Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Gospel According to Job

Before I get to Dr. David Jeremiah's lesson in the series on the book of Job called "Tried, Tested, and Triumphant", I want to share a personal story.

Many years ago, I gave my mother (who, at the time was a devout Catholic) the NIV Bible which had study notes at the bottom of each page. I thought that it would help her understand the passages better. This was shortly after I had re-dedicated my life to the Lord back in the 90's. I wanted to be sure that my family members were saved through the Cross of Jesus Christ.

When I gave her the Bible, I suggested that she start reading the book of John. That was the book that I was studying with a women's Bible study group in my neighborhood. Shortly after finishing that study, I stood up in the church I was attending and re-dedicated my life to Jesus Christ. This led to a turning point in my life. I became very active at the church and an avid Bible reader. I attended many Bible studies - including Bible Study Fellowship intensive studies on The Life of Moses, and the writings of John. But I did not have any in-depth study on the book of Job.

Back to my mother's story.

Instead of reading the book of John, she decided to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Well, she didn't get very far. She stopped at the book of Job. Apparently, what happened to Job so disturbed her, she decided not to continue reading and studying the Bible. My heart sank when she told me that. Ever since, I have tried to share the Gospel with her, hoping and praying that she would be saved. When my father became born again just months before his death from terminal cancer in 1995, my mom was in the room and prayed the prayer of salvation with us. But only God knows whether or not her decision was genuine. I pray that it was. She now suffers from Alzheimer's disease and the last time that I shared the Gospel during my visit with her (and my Aunt Alex), she fell asleep at the table.

Have you ever encountered someone who couldn't understand why God allowed what happened to Job? Have you ever bristled at the tragedy of Job's life while he was being afflicted by Satan? Have you ever questioned God's mercy because of all that was allowed and done to Job?

My partial answer might be that's what evil does. But of course, that statement does not include the most important part of the answer.

Each of us could probably ask those same questions about your own life or someone you love. Why did they have to go through that suffering? It's a question that we all would like to have the answer to, I'm sure. I can't say that I have all the answers. I don't. But God DOES have all the answers, and if we just seek out those answers in Scripture, the AH HA! moments will be quite amazing - and even startling.

We get a hint about my recent "startling moment" in the introductory paragraphs about Tried, Tested, and Triumphant - The Book of Job.

When someone we know is going through a time of suffering and trial, a reference to Job is often mentioned in some context. We feel comfortable referencing Job as the ultimate example, but do we really know his story? Do we really understand the circumstances of his suffering? Job is a complex story of one man's journey from blessing to despair, from affluence to poverty, and respect to ridicule. Dr. Jeremiah unfolds this story verse-by-verse and chapter-by-chapter allowing us to witness every aspect of Job's challenging journey. In the end, we leave with not only a shining example to encourage us in our faith--we come away with the peace of knowing that God is in control of all things and that He will use every circumstance in our lives to reveal His grace and glory.

I had one of those AH HA! moments while watching and listening to Dr. Jeremiah's sermon today. I sincerely hope that readers here will take the time to view the sermon. You WON'T be disappointed! It is so powerful - and could change your perspective about the book of Job forever.

If you are pressed for time, the message introduction (which is crucial to see) starts at @ 17:50. It includes how you can get the resource [Tried, Tested and Triumphant - The Book of Job] that may be very helpful for you - or anyone you know - who is currently going through any type of suffering today.

When times are tough we often lean on our friends for support, love, and understanding. Job was not so fortunate in this matter because his group of friends ended up criticizing and condemning him instead of encouraging him. But instead of offering a defense to his friends, Job offered up his defense to God. In turn, he revealed what a majestic, holy, and all-powerful God that he served then--and that we still serve today.

View the video at this link:
David This Week's Message - The Gospel According to Job

When you view the video, the title of the sermon becomes so evident that you will wonder how you ever missed it (if you were like me - who did miss that important point) in your personal studies on Job!

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