Thought for the Week - 3rd SeptemberPastor Gareth Watkins
Job 3: 25-26
For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me,
And what I dreaded has happened to me.
I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;
I have no rest, for trouble comes.
There’s many types of problems we encounter in life. Problems don’t go away just because we become Christians. However, we can either choose to see God in our problems and find God in our problems, or allow our problems to push us away from God. God can find a way through our problems.
Job, as we read above, had a lot of problems. The thing he most feared happened to him. He can’t rest and there are troubles all around him. Have you ever been in the place where you feel there are troubles all around you?
Before these verses, we see Job blessed with family, possessions, animals and land. He was the greatest of all the people of the east. He was a great man! Then, trouble came. It was an assault by the devil himself. The devil approaches God, wanting to attack and break him. The devil wants to come against anything that’s Godly. If there’s anything of God in us, he will come to us and try to break it out of us. He wants to take the thing that’s precious to God and rob it from us. It happened to Job and it happens to us.
The troubles and problems came to Job, and the assault of evil came into his family. The devil comes and target the things of God in our family. As he was an adversary of Job, he is also an adversary of the things of God in our lives today. Satan wants to destroy the things that God gives us – our homes, our family, our testimonies, and our church. As Christian’s today we are like Job all those years ago. The devil will attack, and try to steal from and break the things of God in our lives.
Satan builds and starts assaulting Job through his wife. She says to him: “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2: 9). She asks Job why he doesn’t change his mind, telling him to curse God and turn against Him. Job now doesn’t only have the physical assault on his finances and animals, he now finds that he has an inward assault; a battle is going to rage in his mind. Even in that we read that “In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2: 10).
Job says to his wife: “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (Job 2: 10). Adversity comes in life. Unfortunately, people think that when we become Christians that there’s no more problems, hardships or issues. That’s not the case. Either we go these with God in the middle of things, or we go our own way. The best way though these things – which God shows through Job – is with God in the centre of everything.
The world presses certain pressures our way – to look a certain way, to earn more and more, to cope alone, to keep a perfect family in a perfect house etc. When there is a voice pushing us to do these things, then a wrongness comes. If there’s a voice, there’s a person; and if there’s a person, it’s not God. It’s satan himself driving us through the problems and pressures, so we no longer seek God. Job suffered the problems but managed to maintain his integrity through it all. In the middle of all these things, Christ needs to be there!
These voices, pressures and torments are going to come. That voice, which is not of God, can cause so much damage and loss. We need to deal with these things in God’s way. If we put the barriers up, pretend and don’t want to deal with things in God’s way, then whose way are we dealing with them in? We are dealing with them in our way and the ways that don’t belong to God! And therefore, the blessings of God are not going to come into those things. We have choices to make when these pressures and problems come – do we take them to God or do we try to work them out another way?
Behind that voice is something that is not God, and something that will destroy and crush the things of God. Satan wants to stop us being blessed, anointed, strengthened, equipped, and bringing our problems under God. We need to bring our problems to God. We need to claim the promises He has given us. And we need to take advantage of the way that God has given us to deal with things. We need to make a choice to take these things to God.
God has given us many promises:
Romans 8: 37
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed
If we decide not to take advantage of the scriptures God has given us, then consequences will come. It affects our walk, our thinking, our mind, and even other people. We dupe ourselves! The pressures are still there.
God needs to be in the centre of our lives and in the middle of who we are. We need to recognise the door that satan wants to come through. God used men like James to show us what to do. In James 4: 7 we read: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you”. Submitting to God means seeing the problem that we have with a problem. Do we submit to God in that problem? Or do we take that problem ourselves and become rebellious to God in that circumstance? That one issue can be the driving force that takes us away from God. Do we submit to God in that? Those doors are opened one at a time, and need to be recognised. Do we lay it down before God?
If we submit to God then we need to admit our rebelliousness – our pride etc. If we submit to God, we might have to do things that we don’t have to do. It can become uncomfortable at times. If we want these pressures to be held in God’s way, then submitting to God in that thing has to be the starting point. And dealing with our rebellious attitude to that problem has to be a part of it too. If we want the problem to end with God, then we need to do it God’s way.
We also read that we need to “resist the devil”. We can’t resist the devil if we haven’t submitted to God. If we want the problem to ruin our lives, and a chain of destruction and fear upon our lives, then we do it in our own way. But if we want it in God’s way, then the principles are laid down – submit to God, stop our rebelliousness, do it in God’s way and resist the devil. Resisting the devil includes not accepting things and bringing things under God. We also have the armour of God. When the devil came to Christ, He resisted Him and used the Word of God – the sword of the spirit – to conquer him in his own actions.
Because Christ submitted to God, He was enabled to use the Word of God to defeat the devil. First we submit to God and deal with our rebellious attitude. Then we resist the devil, and use the things that God has given us to conquer. The pressure will still be where it is, but we won’t be where we are, because we will be strong in God. We will have the Holy Spirit with us. The Holy Spirit has been given to us through the baptism of the Holy Spirit to help us to live, conquer sin and conquer the things in this life. We’re not meant to be broken and crushed down – we’re meant to carry the Word and the truth of God!
We do that by submitting all our paths under God, resisting and using the weapons and the things of God to bring our problems in line with Him. Job knew these things. Despite all the many pressures that came on his life, he stood in those days! We too can stand. We can stand in the righteousness of Christ! We can stand and overcome. We can use the scripture and our authority. The door that satan can so easily come through, can be closed.
In Job 42, we read that God gave everything that Job had lost back to him, and more beside. But when his trouble’s started, Job didn’t know this – all he knew is that he had to hang on to God. He could have gone his own way, sinned and spoken against God. But instead he held onto God. And so, God restored to him more than he had lost.
We read in Job 42:17: “So Job died, old and full of days”. Job didn’t end his life crushed, lost and full of nothing! He had full days, full of God and with a richness of God in his life!
Look to God in everything that comes before you.