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365 Devotionals: God’s Faithful Servant
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22 AMP
The Seeds of Promise Devotional Series
This Is Only A Test
Mark the blameless man and behold the upright, for there is a happy end for the man of peace. Psalm 37:37 AMP
|June||Book||Read From||Read To||Devotional|
|17th||Job||Chapter 9||Chapter 12||This Is Only A Test|
ROUND 5 Continued…
It is written that evil communication corrupts good manners. The more you ingest the conversation of nay sayers, the more polluted your thinking will become. Because Job’s friends were tired of seeing him suffer, and likely uncomfortable with the extent of his suffering – for which they had also wept sorely and saw no change, they soon changed from giving condolence to condemnation. Job listened to their rationale and soon began to utter words of despair.
Job could have benefited from the example of David who returned from war with his men of valor and found that his kingdom had been pillaged, which when the men of valor knew it they thought to kill David, he encouraged himself in the Lord. Sometimes, you have to be your own cheerleader. Friends may turn away when your test is embarrassing to them, or they feel inadequate to offer you comfort. Yet in all things, God will never leave you nor forsake you.
Always, but especially when you are emotionally sensitive due to great change – whether by loss or gain, you must be careful who you listen to. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. If something so precious as faith is built by hearing, the ear gate to the soul is a vital organ to protect. Though God speaks of the spiritual ear, the natural ear is a door to the spirit.
After much lamenting, Job questions God of his punishment, professing that he is a blameless man. Though Job’s trials were not ignited by God’s will to punish wrong, Job is tired in spirit. His words have turned from worship to questioning. Job recounts to God that he is His own magnificent creation and asks why should it be destroyed [Job 10:9]. In the same line of questioning, Job expresses his thought that God desired from the creation of the world to destroy him [Job 10:14].
It is easy to feel saddened when reading the book of Job, learning how he suffered and thought erroneously that God had abandoned him. You know the end of the story, yet Job was in the midst of a dark time in his life without the benefit of knowing the end from the beginning, that it would be well with him.
When you go through a dark place in your life, it can be difficult to step into another dimension and reel in the words that your soul need to hear, by which faith is cultivated in the spirit. When the enemy whispers to you that your life is of no consequence to God, tell him that he is a liar. Recall the words of Jeremiah 29:11…
For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
Satan is the prince of the air and the ruler of darkness. When you are tempted in a dark place, that enemy seems strongest. Yet as it was with Peter- who when he assayed to walk on the water to Jesus who came walking on water toward the fisher’s boat, Peter prevailed so long as he kept his eyes on Christ. However, when Peter took notice of the wind and waves, He began to sink. Walking through a dark place requires a strong focus on Christ. It does not mean that you will never stumble as you go through. You may or you might not, according to your faith. It is important to re-calibrate and re-focus whenever you feel yourself sinking into waters of depression, loneliness, despair, and any manner of negative thinking. If you try to resurface and cannot, do be afraid to cry out, “Jesus Save Me!” as did Peter on the water. Get the help you need to overcome. Look to Christ for Godly relationships that will encourage and not criticize you.
Cultivate relationships that confirm God’s will according to His Word. Let go of influences that entice you to curse God or give up on living. The enemy knew that he was allowed to afflict Job’s body; and that though the afflictions were not light and few, Satan could not kill Job. This is the purpose for the constant pressure, that Satan twisted a vice grip against Job in the form of loss and evil speaking. The only way Satan would see Job dead, was if Job died of His own infliction.
God has victory for you, even in a dark place. The only way you can lose is if you give up the ghost of your own free will. DON’T GIVE UP! God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If you walk in Him, you have a light in every dark place. He will be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path.
The hater huddle continued with a third of Job’s friends, Zophar, who expressed the notion that Job must have been hiding something. Zophar said that if the Lord should speak now, He would tell on Job and rat him out. WRONG AGAIN. From whence came these three “wise men” who knew everything about the scriptures and nothing surely good about their friend Job?
Zophar may have been the most outspoken of Job’s friends. You can imagine that if there was altercation, Zophar might have been the one to punch first and ask questions later. Zophar calls Job an outright liar and compares him to a stupid man. He says that Job just needs to “get his heart right,” stop sinning, and then he’ll be delivered [Job 11:11-14].
This is sadly a common occurrence. When a person today is experiencing a Job-like test, the hater huddle presents itself to reinforce the words of despair spoken from an evil spirit. The same message that is preached to bring a sinner to repentance, though preached in love, is hounded upon the Job-like experience, often harshly, because people often are afraid of what they do not understand and also willingly try to sweep away what they cannot fix. A problem without a clear solution is scary and embarrassing for those who are known to have power. It mocks their position and ability to get a response from God.
A test would not be so called if the answers were given with the sheet of questions. Sometimes in a dark place, the best thing you can do is “TRUST IN THE LORD”.
5 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. 6 In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP
Gathering worth (encouraging himself) in contradiction to negatives spewed out, Job may have been girding his loins with truth, renewing his mind, and casting down evil imaginations while Zophar spoke. Finally, Job speaks. He is annoyed with the hater huddle [Job 12:12]. He says sarcastically, “OK, fine. You three are the masters of knowledge and wisdom itself will perish when you do – since you know everything; but, I am wise as you are [Job 12:3].
I can imagine Job saying, “Don’t count me out yet. I may be in a dark place, but I have read the scriptures as you have. I may have lost all my possession, but I know the God who is Lord of all. I may have been sick in my body, but I know a healer. I may have been judged falsely, but I know a lawyer who has never lost a case. Don’t judge my position by my condition. I am among those who love God and do not bow to any other. I am a man of peace, whose end shall not be in strife. THIS IS ONLY A TEST. I am not inferior to you – just because you have not lost all your inheritance. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD. Though He slay me, I will trust in Him; and When I am tried, I shall emerge as fine gold.
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