How should we respond to trials?

13 March 2022 PM – Job 1:13-2:10 – Job2022 – Scott Childs
Introduction: The preacher George Mueller once said, “God delights to increase the faith of His children. We ought, instead of wanting no trials before victory, no exercise for patience, to be willing to take them from God’s hand as a means. I say—and say it deliberately—trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith…We should take them out of His hands as evidences of His love and care for us in developing more and more that faith which He is seeking to strengthen in us.”
Transition: In our text this evening, we will see that Job lost his possessions and his health unjustly, yet he trusted God. God desires that we might trust Him, as Job did, when trials overwhelm us.
1.        Job lost his possessions unjustly (Job 1:13-22)
a.         His trial was overwhelming.
1)         His prosperity shattered (Job 1:13-17).
a)         Oxen and asses stolen and servants killed (1:14-15)
b)         Sheep and servants burned to death (1:16)
c)         Camels stolen and servants killed (1:17)
2)         His children were all killed by a tornado (Job 1:18-19)
3)         In just a few minutes, Job plummeted from prosperity to poverty and from joy to overwhelming grief.
4)         Job had no idea why these terrible losses came. By reading the biblical account, we know that Satan was behind it all, but Job had no idea. He received the news as a husband receiving a phone call from his wife saying that a sudden raging fire swept over their homestead, destroying all that they had, including all of their children. The news was devastating!
5)         Bad news is always heart-wrenching. Solomon wrote,   (Prov 12:25) “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop.” (Prov 15:13) “by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” (Prov 17:22) “a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Prov 15:15) “All the days of the afflicted are evil.” (Prov 18:14) “a wounded spirit who can bear?
b.         His testimony was superb.
1)         Often when unbelievers receive that terrifying news, they swear, get angry, curse God, scream or become hysterical.
2)         The first things that comes from our mouth when disaster strikes will reveal the true content of our heart.
3)         Job’s sudden, terrible loss revealed the character of his heart. He did not become hysterical. He did not swear. He did not get angry.
4)         Job grieved and worshipped (Job 1:20)
a)         He tore his clothes and shaved his head as signs of grief.
b)         He fell down on the ground and worshipped God. Lying face down on the ground, he bowed in respect to God. He cast his burden on the Lord.
c)         God does not promise to remove our burdens, but he does promise to sustain us through them. (Ps 55:22) “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
5)         Job blessed the name of the LORD (Job 1:21). He wisely acknowledged that he entered the world with nothing. All that he had had was a gift from God. God had the right to take it if he pleased. Warren Wiersbe points out that Job looked back at his naked birth, looked ahead at his naked death, and then looked up and concluded, “The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21).
6)         Job did not sin nor did he blame God foolishly (Job 1:22). How was Job able to do this? He knew God intimately and trusted God explicitly. I believe that our lack of faith and trust in God always stems from our lack of closeness to God. If you or I often react in sinful ways to the trials of life, we must spend more time alone with God.
7)         Job was innocent. God himself said that Job was perfect, upright, reverent and loathed sin. Though his great losses were unjust, but God allowed them. God had things for Job to learn through his trials. Keep this in mind when your trials seem unjust.
2.        Job lost his health unjustly (Job 2:1-10)
a.         He severely suffered.
1)         God allowed this injustice (Job 2:1-6).
a)         Again, God commended Job (2:1-3).
b)         God stated that the trials were “without cause” (2:3).
c)         Satan asked God’s permission to torment Job’s body, and God allowed it (2:4-6).
2)         Satan covered Job with boils (Job 2:7)
a)         Roy Zuck points out that, “Job’s afflictions were inflamed, ulcerous sores (2:7), itching (2:8), degenerative changes in facial skin (2:7, 12), loss of appetite (3:24), depression (3:24-25), worms in the boils (7:5), hardened skin and running sores (7:5), difficulty in breathing, figuratively if not literally (9:18), dark eyelids (16:16), foul breath (19:17), loss of weight (19:20; 33:21), continual pain (30:17), restlessness (30:27), blackened skin (30:30), and fever (30:30). It may have lasted for several months at least, because Job referred to his “months of vanity” (7:3) and the “months gone by” (29:2).”
b)         Job was absolutely miserable (Job 2:8). Job scraped the infection from his painful, oozing sores with a broken piece of pottery. He sat among the ashes. Some commentators claim that the ashes were dumped near or with other garbage outside the city. Beggars, outcasts, and dogs were present in such places. Zuck This was humiliating.
3)         Satan then turned Job’s wife against him. She urged him to curse God and die (Job 2:9). The one who should have been his dearest friend on earth was bitter toward God and offered him no comfort. In fairness to her, we must remember that she too lost her ten children, her income, and her healthy husband. However, this does not excuse her. If you are married, do not let your spouse be more spiritual than you are. Strive to love the Lord and your spouse, as you ought.
4)         The very worst thing you can do when someone is suffering is to curse God in his presence or to urge him to blame God. A suffering saint does not need to hear you say, “This is not fair” or “God is not just” or “This should never have happened to you” or “Where is God when we need him” or anything similar. Instead, she needs a friend who will encourage her in the Lord, read comforting Scriptures to her, and pray with her that God will give her abundant grace.
b.         He continued to trust God.
1)         Job rebuked his foolish wife (2:10).
2)         He then tried to correct her foolish reasoning. Job said that it was reasonable to receive evil from God as well as good. God did not owe him anything!
3)         Job remained loyal to God. He did not sin.
4)         “Faith is living without scheming. It is obeying God in spite of feelings, circumstances, or consequences, knowing that He is working out His perfect plan in His way in His time.” Wiersbe
5)         Trusting God in the midst of such devastating trials required that Job knew well the sovereignty and character of God. Folks, nothing will prepare us better for upcoming trials than making it our passion to know God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Conclusion: None of us likes trials or losses, yet they are part of life. For an unknown reason, God allows some of His children to face greater and more trials than others face. Both experience and the conditions of our world tell us that trials and losses lie ahead. In our hearts, we desire to respond as Job responded, but we know our past failures and our present weaknesses. The best way to prepare is to draw near to God. Remember Jesus’ words in Luke 6:45, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Song: Teach Me to Pray – 346 #3