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I STILL BELIEVE
"I'm a bricklayer by trade, and on the date of the accident I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building. When I completed my work, I discovered that I had a sizable pile of bricks left over, and rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel using a pulley that was attached to the edge of the roof on one side of the building. After securing the rope at ground level, I went back up to the roof, swung the barrel out, and loaded the bricks into the barrel. I then went to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure slow descent of the bricks.
You will notice I stated in block number 2 of the accident report form that I weigh 150 pounds. The bricks, I was soon to discover, weighed slightly more than 500 pounds. My weight was not enough to keep me down. Because of my surprise at being jerked off the ground by the weight of the bricks, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded up the side of the building at a rather rapid rate of speed. In the vicinity of the third floor I met the barrel on its way up.
This accounts for my broken ankle and lacerations along the left side of my body. This encounter with the barrel slowed me down enough to minimize my injuries when I landed on the pile of bricks on the ground. I'm sorry to report that as I laid on my back looking at the empty barrel six stories above me, I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope. The empty barrel weighed more than the rope, so it came zooming back down. This explains my broken right arm.")
Ever had a day like this? Most of us have never had that happen to us, who among us hasn’t passed through difficult times? Now, here is the bottom line, if we are going to be the people that God wants us to be, we must learn how to handle life’s valleys, trials, and problems. The book of Job has something to say about handling the difficult situations of life.
The lessons taught in this book can give us the faith to echo the words of Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” I want us to learn these lessons today so that when we face the difficult times of life, we can look confidently and lovingly into the face of our Heavenly Father and declare, “I still believe!”
I JOB’S TROUBLES
A. Job lost much: Family, Fortune, Fitness, Friends
B. Ill. Our Troubles - Job 5:7; 14:1; Eccl. 2:17, 23; John 16:33. None of us get out of here untouched and unscathed by trouble.
C. Troubles will do one of two things in your life:
1. They Can Drive you to God – If you understand that the Lord is in control of all of life, Job 1:6-12; Job 2:1-6, then you can rest in the sure knowledge that God is in control of all that comes to pass in life, Rom. 8:28.
2. They Can Drive you away from God -
II. JOB’S TEMPTATIONS
A. He Could Have Blamed God - (On God - Job 1:11; 2:5; On Self - Job 8:1-5, his friends said it was his fault!)
(Note: One of the great benefits
of suffering is that it reveals the true character of the people around
1. Eliphaz - This is the man of Testimonial Experience. He has already been there and done that. No matter what you go through, this kind of person has had it worse. Know anyone like that? (Man will fail you, Jesus cannot - Pro. 18:24)
A. 4:3-4 He Flatters Job - Tells him what a blessing he has been, he really butters old Job up.
B. 4:5-11 He Flogs Job - He accuses him of Hypocrisy, v. 5,8; Weakness, 5-6; 10-11; Wickedness, 7-9.
C. 4:12-5:27 He Floors Job - Says that he is Self-righteous, 17; Not accepted by God, 5:1; Simply getting what he deserved, 5:13; Has a bad attitude, 5:17. In 15:2, Eliaphaz goes as far as to call Job and old windbag! There is more, but who needs a friend like that?
2. Bildad - This is the man of The Traditional Explanation.
A. 8:2 His Attack - He calls Job an old wind bag
B. 8:3-22 His Appeal - Bildad says that all these things happened to Job because he was a bad fellow.
3. Zophar - The man of the Total Estimation - He looks at the situation and simply tells Job that he needs to repent of his sins and get right with God, and then these things wouldn't happen. In fact, he tells Job that Job is getting far less that he deserves, Job 11:1-7.
4. Elihu - The man of Truthful Expression – Elihu is just mad at everybody. He says they are all wrong; Job 32:1-3. It takes this blabber mouth 5 whole chapters to tell us that God is good, great and fair. Still, he never does do Job any good.
He Could Have Become Bitter
Toward God – Job could have adopted the attitude of his wife - Job 2:9. (Ill. Many people react with
bitterness toward the things God allows in their lives. The deaths of loved ones, illnesses, tragedies,
etc., all have the power to create bitterness within our hearts, if we do not
maintain the proper perspective. Ill.
David’s reaction to the death of his child – 2 Sam. 12:13-23! (
C. He Could Have Chose Not To Bother With God - (Ill. Giving up - Gal. 6:9) (3:1-19; 6:8-9)
D. Satan will try to sell us down the same road. What will you do? Here’s what Job did!
III. JOB’S TESTIMONY
He Worshiped God - Job 1:20 - Renewed his commitment. (
He Witnessed To God - 1:21 - Declared his faith in God. (Ill. God shouldn’t have to please us to get
us to serve Him!) (
C. He Didn’t Wrong God - 1:22; 2:10 - Didn’t accuse God.
1. He declared confidence in God purposes - 42:2; Rom. 8:28
2. He realized his limited perspective - Job 42:3
He Waited On God - 42:5 - He knew that he didn’t
understand it all. Therefore, he placed
his eyes on God.
IV. JOB’S TRIUMPH
A. Job’s Realization - 42:5-6 - That victory lies in God - 1 Cor. 15:57. Job finally saw that this thing was bigger than Job. It finally dawned on Job that all these things happened not because of his sins, and not because of all the things he was accused of by his friends. He came to understood that all this happened for the glory of God! If we could ever get a handle on that it would help us greatly! All of life is about God getting His glory from us, 1 Cor. 10:31. (Ill. Job won the victory in 1:21; planted the flag in 13:15; and marched home in glory in 42:6)
His Restoration - 42:10b-17 - (
C. His Reflection – 42:14 - We are told that Job and his wife had 10 more children. Three of them were daughters. We are told their names, and the names Job gave to these girls revealed the condition of his heart.
1. Jemima - (Day or dove) - This name indicates that God had given Job day in place of his night and peace in place of his turmoil.
2. Kezia - (Fragrance) - Indicating that God had replaced Job’s sorrow with the sweet smell of His grace.
3. Keren-Happuch - (Box of eye-paint) - This word was also used to refer to Moses when he came off the mountain with his face aglow with the glory of God. It refers to glory, or brightness. The idea here is that Job is praising God for the fact that God has replaced his wretchedness with glory!
C. When restoration has been achieved, look for a way to praise God for the time you spent in your valley. Thank Him for your Jemima, your Kezia and your Keren-Happuch. Regardless of how dismal and dark the valley, He was always there with you as you traveled through, Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20. Trust God and He will allow you to taste the sweetness of victory - Psa. 30:5.
Conc: May the Lord help each one of us reach the place that no matter what life throws at us, we can honestly say, “I still believe!” There will be plenty of times when we will not understand. That’s okay! There will be times when we will not know what to do. That is okay as well.
But, may we all always know that no matter what happens along life’s pathway, God always has our best interests at heart, and that He will always do the right thing in us, for us and to us! Can you look at all that has happened in your life and say, “I still believe?” Can you look at all the things that are going on right now and say, “I still believe?” God help us to reach that place. If you need help in this area, please allow Him to help you with that, or any need you may have.