Sermon on April 26 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Job 23:1-17
An amazing declaration of Job’s faith in the storm. Verse 10 speaks of a journey of affliction and of patient endurance.
When you want affliction to end:
1. HANG ON – GOD KNOWS THE JOURNEY YOU ARE ON!
- Why does God know?
God knows whatever can be known – He is omniscient (all-knowing). Eliphaz does not know and sees Job’s journey as judgment from God. Bildad does not know and leaves out God’s grace.
When the journey includes darkness, we do not have to see God to be led by Him.
- What does God know? In Jesus, God knows the pain and the pressure of your journey. (Heb. 4:15)
“For some, quarantine is optimal, full of moments of reflection and peace… life is easy in flip-flops, with a glass of Coke or cup of tea in hand. For others, it is the concern about having bread for the weekend, or if the pasta will last a few more days. Some want to go back to work because they are running out of money, but in the same breath they are worried about the virus and have questions. For others, it is facing real loneliness.” (Nicki Peverett)
We are all facing the same storm, but on different ships – be compassionate!
2. WALK ON – GOD SENDS THE STORMS YOU FACE!
- When storms come, they are ordered by God, not Satan
Satan could not act apart from God’s permission – and it is God who brings up Job’s name twice (Job 1:8 and 2:3).
God knows what you can take, and how much of it!
- While storms come, they are only for good, never evil
We do not live by ‘odds’ or by asking: ‘what is the chance I will survive?’
It was not chance or statistics that determined Job or Joseph’s life, but God working for good. (Gen. 50:20)
Remember: i) God is good; ii) all the time; iii) in every situation; iv) no matter what; v) however bad things may look!
3. KEEP ON – GOD SHAPES THE FAITH THAT CLINGS TO HIM!
- Affliction has the power to expose your heart
“He afflicts us that we may better know ourselves. Water in the glass looks clear, but set it on a fire and all the scum boils up” (Thomas Watson: ‘All Things for Good’)
“My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5)
- Affliction has the power to enlarge your vision
All that God sends your way, especially these lockdown days, pry open our hands and loosen our grip on the here and now.
- Affliction has the power to enhance your service
A post-affliction sufferer is far better equipped to comfort others than a person without affliction. (2 Cor.1)
Remember! God knows the journey you are on; He is testing your faith and He will bring you out more radiant and mature.
However you may be afflicted, remember that Jesus was afflicted, but came through to ultimately bring you through your suffering, well-prepared for His presence in our ultimate home.
THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION AND PRAYER
- We are all facing the storm of the virus, but we are not all in the same ship. What is causing you most pain on your journey? Tell the Lord what is on your heart.
- How will you comfort someone who says: “God is not in the coronavirus, is He?”
- In what ways is God using affliction to make you more like Jesus and to be a more effective and empathetic servant? Why does that matter?
Learn Job 23:10 by heart, meditate on it during the week and pray for those severely afflicted by the virus.
Photo credit FreeImages.com/marmit