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The Man Who Thought He'd Lost It All

The Bible is filled with many sad stories. Heart wrenching tales of fear, failure and loss. The story of Job is so terrible its known outside of Judeo-Christian circles. Why is that? What is so grievous about this character?

Read it for yourself. Job loses everything. Money. Fertile land. Livestock. Property. Servants. Family. Children. The reality of the story of Job is not to just see the horrendous work of the devil to tempt and try a righteous man. It reveals just how futile life can be. Where will you turn when you are suffering?

Job turned to God. It is possible that his friends were only there by the work of the devil. Makes sense to me. Why not turn everyone against him? Satan is even able to corrupt Job's mind. He begins to questioning his entire existence. He's asking: "Why am I here? Why is this happening to me? What did I do wrong?" Through most of the book Job gets no heavenly guidance. Only earthly "wisdom" and bad advice.

Are you still holding on to your integrity?” This is the question posed to a grieving Job by his own wife. “Are you going to keep holding fast to God and the claim that you have not sinned against Him, in spite of all this suffering? Why don’t you just curse Him and die?” This statement may have been in anger. But what if we are missing something? What if these words were to be a comfort to her husband who had lost almost everything? Maybe she is trying to convince him to stop fighting for his life.

Job was unwilling to throw in the towel. Though tormented and miserable, Job did hold on, and later declared, “Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me” (Job 27:5). He thus proved God’s assessment of him: “There is none like him on earth” (Job 2:3). And God blessed the latter part of his life more than the first. The point made throughout the book that God was with Job every step of the way.

There is a strong teaching found in Psalm 41:12 that expands the biblical principle of integrity. It says, “As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, and set me before Your face forever.” To be set by God before "His face forever" is strong incentive for careful behavior. The goal of Christ’s church is to be like Him, firmly adhered to the Father, unimpaired, undivided, uncompromised, yet liberated.  “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). The word of God makes us free and gives us peace.

Our faith in God should be all we need in the face of trials. The backstory (behind the scenes) of life is told in this book. Satan hates God. God loves you. Satan can't hurt God. Satan attacks you and me. If you are faithful He will still be standing beside you until the end. Have a great week!

You are loved.

Ray Reynolds, PhD

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