Three Living Perspectives

October 21, 2012

When Job prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes. In fact, the LORD gave him twice as much as before!”   (Job 42:10)

What may be the oldest book in the Bible answers the question: “Why do God’s people suffer?” Many people are familiar with the book of Job but have a shallow understanding of its message.  They think it is just the story of a wealthy, godly man who lost everything and still worshiped God.

This is actually the story of a suffering, godly man who learned three perspectives we must ‘get together’  if we are going to be the kind of person God wants us all to be.  Job looks in with his friends to find the answer to the why of his suffering.  This led him and them nowhere.  He is told to look up.  He does and dialogs with God in a whirlwind. This profoundly changes him forever.

When God rebukes his friends because everything they told Job about himself and God was wrong, Job prays for his friends.  When he looks  around and prays for his friends,  God richly blessed him and doubles all he lost.

This old saga of suffering tells us that if we want to be a together person we must first look up and get our vertical perspective and relationship with God together.  Then we must look in and confess what God wants us to know about those internal issues that make us tick right.

Only those who have looked up and looked in as directed by God are qualified to look around and be part of God’s solution in the horizontal dimension of relationships.

Is God using the circumstances of your life to teach you to look up, in, and around as you should?


A Right Question When We’re Hurting

August 3, 2012

“… what does He receive from your hand?”      (Job 35:7)

Not many devout people are disillusioned when they see wicked people suffer; however, the people of God are often faith-challenged when the godly suffer.  For thousands of years devout souls have been asking God, “Why do the righteous suffer?”

The book of Job is the longest, most profound and comprehensive answer to that question in the Bible.  If this is the oldest book in the Bible, then the very first truth God wanted to teach us is His answer to this primary ‘why question’ of His hurting people.

The way this ancient “Saga of Suffering” answers that question turns on a question Job asked his wife.  God had given Satan permission to take every possession he had, including his ten children (Job 2:3).  Then God permitted Satan to take Job’s health.  When he lost his health and was suffering from a dreadful disease, his wife told him he should curse God and die.  He responded to her cheerful counsel by asking, “Shall we accept good from the hand of God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10 NIV)

The essence of Job’s question was, “What should a righteous man expect God to put in his hand because he is living a righteous life?”  The answer to Job’s question is found in a discourse of a young man named, Elihu.  He told Job he was asking the wrong question.  He should be asking, “What is He receiving from your hand?” (Job 35: 7 NIV)

If you are hurting, or when you do, ask God the right question.  What have you done for Him lately?  What are you putting in His hand?