over there; no He’s not there. God, where are You? Where are You, God? I don’t understand. God, what is going on? I sure would like to talk to You, God. I want to know. Tell me why.”
As a pastor, I’ve been asked that question so many times. “Why, Pastor, why, why?” And I can’t answer the question why because why is God’s question. Our question is, how are we going to react?
God doesn’t tell us the whys. You’re going to find that many of God’s saints have gone into darkness—deep darkness—and they’ve not known why.
21. Turn to Isaiah 50:10-11. Isaiah asks a great question:
“Who is among you that feareth the Lord and obeyeth the voice of his servant.”
So far, so good. All is well. But then Isaiah continues:
That walketh in __________________...”
Wait a minute, that doesn’t seem to fit. A person who fears God and obeys God and yet he’s walking in darkness and hath no light, not even a little?
What does God say to do?
“Let him trust in the name of the Lord and stay [lean] upon his God.”
(A “stay” is a staff; he’s talking about leaning upon God.)
22. What do you do when you’re in darkness?
11 Behold all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks. Walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of Mine hand. Ye shall lie down in sorrow.”
What’s he saying? The Amplified Bible makes it clearer:
Listen carefully, all you who
- kindle your own fire [devising your own man-made plan of salvation],
- Who surround yourselves with torches,
- Walk by the light of your [self-made] fire
- And among the torches that you have set ablaze.
But this you will have from My hand:
You will lie down in [a place of] torment.
Here’s the message: When you’re in darkness, don’t light your own fire. You can be serving God, fearing God, obeying God, and still—darkness can come.
A CLOSER LOOK AT DARKNESS
What is darkness? Darkness is merely the absence of light. The only way there can be darkness is for the light to be withdrawn. Who is the light? God is the light. Sometimes God may just back off and leave His servant in darkness. If you read biographies of great Christians, they’re serving God, they’re loving God, and then things perplexities come that they can’t understand. Almost all of them will talk about something they call “the dark night of the soul.”
A Few Servants Who Also Went Through “The Dark Night of The Soul”
Corrie ten Boom
We referred to her earlier. Suffering in a Nazi concentration camp where her beloved sister, Betsie, died, she emerged to become one of the greatest examples of faith in the 20th century.
23. a. Habakkuk was one of these. In the first chapter, verses 2-4, Habakkuk asks,
2 O Lord, _______ ________ will I call for help
And You will _____ _______?
I cry out to You, “Violence!”
Yet You do not_______.
3 Why do You make me see iniquity,
And ___________ me to look on ____________________?
For destruction and violence are before me;
Strife continues and contention arises.
4 Therefore, the law is _________________ and _____________
And justice is never upheld,
For the wicked ______________ the righteous;
Therefore, justice becomes perverted.
(Read verses 5-11 to see how God answers.)
If you feel you are in darkness, I recommend you read the entire book of Habakkuk—it’s very short. You can read the entire book in less than 30 minutes. But it packs a powerful punch. Habakkuk asks these questions of God:
1.—Why did God allow wicked practices to continue among His people in Judah?
2.—Why would God use wicked people to punish Judah?
3. Why do You not answer me, an why do you allow justice to be perverted?
In each case, God does answer the perplexed prophet, and you must read it to see what He says. Habakkuk comes to complete peace, resting in the God of the Bible.
Habakkuk concludes with praise
- for the person of God,
- the power of God,
- the purpose of God
He ends with praise because of his faith in God.
John the Baptist
Jesus referred to his first cousin, John, as one of the greatest men who ever lived: “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist…” Mathew 11:11.
But when John the Baptist got put in a prison by Herod, he’s in such darkness he can’t understand what’s going on. Remember, John is the one who said, “Behold, the lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.” He’s a prophet, and more than a prophet. But John the Baptist got into such darkness, he sent his servants to ask Jesus, “Are You really the Messiah? Or should we look for somebody else?” John is in darkness.
The Apostle Paul
The great apostle Paul said on one occasion (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
24. The Apostle Paul could be troubled, perplexed, and persecuted, but, thank God, not _________________, not in ________________, not _________________, and not _____________________.
My friend, there will come a time when all your theology will go upside down. A time when you won’t understand. A time when you’re going to be in such darkness you won’t see your hand in front of your face.
What you do then? Isaiah says, “Stay upon your God. Trust Him. What, again, did Job say in Job 13:15?
Can you trust God when you’re submerged in sorrow? Can you trust God when you’re forsaken by friends? Can you trust God when you are dismayed by darkness and you don’t even know what’s happening? Perhaps if you knew why you were suffering and why you were forsaken, then perhaps you could deal with it. But if you are dismayed by darkness, yet can trust God—you’ll shut the devil’s mouth.
Job Receives His Answer
25. Turn now to Job 38.
God is going to teach Job three things
1.—Job Learns the Sovereignty of God
1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou Me.
4 ___________wast ______ when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding.
5 _______ hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it?
6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof;
7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Aren’t you glad you weren’t asked to respond to these questions! The “Rogers Translation” of this passage goes something like this:
“2Job you’re just talking, you don’t even know what you’re saying. 3Job, sit down, I want to ask you some questions, son. 4 Job, were you here when I made everything? 5-7 Job, when I created this universe, when I flung this world out into space, when I fashioned it all, were you there, do you understand, Job? Job, when I did all this, did I ask your advice, were you my instructor?”
He’s saying, “Look, Job, I have a right to do as I wish. I am the sovereign, Almighty God, the Creator of this universe.”
Scientists today with the Hubbell telescope are still trying to figure out the answers to the questions God is asking Job, and they’ve not figured it out. Job hasn’t figured it out. Job’s friends hadn’t figured it out. And you won’t figure it out.
God knows things nobody else knows. In your trouble, you must learn the sovereignty of God.
2.—Job Learns the Sufficiency of God.
26. We’re in the final chapter of the book of Job.
Continue to Job 42:5-6. Finally when, when he sees God in a new light, Job makes one of the greatest statements in the book of Job.
5 I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but ______ _____ ______ _____________ Thee.
6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and _________________ in dust and ashes.
Job confesses, “I’ve gone from mere theology to a personal relationship with You, God, through this trouble. I’ve seen You. And I’ve seen what’s in my heart. Above everything else, You are what I need.”
The time when God will be the nearest, dearest, and most precious to you is when you’re submerged in suffering, forsaken by friends, and dismayed by darkness. God alone is not only necessary, but at that time, God will be enough.
3.—Lastly, Job Learns the Sympathy of God
We come to the end of the book of Job. Job has come to the end of himself. There, in that dead end, Job finds everything he has ever needed—it is resident in God.
26. See verses 10 of this closing chapter.
10 And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends:
also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.
11 Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house…”
12 So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses (twice what he had before).
13 He had also seven sons and three daughters.
What are some of the things we talked about early in this study that Job lost, but are now restored to him?
SOMETHING JOB DIDN’T RECEIVED BACK DOUBLE:
Job received back twice as much of everything he had lost. But of Job’s 7 sons and 3 daughters, God didn’t restore double. Why? Because he never lost his sons and daughters; they just went to Heaven.
Joyce and I have a little boy in heaven. We haven’t lost him. We know where he is. Death can hide, but it cannot divide. They are but on Christ’s other side.
The late Dr. Peter Marshall once said,
“Those we love are with the Lord,
And He has promised to be with us.
If they are with Him, and He is with us,
They cannot be far away.”
Friend, listen. When Job said, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble” (Job 14:1), he was being realistic about life in this fallen world.
Thank God for His blessings. He blessed Job. God takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servants. But you need to get the faith of Job and be able to say,
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”
There’s a song I love titled “When Answers Aren’t Enough, There’s Jesus.” It’s a truth we need to get down in our hearts.
Sooner or later, you’re going to have to have the faith of Job. You’re going to say, “The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”
You say, “I don’t think I want to be