by Onyekachukwu Ukeje
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‘Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”’ – Job 1:8(NIV).
“Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.” – Ecclesiastes 10:8(NIV).
I like to start by saying that even for what God helped you build He can sanction its destruction, but it would be for your own good. In Job 1:12 God gave Satan permission to try Job, ‘The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”’ – (NIV).
When such begins to happen in your life it is not a time to regret. It is not a time to curse God. It is not a time to question God’s authority or His love. Rather it is a time to find out why. And this you can do only when you are and remain in worship. ‘At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”’ – Job 1:20-21(NIV). This is because God has a reason for everything. The Lord said to Satan in Job 2:3 “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you have incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” – (NIV). Job had not done or given God a reason to permit such in his life but God had what He wanted to achieve in his life, and permitting such would help Him achieve that, because He is a God of purpose.
You must understand that before God hands you over for a test or trial He has a perception of you, you have a perception of yourself, and your enemy has a perception of you. The one that is true and relevant is God’s perception of you, how he sees you. What is God’s testimony about you? That determines what God can allow you to go through to achieve His purpose in your life, and what purpose He can achieve in your life, – because He cannot afford to lose you, unless you have become worthless in His eyes. Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” – John 15:1-2(NIV).
At such a time one has to be careful, especially of those closest and dearest to him for they may be a disappointment in times of need for encouragement and direction – not everybody understands what you are going through, maybe not even your parents or your love or best friend. They may see the situation but may not understand why and the tendency will be to blame you for your continued woes, even the start of it. – ‘His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.’ – Job 2:9-10(NIV).
Many say Job’s wife told him to curse God and die out of selfish reasons, for example, so she could get married again, but I say it was out of love. It should be noted that what Job went through she too was greatly, if not equally, affected. The children Job lost she too lost them, the business capital and servants Job lost she too lost them – he was her husband and those were the family’s sustenance or financial base gone just like that. And now her husband was in great pain out of the disease of the body. She was greatly affected and wanted an end to it. Her telling her husband to ‘curse God and die’ was an attempt to put an end to her husband’s suffering since God was not bringing healing soon and no one knew when He would, and He was not bringing death either. And in Job’s time it was believed that an easy and fast way to die, which could be used as a last resort, was to provoke death by cursing God. But having a good heart does not necessarily mean you have a good head. That was why Job asked the wife why she talked ‘like a foolish woman’. Mind you, he did not call her a fool. Much of the suggestions you will get from loved ones at such a period in your life may be subtly or outrightly wrong but you must understand it is most likely out of genuine concern for you.
It was really trying to determine who really was to blame that is the reason for Job Chapters Three to Thirty- seven. Chapters One and Two of the book of Job was direct revelation from heaven of what happened about one thousand years earlier in heaven concerning Job. This part the people on earth who knew Job did not know about it, all they knew was the trouble he was going through. And being such a great man in his time his story was told many centuries after especially after having been restored and compensated double by God. It is like something terrible happening to Bill Gates, but God forbid that it should happen, this the whole world will hear about even generations to come, but why exactly it happened will be known only by revelation if God approved or permitted such. This is not to equate Bill Gates’s righteousness to that of Job. It is only to buttress a fact.
Job 23:1-17 shows the fact that Job himself wanted to know why he was going through what he was going through and verse 10 shows that he believed somehow it was for his good, to make him a better person to be able to handle greater responsibilities that will be entrusted to him by God. – “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” – (NIV).
On the road to Emmaus after Jesus had resurrected (Luke 24:13-35) He met two of His disciples who were still doubting His resurrection and asked them “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” – Luke 24:25-26(NIV). On one occasion God told me that one’s entering his own glory that He God has apportioned for him after the suffering can be glorious itself. The Bible says in Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at right hand of the throne of God.” – (NIV).
There is a life principle revealed in Luke 24: 30-35 when Jesus broke bread with the disciples He met on the road to Emmaus. He took the bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to them. When He did their eyes were opened and they recognized Him. What God does is to pick a man who decides to walk with Him, and then He blesses him like He did to Job (Job 29), and then He breaks the man (Job 30) so that He can give the man to meet the people’s needs in God’s behalf. He blesses the man first before breaking him so He will not lose the man to the breaking, having given the man a taste of His goodness. That initial blessing is only a tip of the iceberg to what God has in store for him. It is so that the man would not say that God is wicked, and that he may understand that his present suffering is unto a working out of his own good to be a better person to handle greater responsibilities from God. God needs to trust you before He entrusts you with such and with greater responsibility from God comes greater glory from Him.
It is understanding the lesson that God wants to teach that is the man’s freedom from his suffering. He does not graduate to next level if he does not grasp that revelation from God. That is how you live out your freedom – when you begin to see yourself from God’s perspective of you; how He sees you and what He thinks of you at the moment and what He has achieved in you already. That is your deliverance both from where you have been and into where you ought to be.
And when you know that whoever digs a pit may fall into it and whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake (Ecclesiastes 10:8), that the enemy who God allowed to come against you will pay the price for it and you compensated heavily by God, and that it was or is unto your good that all is happening, then why bother? Why regret? Why curse God? Why question His authority and why question His love? You are only permitted to find out why because in that knowledge lies the key (your freedom) to your living continually and successfully in that next level as long as God would have you stay there. And like Job you must always remain in worship of Him to pull through. Do not be discouraged. Be strong.
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Thank you, I REALLY NEEDED THIS! Well done!