The Trials of a Child of God Job 1-3:26
by Cooper Abrams
by Cooper Abrams
1. The Book of James is the first part of the New Testament God gave after the Old Testament Book of Malachi. I believe it is significant that the first instruction that God gave after over four hundred years of silence since He completed the Old Testament was:
James 1:2-5, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (trials); Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
2. Trials of all sorts are a normal part of living and especially living as a child of God.
James says; in verse 13, that God does not tempt man to do evil, but man is tempted when he is drawn away (enticed) by the lust (or desire ) of his flesh.
God does however test the child of God to prove the quality of his faith. This is not a solicitation to do wrong, but to do right. A trial is an opportunity to prove the truth of God's Word. It is an opportunity for the believer to be a witness and testimony of the power of God working in a believer's life to overcome sin.
When a teacher gives a test in school, it is to prove whether or not the student knows the subject matter. It is not intended to provide an opportunity to make mistakes and put down false answers. The test is also a means of determining areas which need further study.
If a chemist tests a formula it is to prove if it will do what the chemist formulated it to do...if the test fails...then this is indication things are not right and attention should be given to correct the problem.
3. There are I believe three sources or difficulties which come in the believer's life.
(1) Trials allowed by God to test the faith of the believer. Its goal is to prove the faith of the child of God. It produces growth, which leads to maturity, and a better life, and reward.
This is what the message will deal with today.
(2) Trials which come from God in the form of chastening of the disobedient believer. Its goal is to bring the wayward sinner back from sin and its destructive forces in his life.
Next week in Message # 2, we will deal with trials from sin
(3) Trials which come by just living our lives in a world dominated by sin. It comes because of the effects of sin in the world. EXAMPLE: Death, it comes to all in time. It comes because of the sin.
EXAMPLE: Murder, assault, violent crimes: Source is in living in world with sinful men. EXAMPLE: Disease: Again: Randomly, effects people. Source: effects of sin in the world. EXAMPLE: Accidents: Carelessness, neglect.
All these can come by chance in the believer's life as well as in the unbeliever.
The difference is this between the effects of trials in a believer's life verses that of an unbelievers is show in Romans 8:28, "All things together for good to those who love God, and are called according to his purposes". In other words, no matter what comes in the life of a believer, IF he loves God...meaning he lives for God...the ultimate out come will be for the believer's benefit.
I. THE TESTIMONY OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN. JOB 1:1-3,
A. The Bible says Job was blameless, upright and feared God.
1. Blameless does not mean sinless. All men sin, 1 John 1:8, if a man says he does not sin he is a liar, and called God a liar, because all men sin.
Because Job feared God, and walked upright he fought sin in his life and confessed it. Job 1:5, indicates he offered sacrifices to God for his children because, "It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.." This indicates his attitude toward sin.
2. "Upright" means is followed God and sincerely tried to live as God wanted. He was righteous which means he was "right" in that he separated himself from evil. Verse 8, says "he shunned evil".
3. "Feared God" means he believed and trusted God.
B. The pattern of Job's life was that he lived his life believing in God and trusting him daily for all he had.
C. He was rich having great possessions. Verse 3 says he was the greatest of the men in the East. This would mean in material things and morally as well.
II. THE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST A RIGHTEOUS MAN. JOB 1:6-11
A. God said Job was a righteous man.
B. Satan response was to accuse Job of serving God because of the material wealth the Lord had given him.
1. Job 1:12 says God allowed Satan to take all his wealth away, included his children.
2. Note in verse 16 that the servants attributed the "fire from heaven" which was lightning as being from God when in fact it was from Satan.
C. In Job 2:3-6, After Job remained sinless after losing all he had but Satan again accuses Job.
1. This time Satan says Job would surely curse God if his life were threatened.
2. So again God allowed Satan to afflict Job and Satan took away his health. He had sores all over his body.
3. Still Job remained sinless even when his wife had given up. She let her carnal nature influence her instead of trusting the Lord.
a. Job's wife in seeing his great distress and being a part of it herself urged Job "to curse God and die." She was saying that God had forsaken Job. She said, "Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die" (Job 2:9) She could have said this in a misguided compassion for her husband and turned her anger toward God.
b. Job rebuked her and called her foolish. (V10) He said, "What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?"
c. Job's wife made the mistake that most make. She judged the matter by what she outwardly saw, not by what God has said. She considered only the empirical evidence not God's the evidence of God's revelation.
d. God has promised never to forsake us or turn His back upon us. This is revealed truth and because God cannot lie which is against His very nature it must be accepted as truth. God had not abandoned Job.
4. Job still did not sin.
III. TAKE A LOOK AT JOB'S ACCUSER.
A. From the passage some things are clear about Satan: He is a person.
1. He talked with God. This is not a myth, a legend made up to tell a story...it is a real event in time that happened.
2. Satan was antagonistic towards Job. Satan had emotions and he hated Job.
3. Satan's purpose was to discredit Job, and thus disgrace God. (Job 1:11, 2:4-5,7)
B. In Ephesian 6:11, We are told to put on the whole armor of God. WHY? So that we can ward off the attacks of Satan.
" For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).
1. Zechariah 1:3, Joshua the high priest stood before the Lord, it also says that Satan stood beside him to oppose God in dealing with Joshua.
2. Satan desires to steal the Word of God out of a person's heart. In other words, when a person hears the truth, Satan responses by causing doubts, belittling the truth, or telling a lie to counteract the truth.
C. WHEN THE TRUTH IS HEARD SATAN WORKS TO DISCREDIT IT. Jesus explained this in the parable of the seeds: "And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts" (Mark 4:15).
D. SATAN MAY USE MEN TO OPPOSE THE TRUTH.
1. Paul preached at Salamis, on the Island of Cyprus, yet was opposed by Elymas, the sorcerer:
"But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand" (Acts 13:8-11).
2. Christian, be aware that Satan and his demons are actively at work when you are witnessing to the lost or teaching the Word of God.
3. Wearing the whole armor of God, which means "to be prayed up and living right" is the only defense against the Devil.
E. SATAN IS CONTINUALLY ACCUSING BELIEVERS BEFORE THE LORD.
"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:10-11).
IV. THE CONCLUSION:
A. Job was unaware of what had taken place in heaven.
1. Job did not know why any of this was happening to him.
2. Job was a true believer and he trusted God and this means he trusted that God would not abandon him.
3. He knew that he was a child of God, and that his devotion to God should not be effected by whether he was living a life of prosperity or having great difficulty.
4. He had complete trust in God.
B. Job endured the trial. His trust in God kept him from sin. Job's trust was in the promises of God.
1. He had a sure hope that his situation was not hopeless or permanent.
2. To Job's accusers he boldly states:
"For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me (Job 19:25-27).
C. God restored to him twice what he had before.
1. Job greatly benefited from his trial. His faith was tried.
2. God's power to save and preserve the believer who accepts the promises of God was also proven.
3. God made a promise to all who will believe:
He promises to give eternal life.
He promises to keep you and when you become a child of God it is for all eternity.
4 Folks trials will come: Many times they come directly from Satan.
Satan seeks to destroy every believer's testimony. Satan seeks to defeated every Christian, and to destroy their lives.
Satan wants every Christian, to doubt, to worry and to sin. He wants every believer to believe his lies and want them to fail the test of faith. In doing so he knows the Christian will be no good to himself or useful to God. He knows God will not bless a person in sin, or use a believer to win others who does not live for the Lord.