Friday, February 15, 2013

Praise God and Live

Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. 10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.  –Job 2:9, 10 (KJV)

Often when I am not having a good day or I feel myself becoming discouraged, I go back and read passages in the book of Job.  I have many times compared what I might be facing at the time with the catastrophes Job was going through, and my problems are not worthy of comparison.  Here was a man who had been faithful to God in every aspect of his life, and yet God allowed Job to go through unimaginable trials.  He lost his possessions, most of his family and then his health failed him as he was covered from head to foot with painful sores.  Ironically, the one survivor of this calamity, Job’s wife, had no words of encouragement for her husband.  Her advice was that he “Curse God and die.” 

My, that had to be difficult for Job to hear.  His wife had lost her faith and become extremely bitter in the process.  Job reminded her she was speaking foolishly.  He also stated a powerful faith principle; our faithfulness to God is not to be dictated by our circumstances.  Good or bad, we are called to remain faithful to God at all times.  Such is the basis of faith and commitment to God.

This faith principle is difficult, especially when we feel we have somehow been slighted by God.  At one point Job become so exasperated that he wondered why he, a faithful servant of God, was suffering, while God seemed to smile on the schemes of the wicked (“Is it good unto thee that thou shouldest oppress, that thou shouldest despise the work of thine hands, and shine upon the counsel of the wicked?” -Job 10:3) The problem with such thinking is it easily leads to bitterness, and we are all susceptible to it when problems come our way.  Job was becoming bitter, and before he could continue in faithfulness to God he had to carefully examine his own attitudes.

If we allow ourselves to become bitter we lose our effectiveness for serving Christ and shining His light to a lost world.  Unfortunately, I have known followers of Christ who lost their zeal for Christ and their joy for living.  The cause was surrender to bitterness.  We must be careful of allowing bitterness to creep into our lives.  Let us also be about encouraging others to remain faithful regardless of their circumstances.  You may be going through hard times and you cannot help notice there are many ungodly people in the world who appear to be healthy and prosperous.  Do not allow this to distract you.  We have no control over other people.  However, God has given us power to be personally faithful to Him.  There is one person in the world responsible for your faith and your happiness.  You.

Try taking an opposite approach to what Job’s wife said.  Praise God and live.  Praise God no matter what and live the abundant life in Christ.  The Lord has promised to be with us.  Praise Him and live.

God bless you today.