HARDSHIPS AND PRAISES

Saturday, March 11th

READ JOB 1:1-22

Satan wasn’t wrong. He had a point. Job WAS blessed in many ways...God HAD put a hedge around him. Job had acquired more land, cattle, sheep, donkeys, and servants than anyone else in the land. In other words - he was the wealthiest man in this part of the world. Not only that, but he had a wife and 10 kids. He had it all! I don’t know about you, but I always think “I’d be much more generous if only I had (fill in the blank)” or “I would be more faithful with my finances, my time, my priorities, etc., if only I had a bit more of a comfortable life.” Job had all of these things and more, so Satan thought Job’s faith was superficial.

“Take away the comforts of Job’s life” he said, “and he’ll curse you!” “Take away this hedge of protection, and THEN we’ll see what Job is all about.”

We know the rest of the story – Job loses everything. EVERYTHING. Including all 10 of his kids. In fact, the only thing that Satan left for Job was his wife, who we learn later on is not the best person to have around. Yet after losing everything, Job’s response is worship. He blesses the Lord and does not sin. Matthew 5:12 says that we WILL be persecuted – BUT, our reward in heaven is great. All of the beatitudes listed in Matthew 5:3-11 are ways that we too, like Job, can worship God – even in the midst of hardships. Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are the gentle, blessed are the merciful, blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, etc.

How will you respond to hardships? Will you bless God and thus be blessed?

PRAY: God, would You strengthen our hearts and strengthen our souls to worship You no matter what. We are weak without You and without You we would prove Satan right. You are our rock and our fortress, would You remind us daily of Your power, Your grace, and Your mercy in our lives. Would You help us to live lives that worship You no matter our circumstances so that we, like Job, can say “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away – blessed be the name of the Lord.”