Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wise counsel lessons from Job

I was talking to someone earlier about the book of Job. The thing that stands out to me the most in that book, aside from God's redemptive power, is how confusing the whole situation looked to outsiders. His wife told him to curse God and die, and his friends accused him of sinning and being punished by God. They were too spiritually immature to realize that all of the negative circumstances were in fact being used by God as an Avenue to bless him more than before, for How's glory to be shown in his life, and to strengthen his faith. They didn't know God well enough to believe that he uses everything - even the bad things - for ultimate good, and that he is Redeemer of all who will never leave or forsake us. They accused Jobs of doing wrong, when in reality God allowed those things to happen because he knew Job was trustworthy of handling the adversity and remaining faithful to worshiping God  even when he wasn't being blessed by him, where others would turn their back on him. So many follow God for the loaves and the fishes - but God wants soldiers who will follow him even though adversity. If Job would have listened to them, he would have lost faith. Instead, he ignored their negativity and kept his eyes on God, and was better after the tribulations than when he went in. Moral of the story : be careful whose counsel you listen to. Don't let the enemy speak lies to you through other people's opinions and speculations. Listen  to those who know God, who have been through horrendous storms that have brought them incredibly close to God and allowed them to witness his faithfulness. Those who know that he will use all things for your good. Not everyone realizes that God works through the valleys even more than he does the mountain tops. Not everyone has been through a deep enough valley to have seen God's redemptive and saving power. I know that God is faithful, as he has seen me through some tremendous valleys and blessed me on the other side. Job's friends looked like fools in the end, because they couldn't see that God was working behind the scenes all along. Don't have people in your life who tell you to curse God and die, kick you while you are down, or whisper and gossip about your misfortune and speculate about God's not loving you, or what you did to cause it. Surround yourself with people who know God well enough to know that he is orchestrating all of your circumstances - even the negative ones - for good, and who will remind you of that when you are weak. I am so thankful that I have those kinds of friends in my life. Those who know that God has plans to prosper, and not to harm. Those who speak life instead of death. Those who stand stand beside you instead of abandoning ship because they think bad things are happening because you did something wrong. Those who truly know God's heart. They are few and far between, but with friends like that, a few is enough. That is a blessing far and beyond anything money can buy.  God is good, all the time. That I know, and that they remind me of. For that I am grateful.