A business destroyed, lives destroyed, and sores covering the body from head to toe. Job, a faithful man to the Lord had all of his blessings from God taken away within a minutes time. Maybe you can relate as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 situation. Maybe you are out of work or your business is shutdown. Maybe you personally have been sick because of the COVID-19, and it is one of the worse things you have had to battle. Maybe you have lost a loved one because of the virus. The way Job and his wife responded give us clues on how we should respond.
In last week’s blog, “Where is God?!”, we discussed how Satan made false accusations about God and Job’s relationship. We saw the God responded by allowing Satan to test Job’s faith. In a blink of an eye, Job lost everything. So how did he respond? Well, the opposite of how most people would respond. Verse 21 reads as followed;
“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”–Job 1:20-22
Wow! While Job expressed grief, like any other human would, we also read that he still trusts the Lord by worshiping Him. How could a man who lost everything still trust God? Job understood the sovereignty of God and the reality that everything on this earth will not last. If you read the first three chapters of Genesis, we see the creation of man and our fall to sin. Before sin entered the world, we lived in perfect communion with God, and there was no such thing has death. After the fall, the curse of sin caused death. Genesis 3:19 reads;
“By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”-Genesis 3:19
One of the misconceptions we tend to believe, especially in American Culture, is that we will never experience hardship. Since we have all the latest technology and resources at the palm of our hands, we tend to believe that we are invincible. When tragedy hits and we believe this lie, the nature of our hearts is to blame someone. Usually the first being to get blamed is God, even by those who claim to not believe in God. We curse God, and believe we need to get Him out of our lives, just like Job’s wife did.
“Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die. But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”-Job 2:9-10
Again, we see Job submitting to the sovereignty of God. If we are expected to receive blessings from God,why would we hesitate to receive disaster? This is why I have trouble with the prosperity gospel, which promises that God will give you all the riches you need and that you will never deal with hardship. Clearly, those who speak this lie have never read the book of Job or the words of Jesus when He discusses the cost of discipleship. I recently gave a teaching called “Call Me Crazy!” that addresses what it will cost us to be disciples.
So how to do we respond to tragedy? By trusting in the sovereignty of God, with joy. James, the half brother of Jesus wrote the following;
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”-James 1:2-3
Now, this is not stating that we have a fake joy where we deny everything that is going on. What is being stated is that we should have joy in knowing that God has it all under control. I think about Jesus Christ, who went through trials that many of us have never experienced. He was scourged, to the point of being unrecognizable. Wore a crown of thorns. Was mocked, and had nails going through his wrists and feet so He would hang on a cross. In the “Bible Series”, when they show Jesus hanging on the cross, there is a part where Jesus is smiling. With all the physical, emotional, and spiritual pain happening, He is smiling! While I don’t know if it is true that He did, I believe there is a chance He was, because He was joyful in knowing that the Father’s plan to bring His creation back into communion with Him was about to be fulfilled.
In the midst of our trials, let us have joy in knowing that God is in full control.
Thank you for taking the time to read “How Do We Respond?” If you found this blog helpful, I encourage you to 1.) get on our email list so you can receive notifications for new blog entries and 2.) to share this information with others who you believe will benefit from it. Join me net week as I do interview with a good friend of mine, Pastor Joshua Birchfield.