Weekly Devotional

There’s More To Your Story

This is an amazing secret from the ancient book of Job that is so relevant today.

Written by GodLife on 07/06/2021

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Sometimes it’s claimed that when you follow Jesus, you give up the right to ask questions. In a way, asking questions is risky. It's a way of entertaining doubt. Doubt can lead to unbelief. Wasn't that the pattern in the Garden? However, ignoring doubts, a way of living with them dishonestly, is also risky. For more than a few people, secret doubt led to what the Bible calls "shipwreck" of the faith. (1 Timothy 1:19) The good news is that there's another way to deal with doubts rather than accumulating them or ignoring them: confronting them head-on with God and His Word. The claim that Christians aren't allowed to ask questions has no basis in Scripture. For proof of this, we have to look no further than the book that is very likely the oldest in the Bible - the book of Job. The questions raised in Job are timeless: still some of the most difficult questions with which God's people struggle today. Let's look carefully at five of them.

Is prosperity a good way to tell how close someone is to God?

The most obvious question in Job is why does such a "blameless and upright" man suffer so badly? His servants and livestock are carried away by enemies, all ten of his children are killed in a tragic storm, and he suffers a painful and disfiguring illness. Job’s friends first sit in silence with him, then insinuate, and finally outright accuse him and his children of secret sin and deception. There are many reasons people endure suffering and not all of them have to do with sin in their lives. Likewise, in 1 Timothy 6:5, Paul calls it “corrupt” to imagine that godliness is a means of gain.

How can I comfort friends who are suffering?

Job's friends show us that we aren’t good judges of each other. None of the characters in the story know this all-important explanation for Job’s trouble.

Our horror at watching Job's friends add to his misery because they don’t know Satan’s role should keep us humble when we’re helping anyone facing a difficult situation. Job offers them ideas for how they could do better: strengthen your friends by what you say. encourage them and bring relief. (Job 16:5) When we work on our own problems, we generalize. We draw on experiences. We reference the teachings of those we admire. Job’s friends did this, but then leapt to conclusions about him based on their generalizations. The New Testament urges us to be redemptive even when we see others caught in a fault, and to keep our own liability to temptations in mind. (Galatians 6:1)

How do I get to my spiritual breakthrough?

Compare Job 7:21, 9:33 and 14:4 with Job 19:25-27 you’ll see that Job made a genuine spiritual breakthrough. It came at great cost: he was at a breaking point! Yet his request for an answer from God (which he receives in chapters 38-42) and a written book by Him (Is this the Bible itself?) in Job 31:35 have resulted in benefits to all God’s people that are too great to estimate. A breakthrough like Job’s may break you — but it’s something God wants for you even more than you want for yourself.

What questions should I be asking?

Job’s amazing story teaches us not to be shamed out of asking the tough questions. The Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are full of great questions. These passionate followers of God did not shrink back from asking. They didn’t allow themselves to become bitter or sullen. Instead, they counted on God to lead them into truth, as Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would do for us. (John 16:13)

What is my purpose?

The heavenly scene in Job 1-2 implies some very important things about what takes place here on earth. Dr. Tony Evans has said, “If all you see is what you see, you do not see all there is to be seen.” There is an unseen dimension, with stakes we wouldn’t understand if they were explained to us. If existence with God for eternity is part of your story and mine, that changes everything. There’s no contradiction in God’s fairness as a Judge if everything isn’t settled in one lifetime. There are more important things than a happy, comfortable earthly existence. There’s an enemy who slanders and deceives, as well as eternal rewards and relationships awaiting the faithful. Getting to know Jesus and serving Him, asking and getting answers to questions about Him, is the most important thing you can be doing, because there’s more to your story. That’s why we’re told so often to know the Lord, (Jeremiah 9:24) to yield ourselves to God, (James 4:7, Romans 6:22), to find out what pleases Him. (Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 5:10)

The Bible tells us that God is a rewarder of those who seek Him diligently, (Hebrews 11:6). If we seek God intently, He will let us find Him. (Jeremiah 29:13) Knowing Him and making Him known is the most important thing we can do with our lives.

Pray this week:

Lord, You said to seek Your Kingdom first, yet it’s so hard for me to see past the here-and-now. Please lead me to a breakthrough in my relationship with You.

Is there a question for which you need God’s answer? A caring volunteer may be able to help you find it in God’s Word.

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