I recently heard a sermon on faith and the story of Job in the bible and it brought me back to when i first got saved. When we start living for God; it makes the devil mad! He does not like it! If you havent had any trials; they are coming. I didnt fully comprehend why i was under one attack after the other when i surrender my life to God. Then i read Job. Satan wants to take us out. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Here’s the story of Job:
1-3 Job was a man who lived in Uz. He was honest inside and out, a man of his word, who was totally devoted to God and hated evil with a passion. He had seven sons and three daughters. He was also very wealthy—seven thousand head of sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred teams of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and a huge staff of servants—the most influential man in all the East!
Just like Job; i had turned my life over to the lord. I wanted more and more of him. I could’nt get enough of his word. Everytime the doors were open; i wanted to be there. God had radically saved me! I was a new creation. The old me was gone!
The First Test: Family and Fortune
6-7 One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan, who was the Designated Accuser, came along with them. God singled out Satan and said, “What have you been up to?”
Satan answered God, “Going here and there, checking things out on earth.”
8 God said to Satan, “Have you noticed my friend Job? There’s no one quite like him—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil.”
9-10 Satan retorted, “So do you think Job does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart? Why, no one ever had it so good! You pamper him like a pet, make sure nothing bad ever happens to him or his family or his possessions, bless everything he does—he can’t lose!
11 “But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away everything that is his? He’d curse you right to your face, that’s what.”
12 God replied, “We’ll see. Go ahead—do what you want with all that is his. Just don’t hurt him.” Then Satan left the presence of God.
WOW! God says to Satan, “have you noticed?” Then God gives satan permission to do these things.
How many of you have been through some stuff? You had your faith tested? Your mind was attacked? your marriage attacked? Your children attacked? Your health attacked?
My first attack was against my family when i first got saved; just like Job. There was dissension and strife with my parents. There was strife with my husband. We could’nt see it but it was an all out attack from satan. He would bring one attack after another. How many also know that satan has helpers? Alot of times it was just me and God. It was a very lonely time of my life.
The Second Test: Health
1-3 One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan also showed up. God singled out Satan, saying, “And what have you been up to?” Satan answered God, “Oh, going here and there, checking things out.” Then God said to Satan, “Have you noticed my friend Job? There’s no one quite like him, is there—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil? He still has a firm grip on his integrity! You tried to trick me into destroying him, but it didn’t work.”
4-5 Satan answered, “A human would do anything to save his life. But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away his health? He’d curse you to your face, that’s what.”
6 God said, “All right. Go ahead—you can do what you like with him. But mind you, don’t kill him.”
7-8 Satan left God and struck Job with terrible sores. Job was ulcers and scabs from head to foot. They itched and oozed so badly that he took a piece of broken pottery to scrape himself, then went and sat on a trash heap, among the ashes.
9 His wife said, “Still holding on to your precious integrity, are you? Curse God and be done with it!”
10 He told her, “You’re talking like an empty-headed fool. We take the good days from God—why not also the bad days?”
Not once through all this did Job sin. He said nothing against God.
JUst like Job, the second point of attack was my health. I had developed a blood clot in my leg that had broke off and went to my lungs. A clot so big the doctors were baffled that it didnt kill me. I clung to my God so tightly during that time. I prayed day and night. It was me and God in this battle. Again, i felt deserted by the ones around me. Alone. My God was there all the time.
Job is a universal and personal story; a tale, perhaps, too close to home. It’s conceivable to cry, sympathize and identify with Job because we are not sheltered by unspeakable pain. I’m encouraged by Job. His life is a profile of courage in the face of adversity. He did not give up on his character, give in to his pain, or give way to Satan.
Unlike Job; i did get angry with God for a season. I could’nt understand why this was all happening to me. Why i was going through trial after trial. I would cry out, “Lord this is not how it’s suppose to be.” Like i knew anything. I lost my marriage. I felt like i had lost my mind. Nothing made sense to me. My faith was being tested.
Like an artist, Job paints a picture of his former happiness. He was prosperous; even his foot print showed evidence of abundance. Job’s riches, benevolence and kind treatment of the needy had earned him respect. Reports of his philanthropy could be heard in the neighboring towns and back patters were on every corner. Gone. They’re all gone. It’s all gone; reduced to a distant memory. There isn’t any lasting happiness to be mined in the days gone by. In this life you cannot retrace former footsteps to pick fruit from a joy tree. Your feet will trod wherever your eyes lead. Job, the former no longer remains – it’s gone – so why go looking for it? There’s a reason God put eyes in the front of our heads.
Job is in a dangerous and precarious position right now. Ask any alcoholic. Inquire of anyone addicted to pornography. Question anyone struggling with an abusive lifestyle and they’ll tell you they’re hardest hit with temptation when their emotional tank is nearing empty. Job’s emotional tank was depleted and lust came crouching at the door of his mind. Consider Job’s resolve again from Job 31:1, “I made a covenant with my eyes, how then could I entertain thoughts against a virgin?” It makes more sense now, doesn’t it? Now, let’s apply this to men universally. Friend, any time we’re tired, hungry or lonely we are more susceptible to temptation. You don’t have to be an alcoholic to be tempted by alcohol. Incidentally, you don’t have to be addicted to pornography to be tempted by images on your computer screen. Our enemy, the devil, knows that when fatigue, hunger or loneliness bumps into temptation all men are at risk.
Pray and ask God to give you the resolve of Job. Know, understand and manage your tipping points. Don’t give the enemy a foothold in your life. Quit trying to convince yourself that you deserve “it” because “it” always leads to sin, regret and pain. There isn’t a man on the planet who doesn’t need accountability in at least one area of his life that is prone to sin. For Job, obviously it was lust. For you, I don’t know.
God Restores Job
I Will Accept His Prayer
7-8 After God had finished addressing Job, he turned to Eliphaz the Temanite and said, “I’ve had it with you and your two friends. I’m fed up! You haven’t been honest either with me or about me—not the way my friend Job has. So here’s what you must do. Take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my friend Job. Sacrifice a burnt offering on your own behalf. My friend Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer. He will ask me not to treat you as you deserve for talking nonsense about me, and for not being honest with me, as he has.”
9 They did it. Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did what God commanded. And God accepted Job’s prayer.
10-11 After Job had interceded for his friends, God restored his fortune—and then doubled it! All his brothers and sisters and friends came to his house and celebrated. They told him how sorry they were, and consoled him for all the trouble God had brought him. Each of them brought generous housewarming gifts.
12-15 God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life. He ended up with fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand teams of oxen, and one thousand donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first daughter Dove, the second, Cinnamon, and the third, Darkeyes. There was not a woman in that country as beautiful as Job’s daughters. Their father treated them as equals with their brothers, providing the same inheritance.
16-17 Job lived on another 140 years, living to see his children and grandchildren—four generations of them! Then he died—an old man, a full life.
My emotional tank was empty. I turned from God for a season. But he was there; wooing me. I knew in my spirit and deep within me i had to get back to the lover of my soul! Just like Job; God is in the restoration business. Praise God!
“The greatest Christians in history seem to say
that their sufferings ended up bringing them the closest to God –
so this is the best thing that could happen,
not the worst.” ~ Peter Kreeft