To Know and Trust God
Right now, many of the body of Christ is going through afflictions, trials and testings. It is a time that God is purifying His Bride for his Son, Jesus. (Ephesians 5:27 & Malachi 3:3) He is going to completely cleanse us and make us spotless for Himself.
Just like Job, multitudes of believers are being tested. Families are coming under incredible pressures, facing heartaches of all kinds. Like Job, our hearts are crying out, "What are we going to do? Why is all this happening to me? Why doesn't the Lord intervene and stop this?" Yet, we can be assured of this: our heavenly Father will be faithful to deliver us through all our afflictions, just as He did Job.
This flood of trouble has a personal entity behind it: satan. The fact is, the devil was Job's troubler, and he's still the troubler of God's people today. Once again, the enemy is standing before the Lord, making great accusations against His Body. He's challenging God, saying: "You have no true body in this last hour. You don't have a spotless bride Your Word prophesies of. Take a look at Your people, God. They're not wise virgins. Most of them are sound asleep. They're materialistic, self-centered, grasping for riches and the good of life. They don't care about spiritual things. They're preoccupied with making life better for themselves."
I dare You now, God; take down Your wall of protection from around your people. Let me at them for just a short time. I'll put all Your people to the test. I'll smite them with fiery dart of temptation, pour out a spirit of despair on them.
Revelations 12:12 say, "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." Today, as the devil brings indescribable woes upon many people, they are crying out in utter confusion, just as Job did.
Of course, as God's children, we know that satan can't touch us. That could only happen if our Lord decides to let down His hedge of protection and allows the devil to try us.
The Bible warns us very clearly that in the last days, God will put His people through a purifying fire. It is really important to us to put out trust in the Lord, through every trial.
Our present sufferings produce one of two things in us: either hard-heartedness and a spirit of unbelief, or a glorious vision of God's control over everything concerning us.
Perhaps right now you're suffering in an excruciating trial. Yet, you know the reason behind it isn't that God is dealing with sin in your life. So you wonder, why is the Lord allowing you to endure such awful pain?
It could be that the furnace of your affliction is meant to bring you into a life-changing revelation. This is exactly what happened to Job. In the midst of his suffering, Job made an incredible discovery: despite his pure knowledge of the God, he didn't truly know the Lord. He confessed, "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:5-6)
At the time Job experienced this trial, he was at least seventy years old. And he had known about God all his life. At some point, Job erected an altar to the Lord, where he spent many hours praising and worshipping God. For years, God had taught him about his ways and mysteries. Job had been taught about the Lord's consolations, His character, His nature, His holiness and His wrath. And he had learned about the majesty of God's power and wisdom.
Yet, when Job's crisis came upon him, he wasn't able to see the Lord at all. This is what the Lord wanted to bring to surface in Job's life all along. You see, the Father wants His children to know Him more deeply than a merely worship services, Bible studies, or prayer time. He wants us to know Him intimately, in every aspect of our lives. And that includes our deepest trials and sufferings. This makes us to seek Him and to completely focus on Him and Him alone. Because in all our trouble we always run to Him and He is there.
Our Lord longs to be to us more than a God of some dead religion. He wants us to know Him as a Father who is all-knowing, ever near to us, holding everything in total control, in the very hallow of His hand.
The Bible never says the Lord will keep us from afflictions. Rather, it says "He will deliver us out of them." And that is exactly what God did for Job. Suddenly, a whirlwind appeared before Job, representing trials and sufferings. And from the midst of that whirlwind, the Lord revealed to job how to rise above his troubles.
How did the Lord do this? He made His servant to look into the faces of two awful monsters: the behemoth (hippopotamus) and leviathan (serpent like crocodile). God said to Job, "Behold now behemoth (hippopotamus), which I made with thee." (Job 40:15) "Canst thou draw out leviathan (crocodile) with a hook? Or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?" (Job 41:1)
First, the Lord posed this problem to His servant: "Look, Job, here comes the hippopotamus after you. What are you going to do? Can you wrestle him down in your physical strength? Now behold the crocodile that's threatening. How will you handle him? Will you simply walk up to him and put a rope through his nose? Tell Me, do you have the strength to pry open his massive jaws? Of course not."
God was telling Job something about life's monsters. He was showing Job that these two awful, ferocious, overpowering creatures represented the monstrous problems raging in his life. The Lord was pointing out to Job, "If you think you can fight these two massive monsters, you're terribly mistaken. No matter how hard you try, you can never win, in your own physical power.
Consider the "hippo," he tramples down everything in sight. You are no match for him. Only I, the Lord knows how to stop such a monstrous creature. And what about the crocodile, Job? Those razor-sharp teeth you see in his mouth are the same demonic teeth satan has bared at you during your trial. No human can battle with such a creature in his own strength. The same is true of your spiritual enemy, the devil. Only the Lord can win the battle with him.
Do you hear what God is saying in this? He's not just speaking to Job, but to all believers. And He's declaring, "Face the truth about the monsters in your life. You can't handle them. I'm the only One who can.
At this point, I imagine a small light suddenly clicking on in Job's head. He must have realized, "These monsters that the Lord is showing me, they're all my troubles. And I'll never be able to wrestle them down.
All this time, I've been sitting on this ash-heap, trying to figure out why God has allowed these monstrous problems to come against me. I've been trying to come up with a way to fight them. But the truth is, I've forgotten that my God can do everything. He's going to fight for me, if I let Him.
Now Job's words had a different tenor. Scripture tells us, "Then Job answered the Lord, and said, I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from thee" (Job 42:1-2). Job was saying, in essence, " My God is all-powerful. He can do all things! And no purpose of His can be thwarted. Therefore, I know my life is not out of order. God does have a plan behind all my suffering. He's going to deliver me at the exact moment He sees fit. My part is to simply stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. I'm not going to keep trying in my own strength to do this. I'm going to focus only on Him."
Maybe you're discouraged right now, wondering, "I can't see any way out of my troubles. Will I ever get out of this fiery trial? Here is God' answer to you, "Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." (James 5:11) The Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10) When the Lord restores, it is much greater than what and where you were before.
Right now, like Job at the beginning of his trial, you may know God only from hearing about Him or reading His Word but you don't have an intimate relationship with Him, like He wants you to. He truly wants you to know Him and have a deep intimate, personal relationship with Him like you've never had before.
God wants you to see Him as He is. He wants you to develop an absolute trust in Him and in the divine plan that He has designed for your life. His eternal purpose for you can't be thwarted by any demon in hell, not any monster that appears in your path.
Then, in the midst of your greatest trial, you'll be able to testify of God's goodness, as Job did. And you'll quote with great confidence this great statement of faith: "Though He slay (try) me, yet will I trust in Him." (Job 13:15)
One other thing about Job is that he lived to be 210 years old. The trial and suffering that he went through was for only one year. So Job overall had 209 years of blessings that he lived in.
No matter what - we must always keep our eyes on Jesus!