Monday, February 28, 2005

With Friends Like These...

Hello, gentle readers!

First, I have to say that I did not call the tele-witnessing folks back. I was sorely tempted, though! LOL Bless their hearts, they think they're doing a wonderful thing for God. With the way our society views telemarketers, one would think they would realize how their "concern" would be received. Ah well. On to other things.

I've been reading the Book of Job the past couple of days. I'm sure we all know the story of Job. Job had it all: a great family, houses, land, livestock. God was holding counsel and the angels came before Him, with the evil one dragging in from behind. Now, granted, it was God who first mentioned Job. It has to make you wonder if God was trying to test Job or make the evil one realize he was fighting a losing battle against those who truly worshiped Almighty God.

Job's life went downhill really fast. In an instant, all he owned and his entire family (with the exception of his wife) was gone and he was stricken with horrible disease. Now, Job knew he was a faithful follower of God. Job knew that all of this hit him not because there was sin in his life. Job knew he was a righteous man. But, Job's wife didn't make matters any better. She certainly wasn't a help-mate to Job. She told Job to simply curse God and die.

Three of Job's friends come along and continually banter with him over repenting for his sin. But, again, Job knew he was a righteous man. And, as the saying goes, with friends like these who needs enemies? It's not that Job didn't cry out to God in his anguish. He most certainly did. Job was miserably sick and destitute. Job's three friends mocked him, called him cursed, and worse. They certainly didn't have the gift to encourage! They immediately assumed this was all Job's fault and they tore into him for it. They JUDGED him!

But, in all of this Job did not curse God. He says an interesting thing in Job 23:10, "But He (God) knows the way that I take; when He (God) has tested me, I will come forth as gold." Job had his eyes on God, not on the circumstances. Job knew that God could change the circumstances. Job, though, wanted God to change him in the circumstances.

This is the true measure of a man or woman of God: will they stand the test and come out in triumph knowing that the God of their circumstances has their best interest at heart? Job found out really quickly who his true friends were. Job was so well-aware of his own heart, he knew there was no sin in his life. That would have to mean that Job lived a life of piety, repentance, care for others and for his family. He was quick to obey!

So, when difficult tests and trials come your way (and they will), be sure you are in the place of right standing with God. Be quick to listen to God's leading. Be willing to obey at the time God says to do so. Be open to the hand of God and surrender to the lesson to be learned. Then, when you are judged by others, you can dispute them just as Job did when he said in Job 23:12, "I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread."

May God bless you this day and show you the lessons you must learn. And, be assured that when you come through the test, you will come forth as gold and God will bless you more abundantly than you ever thought possible.


No comments: