The Steadfast Faith of Job

Only one life, soon twill be passed.

      Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

If you are following the Legacy Reading Plan, we’re going to take a short detour from Hebrew history. We’ve just gone through the Hebrew Pentateuch, and before we get into Hebrew history—starting with Joshua and the Promised Land—we’re going to dive into Hebrew poetry. So in March, our habit is to read through the book of Job, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.

 

Job is a particularly enlightening book. He was selected as a subject of a stern test of faith, because he was indisputably the greatest man of faith alive. God declared that Job’s faith was real faith. Satan claimed that Job’s faith was fickle faith. And Job, as you’ll read through this book this month, not only passed the test of faith with flying colors, but he demonstrated the remarkable depth of his faith.

 

Remember when he uttered the unforgettable words,

 

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

      And naked shall I return there.

      The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;

      Blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21, NKJV)

 

Job didn’t curse God. His wife tried to tell him to. He didn’t blame his tragedy on secret sin like his cruel companions urged him to do. Job instead placed his fate in the hands of a God who is both infinitely just and infinitely mercy.


Do you like what you’re reading? Take a look at this.


 

Remember Zophar, the Naamathite? Very much like the modern day “Name it and Claim it” teachers? Well he believed that Job’s calamities were the result of secret sin. Zophar of course was the least tactful of all those who directly accused Job. He constantly repeated the accusation that Job was being punished because of his own sin. Job, of course, knew that his calamities somehow formed a part of God’s eternal sovereign plan, and thus the book of Job builds an airtight defense for Job’s faith. He cherished his faith even more than his life. In fact, the greatest demonstration of his faith is he trusted God even when he didn’t understand.

 

The reason I want you to focus on this, as you read through the book of Job, is you should recognize that far from being a magical force conjured up through pat formulas, faith is the sort of confidence in God exemplified by Job as he persevered in the midst of affliction, trusting God despite the whirlwind that blew his life in oblivion.

 

True faith is perseverance in the midst of the storm. True faith is the trait most demonstrated in the life of the apostle Paul, who not only fought the good fight, but he finished the race, and above all, he kept his faith. Paul’s faith like that of Job was fixed not on temporary circumstances of life, but on the author and finisher of his faith, namely Jesus Christ Himself. True faith doesn’t necessarily equip someone to get up from a wheelchair, but rather true faith teaches us to use adversity as a means of bringing people into the kingdom of God.

 

The real tragedy is not dying young. The real tragedy is living a long robust life and failing to use our life for the glory of God. One day soon health and wealth will matter little. All that will concern you is for Jesus Christ Himself to turn to you and say “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matt. 25:21, 23).

 

Only one life, soon twill be passed.

       Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

Today is March 1st, and the Christian Research Institute, the Bible Answer Man Broadcast, is engaged in March Madness. What I mean by that is, by faith, we have added all kinds of stations to the roster. We are live in all kinds of areas that we were not live in the second half of last year, and with the Gospel comes the responsibility to provide for the Gospel. The gospel is free but someone has to put in the plumbing. In southern California on one station alone, we’ll spend $14,000 this month, and that means people have to get in the game and stand with us prayerfully and financially. Why do we spend that kind of money? Because the ministry bears abundant abiding fruit! Everyday people coming out of the cults, out of world religions, everyday Christians being equipped to communicate what they believe and why, and so we’re asking people to stand with this ministry prayerfully and financially. Particularly today, we’re asking people in San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, Oxnard, New York, Portland, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Orlando, Phoenix, and Tampa, stand with us! Help us to make a difference while there is yet time. We have decided that this is not the time in ministry to retreat, this is the time for a full-court press to use the basketball analogy, and we’re asking you to stand with us. Never has there been more need for a ministry like ours.

 

I picked up a USA Today this morning, as I got into the office, and the headline in the forum read: “Where Have All the Protestants Gone?” And Oliver “Buzz” Thomas contends what has happened is the Protestants, albeit the liberal mainline Protestants, have taken on the very issues that have liberated society. He points out that because of the liberal church—and he gives great accolades to this—the issue of gay rights has become a front and center issue, and he extols and applauds the Lutherans and the Episcopalians and the United Church of Christ for breaking down the barriers for openly gay and lesbian clergy. The Presbyterians and the Methodists he says are likely to follow suit now. He writes:

 

This willingness to reject the authority of biblical passages condemning homosexuality — as Protestant churches did with similar passages on slavery and the role of women — will appeal to a younger generation who see gay marriage as a non-issue and accept their gay and lesbian classmates for who they are — not what some Christians want them to be.[1]

 

In other words, from his perspective, the church is finally coming around, no longer hung up on the Bible’s teachings, but rather liberating the Bible, transforming the Bible to the culture. We’re in the midst of this milleu, we need to bring people back to basis. It is not culture. It is Christians committed to Scripture that are called to be change agents, making a difference for time and for eternity. We don’t want to be a microcosm of the culture. We want to be a change agent in the culture, and we ask you to stand with us prayerfully and financially.

 

 


[1] Oliver Thomas, “Where Have All The Protestants Gone?”  USA Today, http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2010/03/column-where-have-all-the-protestants-gone-.html

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King of Creation with Lad Allen – Pt. 3, and Q&A

Darwin’s Dilemma – Day 2

Darwin’s Dilemma – Day 1

Q&A: Pornography, J. Vernon McGee, and the Trinity