Keith writes: "My Name is Keith Hobkirk and I live in Nanjing China with my wife Guo Heng Helen. I write devotions and Helen is a school teacher. Helen leads an unregistered church and I am seeking to start a series of articles called China Cry...writing from inside the Chinese church to give readers a view of what is really happening."
Job: Chapters 1 and 2
As we enter a brand new year, we have many expectations of what is going to happen. We have anticipation of how God is going to work through us and within us.
As Christians we have to remember that everything that will happen to us, God is in control. He is the One who already knows the future. He sees what lies ahead, and He will give you the grace to handle anything that will come up.
Let us look at the life of Job and on one particular aspect of his life. People seem to concentrate on Job's suffering, and it is indeed true that Job did suffer loss and did go through pain, but this is only because God allowed it, and indeed did not let the devil test him more than he was able. Look at what the Apostle Paul said to the church at Corinth:
1 Cor 10:13: No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.
That is a wonderful promise for the believer, and one indeed that I don't take seriously enough, as I have fallen flat on my face just lately, because I have tried to do things my way, instead of relying on God to provide a way of escape.
So why did Job get into this situation? Well it was basically because God was boasting about Him. Yes that's right, God was actually boasting about Job.
Job 1:8: GOD said to Satan, "Have you noticed my friend Job? There's no one quite like him--honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil."
Job 2:3: Then GOD said to Satan, "Have you noticed my friend Job? There's no one quite like him, is there--honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil? He still has a firm grip on his integrity! You tried to trick me into destroying him, but it didn't work."
So why was God boasting about Job? What made him so proud of Him? In the early verses of Job we find the answer.
Job 1:1: Job was a man who lived in Uz. He was honest inside and out, a man of his word, who was totally devoted to God and hated evil with a passion.
Job 1:2: He had seven sons and three daughters.
Job 1:3: He was also very wealthy--seven thousand head of sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred teams of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and a huge staff of servants--the most influential man in all the East!
Job 1:4: His sons used to take turns hosting parties in their homes, always inviting their three sisters to join them in their merrymaking.
Job 1:5: When the parties were over, Job would get up early in the morning and sacrifice a burnt offering for each of his children, thinking, "Maybe one of them sinned by defying God inwardly." Job made a habit of this sacrificial atonement, just in case they'd sinned.
Honesty, truth and kindness were key attitudes in his life. Also, although he was wealthy, his heart belonged to God. He did not put his riches before God.
Another key attribute was his care for his family. He was an intercessor for his children; he covered them with prayer and care.
He looked on evil with a real hatred, with the same hatred that God has for it. He could not even stand to see his children fall into sin; he made a habit of the sacrifice for his children.
The question that I wish to ask you is the same one that God asked the Devil. Can God speak with the same confidence about you? If God allowed what happened to Job to happen to you, what would you do? Would you curse the Lord to His face or would you make Him proud by response?
Everyday the devil is accusing the brethren of doing wrong things; he comes and tries to bring us down. Would the LORD have the same confidence in us like He had in Job?
This is a key question, one that we must
answer. May our Lord have true
confidence in us this year and always for we can have true and
constant confidence in HIM.
(© 2013 Keith Hobkirk – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)