I was watching a sermon that talks about an experience–rather.
SERIES of EXPERIENCES we ALL go through during this journey, we call LIFE.
It is the Job Experience.
The dilemma is–which this sermon helps explain–
How can I, how can we reconcile the pain we go through,
even with the knowledge that God not only exists but cares and loves us?
And since we are walking through this season of life together, I wanted to share my notes with you. I am not perfect, nor do I intend to state these things with the intention of misleading, or even claiming myself as a scholar in this area…I still have quite a bit of growing to do and am learning daily. And I will continue to write with The Lord’s direction, to you all about the reason for suffering, and the reflections we can make on our journey of faith with the Lord.
I encourage you to watch this entire sermon:
May 27, 2018 “When It’s Over”, Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley
He gives some funny analogies and, of course, soberly, carefully divides what we commonly believe as reasons why we go through suffering and tragedy.
Here are my notes…
To defend and define Gods holiness and justice in the midst of experiencing evil.
To reconcile a sickness, a tragedy and still believe in God…
The Omnipotence (unlimited power surpassing space, time, and life as we know it) and the Love of God are challenged.
Some may say:
- God does not love me
- God is not omnipotent.
- God ain’t real.
But this is something for all those who consider these thoughts in their heart and mind: We have free will. We make decisions that have affected our world.
Our sin, our disobedience have tainted the world, and have allowed tragedy and chaos to run rampant. Even at the expense of God’s children.
We are here now--and God still will alleviate, strengthen, and ultimately heal the pain in our hearts as we go through some of the casualties we endure in life.
Then we have this million dollar word…
The doctrine of salvation.
Your standing on human choice (Even when it comes to human suffering) effects salvation.
Double Predestination (the doctrine of the elect)
In simpler form, EVERYTHING is God’s Will.
And since God knows, and predestined everything–that means He must not only be okay with my suffering–but He has Sovereignly ordained it. And caused it.
What a hard conclusion to draw if it is the case.
We serve a God that breaks into our situation–no matter the cause.
He is Faithful to deliver, walk with us, and make us more like His Son, Jesus through it all.
Don’t give up on God.
Faith is the only thing that will hold you together in a moment like this.
Faith allows you to move forward with The Lord.
And without faith, you lock God out of your situation.
The reason why God continues the story of Job is so we can get a glimpse of a God Who Restores.
“Faith says I know what I see today, but in my eyes of faith, I see something more.” Rev. Dr. Howard John Wesley
To see that God is not done at this moment.
Your 42nd chapter is coming.
After Job repented–
Confessing his ignorance, his blindness to God’s Sovereignty, and Justice..and Character.
He humbled himself.
And went on to pray for his friends who also misjudged the character of God…
And God responded.
“Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. 13 He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 And he called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch. 15 In all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers.
16 After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. 17 So Job died, old and full of days.” Job 42:12-17
I can’t promise that it will go back to the way it was, and all your dreams will be fulfilled, and every prayer will be answered in a way you want.
But looking at Job’s life, we can find solace in the truth that God cares.
Even if we don’t know why bad things are happening to us, by looking at Job’s life we recognize several important things.
A. Humbling yourself is very important
Repent and ask God to forgive you for blaming Him or accusing Him of unfairness. He is Perfect. And loves you perfectly.
B. Forgive and pray for those who accuse God and you…
- Many people will try to convince you of your wrongdoing (even when you have done nothing) when you enter difficult times. Some may mean harm, and others not at all. They truly are confused and are desperately trying to find answers for pain and suffering, as was discussed earlier in my notes. Again, inadvertently they not only question you–but they are questioning God’s Character. Ask The Holy Spirit to help you pray for them, so your heart will be protected from hurt, as well as pray God forgives them for finding fault in His Character. Pray that He reveals Himself also to them in a fresh, new way.
C. God cares. God restores.
“He puts something back into the equation to make life livable again.”–Rev. Dr. Howard John Wesley
God adds something back into our lives. And what is that?
Our testimony of God’s faithfulness.
“God is not always the responsible party, but He knows how to fix it.”–Rev. Dr. Howard John Wesley
That will be used to break chains, bring freedom, bring healing, bring strength, health, joy, and fellowship with others.
So, let our prayer be
In whatever moment of life, we find ourselves in. No matter whose fault it was:
Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.
Heal my unbelief.
Lord, increase my faith.
In Jesus Mighty Name, Amen.
It may feel like He has forsaken you–but He has not.
He is here.
He loves you. And He is with you now.
No matter what.
This is not the end.
Rest in that today.
Remember, my lovely friends:
“For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
After reflecting on these notes, we have much to understand and I pray hopefully embrace when it comes to The Lord, suffering, and ourselves.
How do I remember God’s Goodness and Love for me–even when I am facing harsh circumstances?
Comment below! 🙂
This Week’s Scripture of Encouragement:
“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
In every season,
Remember, to everything, there is a season,
A time and purpose under heaven.
I pray we grow through this season of life, together.
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