Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
Job. Just that one word says it all. The pain, the misery, the victory – all wrapped up in the name Job. Job lost more than most of us will ever loose at one time. His physical, mental, emotional and spiritual suffering was great. He wasn’t perfect in his response – but almost so. “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” “Though he slay me, yet will I serve Him.” What finer words have ever been spoken by anyone who has lost it all (all but his wife) and had to go on. God gives no explanation of why, in a few short hours, he lost his possession and property, his servants, his children and eventually even his health. He had prayed for God to put a hedge of protection around them the very morning they died. Yet he chose in faith to trust in God even when there seemed to be no earthly reason to do so. I guess that’s why God put his story in the Bible, and why we are so readily drawn to him. We can so easily identify with times of pain and loss when God was quiet and never answered the “why” question.
But what is also encouraging about Job’s message is that God assures us that there is a “why” even if we don’t know what it is. In Job’s case it was the conflict between God and Satan. God uses Satan’s challenge to show the whole spiritual realm of angels and demons that some will serve God out of love and not just for what they’ll get out of it. Job also glorifies God by showing that to everyone who has ever heard or read the story of Job. Job challenges us to ask ourselves just how much we serve God out of love and devotion and how much we do so for what we get out of it. When we unexpectedly suffer pain or loss, with no explanation from God, do we continue to trust and follow? Or do we doubt, criticize and withdraw from God? The choice is ours, and we only have one chance to make the right first choice in following Him.
Are you making the most of the opportunities God gives you to trust Him no matter what? The angels, and demons, are watching. So is God. Lets make sure they know we aren’t following God for self-centered reasons but just for His glory. Trust Him no matter what.
Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Romans 5:3-4, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Romans 8:35-39, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- What are some of you biggest “why” questions for God?
- How are you resolving them?
- What can you learn from Job to help you get through these unanswerable situations?
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on October 13, 2008