Can we ever get to the bottom of human suffering?

“We have examined this, and it is true” (Job 5:27).It’s one thing to say, “It is true.” It’s another thing to speak the truth of God. Where did Eliphaz and the other ‘comforters’ get their ideas from? – “We have investigated this.” What about revelation? Were their thoughts given to them by God? or Did …

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Looking beyond the things that are happening to us now – to the glory which is yet to come

Job 1:1-3:26; Matthew 18:10-35; Psalm 16:1-11 In the life of faith, we will face many difficulties. For Job, there was great suffering. For Jesus’ disciples, there was the pain of loss when Jesus was taken from them. For all of God’s people, there is something better still to come: “You will fill me with joy …

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We must humble ourselves before Almighty God. He is God and He knows what He is doing (Learning From The Book Of Job: Chapters 20-21).

In Job 20, we hear, again, the voice of Zophar - the ‘so far, so good’ man. His principles concerning the judgment of God on the wicked are all right as far as they go. The problem is that they are general. They are floating over the specific case of Job, without really coming to …

Continue reading We must humble ourselves before Almighty God. He is God and He knows what He is doing (Learning From The Book Of Job: Chapters 20-21).

When our hearts are breaking

Job 4:1-7:21; Matthew 19:1-15; Psalm 17:1-5 Bereavement, hardship, divorce – the Word of God speaks of these difficulties in Job and in the words of Jesus. These things can bring on deep depression. We see this in Job’s reaction to his bereavement and hardship. In such circumstances, we must take our thoughts to the Lord, …

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Responding to God’s Word (15): Up from the grave He arose / He lives within my heart.

I know that my redeemer lives (Job 19:25). Here, we begin with Job, but we do not remain with Job. The words of Job direct our attention to our Saviour, Jesus Christ, the risen Lord. Whenever we think of the living Lord, we do not begin with Jesus, living in us: "Christ lives in me" …

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When Satan is hurling his accusations at us (Praying Through God’s Word: Job 11-20)

Job 11:1-12:25  We read, Lord, about Job – “a righteous and blameless man! (Job 12:4). He was suffering, and he was confused. Was He being punished by You? That’s what Zophar was telling him – Job must have done  something pretty awful to deserve this. You, Lord, were saying something very different – “My servant Job” (Job …

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We don’t have the right to expect everything to be going great all the time.

Job 11:1-14:22; Matthew 2):1-9; Psalm 17:6-12 Jesus’ parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16) teaches us that all that we have, apart from our sin, is received from God as a gift of His grace. We must remember this when, like Job, we are going through hard times. We don’t have the right to …

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When we face difficult circumstances

Job 8;1-10:22; Matthew 19:16-30; Proverbs 3:11-20 When we face difficult circumstances, as Job did and as the Lord’s disciples did (Matthew 19:29), we must never forget that the Lord’s purpose is good and His long-term goal is our good –  “eternal life” (Matthew 19:29). What is to be our attitude to suffering? – “My son, …

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When we can’t understand what’s going on: Look past the critics to the cross (Learning From The Book Of Job: Chapters 15-17).

In Job 15, we have another speech from Eliphaz. He charges in with all the subtlety of an elephant on the rampage: “you destroy the fear of God, and diminish devotion to God” (Job 15:4). He continues in the same vein, getting bolder and brasher in his word of accusation: “Your sin teaches you what …

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Learning From The Book Of Job: Chapters 8-10

In Job 8, we have the first speech of Bildad. Its theme is very straightforward. Sin leads to suffering (Job 8:4). Obedience leads to prosperity (Job 8:5-7). This teaching is presented in a heavy-handed way. In Job 8:20, we have an attack on Job’s character: “Certainly, God does not reject a person of integrity or …

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“My heart fails inside me”, “I know that my Redeemer lives” (Learning From The Book Of Job: Chapters 18-19).

In Job 18, Bildad, the Shuhite, shows his lack of spiritual stature. In his description of “the wicked” (Job 18:5), he implies that all that he says applies to Job. His speech ends with the summarizing words: “This is what happens to the homes of wicked people and to those who do not know God” …

Continue reading “My heart fails inside me”, “I know that my Redeemer lives” (Learning From The Book Of Job: Chapters 18-19).

“He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).

Proverbs 3:19-35 ‘You will walk on your way securely... for the Lord will be your confidence’ (Proverbs 3:23,26). Trusting in the Lord, we are to say, ‘He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold’ (Job 23:10). Our faith is under threat. There is the danger …

Continue reading “He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).

There is a greater Power than the power of Satan (Travelling Through God’s Word: the book of Job).

JOB 1:1-2:13  -  Satan is very busy - ‘going to and fro on the earth... walking up and down on it’. Why is Satan ‘roaming through the earth’? - ‘Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour’ (1:7; 1 Peter 5:8). If, like Job, you ‘fear God and …

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If we act on the basis of our own wisdom (Learning From The Book Of Job: Chapters 11-14).

In Job 11, we hear from Zophar. So far, so good - That’s what we can say about the basic principles of his message: “God’s wisdom is higher than heaven” (Job 11:8); “If you want to set your heart right, then pray to Him. If you’re holding on to sin, put it far away” (Job …

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In life’s hard times, never think that the situation is hopeless!

As I was reading the words of Zophar (one of Job's 'comforters'!), I came across the words, "There is hope" (Job 11:18). As I thought about these words - even allowing for the fact that Zophar didn't really have an accurate understanding of Job's situation, my thoughts went on to the end of the book …

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The Lord blessed the latter years of Job’s life more than the earlier years.

In Job 32-37, we have a long speech from Elihu. He thinks that he can improve on the speeches, given by Job’s other ‘comforters’: “None of you refuted Job. None of you has an answer to what he says” (Job 32:12). He maintains that his speech is better than anything Job has already heard. That’s …

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Listen to the Lord and learn from Him (Learning From The Book Of Job: Chapters 32-37).

In Job 32-37, we have a long speech from Elihu. He thinks that he can improve on the speeches, given by Job’s other ‘comforters’: “None of you refuted Job. None of you has an answer to what he says” (Job 32:12). He maintains that his speech is better than anything Job has already heard. That’s …

Continue reading Listen to the Lord and learn from Him (Learning From The Book Of Job: Chapters 32-37).

Satan can only do what God permits him to do: I know that my Redeemer lives.

With God’s permission, “Satan, the accuser” attacks Job (Job 1:8). The attack is ferocious. May the Name of the Lord be praised! Through all this, Job did not sin or blame God for doing anything wrong” (Job 1:21-22). Satan’s attack on Job is really a challenge to God. The Lord is in control of the …

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May the voice of Your love lift us out of the pit of our despair.

Praying through God's Word: Job 11:1-12:25 We read, Lord, about Job – “a righteous and blameless man! (Job 12:4). He was suffering, and he was confused. Was He being punished by You? That’s what Zophar was telling him - Job must have done  something pretty awful to deserve this. You, Lord, were saying something very …

Continue reading May the voice of Your love lift us out of the pit of our despair.

Can we ever get to the bottom of human suffering – if we fail to see Satan – trying to draw us away from the Lord?

“We have examined this, and it is true” (Job 5:27).It’s one thing to say, “It is true.” It’s another thing to speak the truth of God. Where did Eliphaz and the other ‘comforters’ get their ideas from? – “We have investigated this.” What about revelation? Were their thoughts given to them by God? or Did …

Continue reading Can we ever get to the bottom of human suffering – if we fail to see Satan – trying to draw us away from the Lord?

Our words will have power when we keep our eyes on the Lord.

In Job 22, Eliphaz charges in with harsh words of accusation - “Aren’t you really very wicked? Is there no end to your wrongdoing?” (Job 22:5). He persists with his probing, heartless questions - “Are you following the old path that wicked people have taken?” (Job 22:15). In general terms, the words of Eliphaz were …

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In the darkness of suffering, holding on to God (From The Book Of Job: Chapters 22-24)

In Job 22, Eliphaz charges in with harsh words of accusation - “Aren’t you really very wicked? Is there no end to your wrongdoing?” (Job 22:5). He persists with his probing, heartless questions - “Are you following the old path that wicked people have taken?” (Job 22:15). In general terms, the words of Eliphaz were …

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When you’re suffering, never forget this – God loves you (Learning From The Book Of Job: Chapters 25-31).

What are we to say about Bildad’s short speech in Job 25: “If you don’t have anything to say, don’t take a long time, saying nothing.” Bildad keeps it short. He lives up to his name - Bildad, the Shuhite (shoe height!!)! In general terms, what he says is true. He speaks about the universality …

Continue reading When you’re suffering, never forget this – God loves you (Learning From The Book Of Job: Chapters 25-31).