The story of Job may be very familiar to us that we could describe him exactly as written in Job 1:1: "In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil." And we might also wonder why bad things happen to good people. But let us not forget that Job was not found guilty in responding to his misfortune. Not once did he accuse God with wrongdoing.
Never have a suspicion toward God. He loves us so much and always thinks about what is best for our lives, even long before our human mind can conceive it. God provides us as an answer to the lives of others.
In the midst of a life crisis, we must be part of the solution and not the problem. Be the answer to other people's struggles, because our duty is not to worsen the world's problems. What can we learn from Job's life?
1. Prosperity and blamelessness must go together.
“He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East,” (Job 1:2-3). Do not pursue success in the way of the world, but pursue it in the fear of God. Pure faith is our most precious treasure. Ask God for faith that is blameless and upright.
2. The greatest asset God entrusted in our lives are people and relationships with others.
“His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom,” (Job 1:4-5).
Love everyone around you in the right way that pleases God. In the midst of a life crisis, use the time available to seek God and improve our priorities in life. Sometimes God allows crisis to occur in our lives for detoxification purposes. That means, in difficult times God is purifying our hearts from self-centeredness and worldly influences that have corrupted our hearts without us realizing it. Times of crisis can teach us to rely more on Him.
3. Seek praise from God, not from people. It’s the only one that counts!
One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil,” (Job 1:6-8)
There is an invisible realm that rules the visible one. Humans do not know their future, and thus everyone needs God. Those who belong to Jesus are in peace, because they know that He lives and He holds tomorrow. As long as we live in this world, no one escapes the reach of Satan. The ancient serpent can tempt anyone because he seeks to destroy every one of us. However, do not be afraid because the Spirit of God within us is greater than all the spirits in the world. Therefore, resist the devil with firm faith! God gave praise to Job not because of his health and wealth, but because he is blameless and upright. To fear God is to stay away from evil, and that is what God desires.
4. God is Love. Satan is the accuser.
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger. Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD,” (Job 1:9-12).
We often appreciate things after we lose it. In times of crisis, we realize that even simple things are precious after they are taken from us. Learn to count your blessings one by one.
If you cannot look ahead, look back and count the goodness of God in the past. It will awaken our faith how God has been with us. In times of crisis, draw close to God deliberately and don't let this heart be accused by the devil.
5. Think about truth (the Word), not the mistakes (of yourself and others).
“At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing,” (Job 1:20-22).
Satan can work in the hearts of those who disobey God. Satan can cause diseases, or at least take advantage of it. However, in difficult times, do not worry, because the temptations will not be beyond what we can bear. The power of Satan is limited; so we don't need to be afraid of what he can do to us. We only need to "fear" God, whose power is limitless over us.
Whatever we undergo in this world, God has the solution. Do not lose faith in the crisis of life. Use our faith in everything we do. Triumph over crisis together with God!
If you want to pray, pray according to the Word of God. Pray for the sick to be healed, because things can get worse without prayer. Pray for miracles. Pray for the impossible to happen, because the possible can happen without prayer anyway. Pray for deliverance and breakthrough. Pray that God will set free, because to remain a prisoner can happen without prayer. Pray with faith! Faith is "striving" for what we pray for, by continuing to ask, seek, and knock on Heaven's door.
Excerpted from Ps. Philip Mantofa’s sermon