The Job ParadoxWhen have you missed an opportunity to follow God’s guidance during a difficult time?
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Hit & Run
People are born for trouble as readily as sparks fly up from a fire (v.7).
One evening, just before midnight, an automobile
slammed into the side of our house. I woke up
to what sounded like an explosion, but then I
heard the muffled noise of a car radio and the squealing
of tires as the driver fled the scene.
Satan tried to dismantle Job’s relationship with God
(Job 1:9) by afflicting him with a series of “hit-and-run”
problems—serious and sudden troubles with devastating
results. The devil used natural disasters, violent attacks, and
illness to try to turn Job against his Maker (vv.Job 1:13).
Job didn’t submit to Satan’s tactics, although he did
struggle to stay close to God. During the time of testing,
his friend Eliphaz advised: “I would go to God and
present my case to Him” (Job 5:8). Eliphaz was earnestly
urging Job to hash things out with his Creator—to
express the fear, anger, and confusion.
Eliphaz reminded Job that God “protects those who
suffer” (v.11). This truth can prevent us from blaming God
and turning away from Him when we need Him the most.
While God sometimes allows peril to plague us, He
never abandons us in our distress (Psalms 23:4).
Eliphaz was a fairly good encourager, but he wrongly
suggested that Job’s problems stemmed from God’s
judgment. Although Job was innocent, it’s worth noting
that sometimes sin does bring trouble to our lives. (Think
of David, Bathsheba, and Uriah.) In that case, we can
stay near to God by repenting and accepting His
correction (Job 5:17).
Be aware that Satan wants the shock and bewilderment of hit-and-run problems
to jar your faith. Turn the tables on him. Keep praying; don’t play the blame game
(1:22); repent when necessary. When trouble strikes, “Come close to God, and
God will come close to you” (James 4:8).
Why are Christian friends especially important during difficult
days? How does your relationship with God change when life doesn’t
go your way?
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