Thursday, January 3, 2019

Good Advice, Bad Timing

If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and let not injustice dwell in your tents. Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure and will not fear. You will forget your misery; you will remember it as waters that have passed away. And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning. And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security. Job 11:14-18

This sounds like really good advice, and I think it is, but it was given in the wrong manner at the wrong time.  This was advice given by a “well-meaning” friend to Job during a painful time in Job’s life.  He had lost his possessions, his children, and his health.  Job’s “well-meaning” friends had come to tell him just exactly what he had done wrong to deserve this adversity, and how he could fix it. Actually, Job had done nothing to deserve the trials he was experiencing.  He was a man of character, loyal and obedient to God. God had allowed Satan to attack him to prove that, even in his suffering, Job would not turn his back on God. Job nor his friends had no knowledge of this plan.  In the passage above, his friend Zophar had stopped by to tell Job he needed to get rid of all the evil in his house, keep it out, and repent quickly if he wanted his troubles to stop, and be forgotten.  Not only had he done nothing to bring all this on, he certainly would not likely ever forget what he had been through.  
Job didn’t turn his back on God at any time though his suffering.  In fact, Job eventually found comfort in God’s wisdom. He didn’t become bitter toward God, but he never forgot what he had been through. And even though his friend’s advice in the passage above was not appropriate for Job at the time, it is not bad advice for the rest of us,  
Job’s friends were chastised by God for their unkindness to Job and God restored Job’s life.  He restored the fortunes of Job, twice as much as before, and Job had 7 more sons and 3 more daughters. The trials of our lives always teach us something and should never be forgotten. We should not harbor bitterness or unforgiveness, but don’t waste the pain of what you have been through. Every second of our life has a purpose and God doesn’t waste any of it.  They are a part of us and what makes us who we are.  It’s a new year - don’t dwell on the failures of the past year but remember what you learned from them.  Trust in the Sovereignty of God. Everything He does is perfect and right and good, even when we cannot understand.  

Scripture to Claim:
Though He slay me, I will hope in Him… Job 13:15a

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