* We don’t have to despair
When Joseph became a slave, Jacob thought he was dead and wept in despair. But eventually God’s plan allowed Jacob to regain not only his son but his grandchildren as well. Circumstances are never so bad that they are beyond God’s help. Jacob regained his son. Job got a new family (Job 42:10-171). We need never despair because we belong to a loving God. We never know what good he will bring out of a seemingly hopeless situation. (NLT)
Genesis 48:11 – Then Jacob said to Joseph, “I never thought I would see you again, but now God has let me see your children too.”
* Don’t respond to crisis with despair
Trapped against the sea, the Israelites faced the Egyptian army sweeping in for the kill. The Israelites thought they were doomed. After watching God’s powerful hand deliver them from Egypt, their only response was fear, whining, and despair. Where was their trust in God? Israel had to learn from repeated experience that God was able to provide for them. God has preserved these examples in the Bible so that we can learn to trust him the first time. By focusing on God’s faithfulness in the past, we can face crises with confidence rather than with fear and complaining. (NLT)
Exodus 14:10-11 – As Pharaoh and his army approached, the people of Israel could see them in the distance, marching toward them. The people began to panic, and they cried out to the Lord for help.
Then they turned against Moses and complained, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? Why did you make us leave?”
1 Would the message of the book of Job change if God had not restored to Job his former blessings? No. God is still sovereign. Jesus said that anyone who gives up something for the Kingdom of God will be repaid. Our restoration may or may not be the same kind as Job’s, which was both spiritual and material. Our complete restoration may not be in this life—but it will happen. God loves us, and he is just. He not only will restore whatever we have lost unjustly, but he also will give us more than we can imagine as we live with him in eternity. Cling tightly to your faith through all your trials, and you, too, will be rewarded by God—if not now, in the life to come.
The main question in the book of Job is timely: Why do believers experience troubles and suffering? Through a long debate, Job’s supposedly wise friends were unable to answer this question. Job’s friends made a serious error for which God rebuked them. They assumed that trouble comes only because people sin. People make the same mistake today when they assert that sickness or lack of material blessing is a sign of unconfessed sin or lack of faith. Though normally (but not always) following God leads to a happier life, and rebelling against God normally (but not always) leads to an unhappy life. God is in control. In our world invaded by sin, calamity and suffering come to good and bad alike.
This does not mean that God is indifferent, uncaring, unjust, or powerless to protect us. Bad things happen because we live in a fallen world, where both believers and unbelievers are hit with the tragic consequences of sin. God allows evil for a time although he turns it around for our good. We may have no answers as to why God allows evil, but we can be sure he is all-powerful and knows what he is doing. The next time you face trials and dilemmas, see them as opportunities to turn to God for strength. You will find a God who only desires to show his love and compassion to you. If you can trust him in pain, confusion, and loneliness, you will win the victory and eliminate doubt, one of Satan’s greatest footholds in your life. Make God your foundation. You can never be separated from his love. (NLT)
Job 42:10-17 – When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the Lord had brought against him. And each of them brought him a gift of money and a gold ring.
So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand teams of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. He named his first daughter Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land there were no other women as lovely as the daughters of Job. And their father put them into his will along with their brothers.
Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren. Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, good life.
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