WHAT mATTERS? Are you like Abraham, Job, or a little of both?
Some of us are more like the father of our faith, Abraham. By God’s own calling we are drawn to Him, hear His voice, believe what He says, and miraculously find ourselves new creatures with new desires and a new life. Then the practical application of waiting on God to transform us through His work in us, (called the sanctification process) sets in, and a life of struggle between the flesh and the spirit begins. Like Abraham, I seem to only be able to learn the hard way. I know the truth through the Word. Get tired of waiting on Him. Try to help Him in my own efforts. Develop and execute my own plan. Then I fail, see God pick me up, and teach me His lesson. He gets the glory and I’m victorious in the end, but I wish I didn’t struggle so hard to get there. I tend to forget about the peace and rest He offers through faith. I know better.
Others of us are more like Job, another great man of faith but with a totally different experience. We admire Job and cite his notable patience to wait upon the Lord for a hopeful end. But before his calamities, he looked very much like today’s average American Christian father. He was a good man, feared God, kept himself from evil, worked hard, raised a large family, had wealth and a very comfortable life. If he lived here today, he might be a middle-class accountant with a suburban home, a financed pick-up, and an SUV. He’d go to the local church most Sundays and attend the monthly men’s breakfasts. He’d be living the “American dream.” But let’s view Job’s story as perhaps a comparative analogy of the pestilence that has assaulted us these last two years. Horrific infection covered his body. Death took his family. His closest confidant encouraged him to give up, curse God, and die. His world was unexpectedly turned upside down. Satan was allowed to take away all the comforts and wealth that Job had. Not having a deep knowledge of God through intellectual study (the Word of God had not yet been written down for examination and analysis,) Job still reverenced God and avoided sin. The “religious church” (his three friends,) then swept in and by their own intellectual evaluation became pompous theologians, self-proclaimed spokesmen for God who knew neither God nor His ways. They proclaimed Job was not a Godly man, otherwise God would not have allowed the physical tribulation he experienced to come upon him. They knew not the everlasting Word that said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 Their explanations seemed logical, but Job’s spiritual relationship with God wouldn’t allow him to believe them. He held to his belief as to who God really was, saying, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:” Job 3:15 and, “For I know that my redeemer lives, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth,” Job 19:25 Both sayings being a clear reference to Jesus, the crucified and resurrected Lord God, and His second coming.
What matters now is, will we be fearful, allowing the trials and tribulations of life to rule over us, or will we rely on the truth that God has promised through His Word? Let’s be like Job, his eyes being focused on eternity. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13