Hope in the Storms

The saying rings true for all of us.  You are either in the middle of a storm in your life, you are coming out of a storm in your life, or you are about to enter into a storm in your life.  With so much turmoil swirling around us, where do we find hope and peace?  I believe King David gives us several examples of hope in the storms. Continue reading

Chronological Bible Reading – January 10 – My Redeemer Lives!

Today’s Reading: Job 19-21

The pattern we have seen in Job continues in these chapters. Job’s “friends” continue to place the blame for his calamity squarely upon Job’s shoulders.  In response, Job continues to lament his life.  Job 19 contains a powerful declaration from Job.  In the midst of the pain and suffering, questions and persecution from friends, Job declares,

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last He will take his stand on the earth.
Even after my skin is destroyed,
Yet from my flesh I shall see God;
Whom I myself shall behold,
And whom my eyes will see and not another.
My heart faints within me!

Job 19:25-27(NASB)

What an amazing statement in the midst of acknowledging his pain and confusion, Job declares his faith that his Redeemer lives.  It is the same for us. No matter how hard this life becomes circumstantially, we must remember we have a Savior who is alive and well. Jesus is our HOPE!

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Chronological Bible Reading – January 6 – When Other’s Hurt

Today’s Reading: Job 4-7

In today’s reading we see the first of Job’s “friends” begin his efforts at comforting Job in the midst of his affliction.  In chapters 4-5 Eliphaz reasons that Job is simply being punished by God for iniquity in his life.  Job 4:17-19 poses the question, “Can mankind be just before God?” On our own, none can be just or pure before God.  Right here, in the middle of Job, we see a truth that points us to our need for the Gospel. Because none of us are righteous or pure before God, we need a Savior.  Through Jesus Christ’s completed work on the cross and His resurrection, the Bible says our impurity and imperfection can be removed.  We can, by faith and repentance, stand before God clean and blameless.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. – Jude 24-25 (NASB)

Now back to the text from today’s reading. Eliphaz cannot see beyond human reasoning when it comes to all Job has encountered.  He cannot see God’s greater purpose in pain.  Therefore, he concludes that Job is simply getting what he deserves.  Job 5:8-27 contains Eliphaz’s recommendation for Job.

Verse 8 says, “I would seek God, and I would place my cause before Him.”

Job 5:17-19 gives us a great parallel to Hebrews 12:5-11:

Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. – Job 5:17 (NASB)

 

…My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines and He scourges every son whom He receives. It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. – Hebrews 12:5-8 (NASB)

Job 6-7 contains Job’s response to Eliphaz.  Job disagrees with Eliphaz’s assessment and challenges him to point out where he has erred.  Job doesn’t receive kindness from Eliphaz, only rebuke.  Job laments over what remains of his life and by the end of chapter 7 we see Job directly questioning God over his pain.

There is much more to unpack as we make our way through Job.  However, the point of application from today’s reading is this: We have hurting people all around us.  Sometimes the reason for their hurt is easy to discern because of self-inflicted poor decisions.  In those times it is a loving thing to come alongside them and offer encouragement and direction.  However, there are many times when the reason for the pain is not clear.  In these times, we must avoid our weak attempts at answering the question of why. When we cannot clearly answer the why question, we simply need to be there to support, love, and encourage those who are hurting.

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Chronological Bible Reading – January 5 – Job’s Unwavering Commitment

Today’s Reading: Job 1-3

There is debate about where the story of Job falls in the chronology of Scripture.  However, the plan that I use places Job early in Genesis. Therefore, today begins several days in the book of Job.

Today’s reading is painful. Job 1:1 tells of the man named Job, describing him as blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. Based on the continued description of Job, he is an extremely wealthy man.

Job 1 tells us that Satan appeared before God after roaming around on the earth.  God points out Job’s faithfulness and Satan declares the only reason Job is faithful is because of the rich blessing and circumstances in his life.  Satan challenges God and predicts the moment these things are removed, Job’s faithfulness will leave with them. Continue reading

The Problem with Suffering

Today’s Chronological Bible Reading: Job 19-21

In these three chapters there is the debate about why the rich seem to prosper even though they refuse to acknowledge that God even exists. Job reasons that it isn’t fair that those who want nothing to do with God continue to prosper when he has been totally committed to God and his life seems to be ending in ruin.

Job’s friends are no help either.  They continue to bring accusation against Job by saying that surely God must be punishing Job for some level of sin or wickedness that he is refusing to acknowledge.  Their understanding is that bad things only happen to people who have turned their backs on God. Continue reading

Seeking a Greater Ministry?

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (ESV)

First, praise God for who He is; “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”  To understand this reality and pair it with the love He has demonstrated in the Gospel for us should be enough to sustain us in the midst of the most trying times.  Praise Him!

Continue reading

Starting Now, I’m Looking Out for THE ONE!

Often, we find ourselves facing difficulties, and almost always, our immediate response is asking God to remove the hardship.  Exodus 32 and the story of Israel and the golden calf paints a picture of the heart of Moses that should help us understand that instead of “looking out for number one” we should be looking out for THE ONE! Continue reading

When Trials Come

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face. (ESV)

As I read this morning I came across this verse in Job that I have often heard quoted by those who have endured severe hardship. If you grew up around church, you have an idea of what Job has endured as he makes this statement. Job, who is a righteous man before God and has been greatly blessed, loses everything in a matter of days. All of his livestock, his servants, and his children are either stolen or killed (Job 1). Then, Job’s physical health is lost as sores break out on his body from head to toe (Job 2). It is so bad, that his wife tells him to forsake his integrity, curse God and die. However, Job is a faithful man toward God and refuses.  What can we learn from Job and this verse? Continue reading