Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Today’s Scripture Focus: Job 6:2-13
We are focusing on sin recovery principle number one of 12: “We admit that we are powerless against sin and thus we cannot manage our lives without God’s miraculous intervention.”
When trials come after you’ve learned to do whatever God says, how will you cope? You see, it’s one thing to experience the consequences of our sins (like going to prison for carjacking someone), but it’s another thing altogether when we have trials for reasons that have nothing to do with our mistakes. It is a bitter pill to swallow when we are afflicted when we choose to live for God.
Job had done just that—he was a truehearted follower of God. I am not saying so; I am simply repeating what God said about him in Job chapter one. He said that there was none like Job in all the earth in terms of his commitment to holiness. He said that Job detested evil. That is an amazing testimony when God is the One vouching for you. Yet, as we see in the story as it unfolds, Job is signed up to lose all that matters to him. He loses his children, property, wealth, and health. He loses a level of peacefulness, because he cannot figure out why his life has taken such a sudden downturn. He even surmised that if there were some unconfessed sin that caused this, he would confess it immediately. Day-after-day he experienced the worst trials he could imagine and it even appeared God was not listening to him. He was so downcast that although he never lost his faith, all he wished for was death. He felt that death would bring relief.
Have you ever been so low that you wanted to die? Maybe you becoming a believer brought more trials than you bargained for. Can you feel Job’s lament? “Is my strength the strength of stones? Or is my flesh of brass? Is not my help in me? And is wisdom driven quite from me?” (Job 6:12–13).
There’s good news and there’s great news. The good news is that trials cannot last forever. The great news is that trials cannot last forever. We will, and must encounter our fiercest troubles as we get closer to God. Yet, in our helplessness, He has promised to send divine aid. The Spirit will come near at just the right times to tell us how much God loves us. He will encourage us to stay faithful when we feel like giving up. He will refresh our mindset so we will not believe going back to our old lives in the world would be better even if we are tempted to do so at times.
Today’s emphasis is not so much about the times we have done wrong and made a mess of our lives, as it is realizing that even when we do what God says we are powerless against the sin that lurks all around us. Distress comes, because sin exists. Trials come, because sin exists. Depression, pain, privation, and loss all come, because sin exists. We don’t get a free pass to luxurious spiritual living when we choose to follow God by faith. However, we do receive the blessing of heavenly help through all of life’s difficulties as long as we keep trusting God. Indeed, we are powerless against the power of sin in this world, but our God continues to intervene in our lives as long as we put Him first.
Job learned some valuable lessons. Although God already considered him righteous, Job said, “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: But now mine eye seeth thee.” (Job 42:5). Job’s experience with and faith in God was enriched as He purified him through trials. Are you ready and willing to be purified through trials? Don’t answer now, just fall on your knees and ask the Lord to make you battle hardened against sin, so much so that no matter what life throws your way, you will keep trusting God. If you get fired from your job, keep trusting God. If your spouse leaves you through no fault of your own, keep trusting God. If, God forbid, your child suddenly falls deathly ill, keep trusting God. If you are tempted to do all you promised God you would not do again, keep trusting God. And as you do so, you will come through any trial like pure gold.