Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Righteous are Steadfast

Job was having a terrible time. He lost his family, his possessions, and his own health. His wife was not helping him, and his friends were ridiculing him for saying he was righteous. There was all kinds of pressure on him to just give in and agree that he must be unrighteous before God, since that is what most people thought. However, he did not give in to this temptation, even though he was an object of scorn. Some righteous people were appalled at his situation, and others were aroused to be against him. However, he was determined to hold to his way through the trouble and even to grow stronger in his resolve to remain righteous. (Job 17:6,8,9) This is a great lesson for all of us.

Are we swayed by what people think of us and what people say about us, or are we driven by what the Lord thinks of us? I believe it is critical that our lives be based on God's view of us. If we are convinced in our heart that God is pleased with us, and we are right with Him, we should remain steadfast in our righteousness before Him. We should not listen to the ridicule of those who are against us. We should not be shaken, even if we suffer physically. Our hands are clean before God, so we will grow stronger, if we hold on to Him, instead of letting others bring us down. I pray this is true for all of us, but if not, I pray that we will decide now to remain steadfast in our trust in the Lord, no matter what happens in our lives, like Job did.

Tomorrow, I intend to read Job 19-21.

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Brevity of Life on Earth

Life here on this earth is short. Yes, it may be 100 years, but it passes so quickly. Job was well aware of this fact. (Job 14:1,2) I am sure that it has dawned on many of us, as well. If we keep in mind what the Lord had shown Job, it will help all of us live a better life.

Everyone born into this world only has a finite number of days here. In reality, it is a short life compared to eternity. If everything was always happy, things would be different. However, our days are full of troubles and joys. This makes life here a great challenge.  We have to deal with the troubles well and enjoy the good times at the same time. If we remember, the brevity of life, we will emphasize the joyful times and minimize the troubles, knowing they will soon be over. Let's always keep these things in mind while we trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Then, we can look forward to eternity in heaven with Him.

Tomorrow, I intend to read Job 15-18.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Why?

I would imagine that most of us have asked God why something happened to us. It could have been a great blessing, but we usually ask why when it is something negative. When we ask God why, it can be for two different reasons. Sometimes, we are upset with God, so we are asking why to justify ourselves before Him. It shows a rebellious spirit. That is the wrong way to ask why. However, sometimes, we are just honestly seeking answers from the Lord. We are not upset, just perplexed. That is how it was with Job. (Job 10:2) Let's consider this, since it effects all of us from time to time.

Job was righteous before God. He knew that he had not sinned to cause his pain, suffering, and loss. However, his friends were accusing him of being unrighteous. They thought that God was punishing him, so he needed to repent and ask God for mercy. Therefore, since Job was caught  in the middle, he wanted to approach God to get some answers. Finally, God answered Job, but He never told him why those things happened to him. The same is true for us. We may ask why, and we may want to hear the reasons from the Lord. Sometimes, He shows us, but sometimes, He doesn't. It is totally up to our All-wise, All-loving God. The bottom line is that we should always know that He never does the wrong thing, so we can trust Him and His heart for us, no matter what happens to us.

Tomorrow, I intend to read Job 11-14.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Inspected Daily and Tested Constantly

Recently, my wife's car was overheating. I had to take it to our mechanic. He inspected the car to find out the problem. Then, he fixed the problem. After the repairs, he drove the car and tested other things to make sure everything was working well. He did a great job, and I appreciated his diligence to pay so much attention to her car for us. Did you know the Lord does the same things for us? Job knew that, and he showed us God's involvement in our lives in these ways. (Job 7:17,18) I believe it would do us all good to take a moment to reflect on this great truth.

God is not sitting in heaven isolated from us. He is very involved in our lives, because we are very important to Him. Since He is not bound by time and space, He can and does give each of us His undivided attention. That is how much God loves every person alive on this planet. Because of this fact, He inspects us every morning. He looks at our heart. He sees what we are thinking and feeling. He assesses our desires and our needs, so He can act in our lives to draw us to Himself in the best way. Then, constantly through the day, God is testing us. He tests our faith, our obedience, and our perseverance. This is true for all people, but when we are believers, it is especially true. We can be sure that whatever He allows to come into our lives, or whatever He does in our lives, is for our good. He is testing us, so we will grow stronger in every area of life. So I pray that each of us will be assured that God is with us all of the time, inspecting us daily and testing us constantly. I wonder how we are doing?

Tomorrow, I intend to read Job 8-10.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Supporting Others

We all need support from others from time to time. Job was a righteous man who supported others well. (Job 4:3,4) One fact about supporting others is that we have to be stronger than they are to give them the support they need. That means that we need to have more wisdom and understanding, as well as, more emotional stability than they have. Let's make an evaluation of our lives. How are we doing in loving our neighbor as we love ourselves? How are we doing in reaching out to those around us with much needed support. I know we do that for our family, but are we doing it for those who are not in our family? I believe we can learn from what Eliphaz said about Job.

We need to learn from the Lord and from others, so we can instruct many people in the things of the Lord. We do not have to be teachers to do this, but we have to be learners. Then, we need to share what we have learned with those whom we know need that instruction. The Bible is clear about this. We all should be strong enough in what we know and what we believe, so we can help those with weak hands, not physically weak hands, but those lacking the ability to grasp things and act on them. There are many people with this need. Then, we need to steady those who are stumbling under the pressures of life and whose knees are buckling from anxiety and fear. To do this we must be mature spiritually, so that those things that are shaking them, do not shake us. We must be leaning on the Rock, Jesus, for our strength in the storms of life. That was what others saw Job doing all of the time. Would others have the same impression of us? I pray they would.

Tomorrow, I intend to read Job 5-7. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Worshiping Through Our Grief

We all grieve when we lose someone we love or something that is valuable to us. What we do when we grieve determines how we will handle our grief. If we withdraw from the Lord and from people, we will struggle to make sense of what we are thinking and how we are feeling. We must stay connected to the Lord and others, as we go through the stages of the grief process, including denial, anger, questioning, depression, and loss of the initiative we need to live life well. There is one thing that is vital to do, so that we have the proper way of dealing with our grief. We must worship through our grief, as Job did, when he lost his family and most of his possessions. (Job 1:20,21) The effects of worshiping the Lord are amazing, especially when we have suffered loss or much pain.

When we grieve we must show our grief in our words and actions. We must not cover it up. We must express our feelings to the Lord and to others. Remember, the Lord understands that we are sad, and He is there to lift us up. When we worship through our grief, we are acknowledging that God is our Source for all we need. We give Him glory. He brought us into this world with no possessions, and we will depart without anything. In our lifetime we experience times when God gives, and when He takes away. He is still Lord no matter what happens, and He deserves our praise and worship. He always does the wise and loving thing, no matter if we can understand it or not. Therefore, we need to constantly proclaim, "Blessed be the name of the Lord." He is worthy! When we worship Him sincerely, it keeps our focus off of ourselves and puts it on Him. That is what will bring us through the grief in a healthy way, because He is the One who can and will meet every need, if we trust Him to supply it for us.

Tomorrow, I intend to read Job 2-4.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Lady who Saved the Jews

Esther was a righteous lady, who intervened in a terrible situation to provide deliverance for her people, the Jews. I suppose we might say that she was an unlikely candidate to do this job, but that is not really true. God has used many women to provide deliverance at many times in history. In fact, that is one of the main aspects of being a mother. She is the one to intercede and intervene in the lives of her children to see them saved from their sins by the grace of God. I think it is fitting for us to consider Esther's story on this Mother's Day 2019. (Esther 8:1,3) There are great lessons for all men and women in this account.

Esther showed us the importance of seeking God humbly and fervently before she approached the king. She fasted and prayed for 3 days, eating and drinking nothing. She implored all of her maids and the Jews in Susa to join with her, as they asked for God's favor. We should do nothing without first crying out to God for His power and leadership. Then, she carried out her plan to expose the wicked Haman and his evil plans. She was patient and wise in what she did. We must learn not to rush things, but to move in God's way and God's timing. Then, she bravely pointed out the sin of Haman to her husband, the king. He responded positively, blessing her by punishing Haman and giving her all of his estate. Her bravery was rewarded, and ours will be, too, as we trust the Lord and obey Him. Finally, she wept before the king for the lives of her people, and he granted her and Mordecai the authority to write the decree of deliverance for the Jews. God gives us that authority to speak for Him and to lead others to know Jesus and be delivered from their sins. May we follow in the footsteps of this woman of God and see the Lord do great things through us in our families and in our world.

Tomorrow, I intend to read Esther 9-10 and Job 1.