When God Turns It Around
University of Tennessee vs. UCLA. Everyone thought that UT would win by several TDs. UCLA had a freshman quarterback who threw 4 interceptions in the first half. After Halftime the QB began to make completions instead of interceptions. The game becomes tight with UT trailing by 4 points. UT eventually won the game in OT by a field goal. They asked the coach what did you tell the QB during halftime? I told him that when I was in college I played QB and I once threw 4 interceptions in a game, but we came back and won the game.
I am bringing this up because somebody may have some moral turnovers in your life.
You’ve have done some things that you should not have done, and made mistakes that you should not have made. But I have some Good News for you I serve a God who is in the turn around business. God is able to give you some victories even after you have made some mistakes.
I want to look at a God who is able to turn things around under the backdrop of a person named Job.
In Chapter 1 of the Book of Job it indicates that Job was a man who tried to do things right. He was a righteous man, upright, who tried to do things right. He was a blameless person who avoided evil, made sacrifices who tried to get himself together.
He was not a ‘player’, but a man with one wife and ten children.
As a result of trying to do things right he had a big house, was prosperous, and a multimillionaire, with cattle, donkeys and sheep, and houses.
His financial portfolio was doing really well.
He was in good health because he tried to do everything right.
But even though he tried to do everything right, all of a sudden everything went bad for him.
· All 10 of his children died.
· His marriage became miserable.
· His wife started talking foolish.
· Job went from good health to bad.
· From prosperity to poverty.
· He had sores from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet.
Here is a man who tried to do everything right but everything went wrong for him.
If you don’t remember anything else remember this based on the Word of God found in the book of Job “bad things can happen to good people”. Stop being shocked when negative and bad things happen. Stop being surprised when you go through tribulations because bad things can happen to good people.
More than likely I’m preaching to somebody who tried to do things right. It does not mean that you’re perfect or have never made a mistake. But you have at least tried to be right.
You have given your life to Christ that’s right.
United with somebody’s Church.
Gone to school that’s right.
You did not drop out like so many others.
No you tried to do things right.
You have not tried to be a ‘player’ or playette, but tried to have some purity about your relationships.
You’ve tried to go to work. You didn’t try to manipulate and use people. You were trying to do things right, but if the truth be told many things have gone wrong.
Issues in your relationships.
Fractures in your friendships.
Sickness has invaded your home.
Things got so bad for Job that his own wife told him to “curse God and die”. It is interesting that when you are going through problems everyone has a say on what you are going through.
His wife is telling him, “Listen our marriage is messed up, the kids are gone, you’re sick, things look horrible. It is time for you to curse God and die.”
Mrs. Job believed that the solution to suffering is suicide.
Watch this she believed that the answer to suffering is to take your own life. I have to beg to differ with Mrs. Job. Suicide is not the answer. Suicide is a permanent solution, your problem is only temporary. Why would you use a permanent solution to a temporary problem?
Whatever you are going through now, it took a change to get you in that situation. It will take a change to get you out of that situation. You have to do like Job ‘all the days of my appointed time I am going to wait until my change comes’.
The Lord God gives and the Lord God takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
But it was not just his wife that did this talking. He had three friends who showed up in his suffering, and they told Job, “Listen, something is wrong here. You must have sinned some where. You must have so secret sin because God would not let all these calamities come down like this unless you did something wrong. You have been playing holy in front of us, but you must live hellish behind the scene. You show up in holy places making sacrifices, but you must be sinning in private places when you are not around us”.
They begin to tell him that the reason you are going through this is because God is punishing you for your sins.
Let me slow it down right here. It’s interesting to me that most folks can’t figure out what God is doing in their own life.
But when you are going through troubles they want to tell you what God is doing in your own life. And these are groups of friends who believed that Job was suffering because of sin. They believed that all suffering is a result of sin.
I submit to you that these are friends who are wrong about God. If you sin you will suffer, but not all suffering is a result of sin. You can mind your own business, and make up in your mind that you are going to be in the will of God, and suffering can still come your way. You can suffer without sinning and this is what his friend could not get into their heads. Because they begin to confuse, misuse, abuse, and accuse Job.
This is not all the talking that went on. Job did some talking himself. Things got so bad in Job’s life that he started questioning God. I know that someone can identify with this. That stuff can get so bad and difficult in your life that you want to call God on the carpet. There is some stuff that you want to get straight with the Lord. Listen to Job, “If I could find God I have some questions for Him.” Look a this finite little creature trying to argue with an infinite God. You better be careful arguing with God because He has the power to cut that argument off at anytime. “If I could find God. If He would show up. He hasn’t been around in my pain. I have some questions for him.” It’s like Job was taking his puny fists and pointing them in the face of God. As if God was hiding Himself from him. Let me say this to. There is nothing wrong with questioning God, for even Jesus did that. While dying on the cross, “My God, My God Why?” And if we tell the truth in here all of us at one point or another have questioned God. It seems like people who are doing wrong everything turns out right. Then for those of us trying to do right things turn out wrong. Sometimes it looks like good things are happening to bad people, while bad things are happening to good people. Every now and then we want to ask God some questions.
But my issue with Job is not the fact that he questioned God, but that he questioned God with the wrong disposition. It is one thing to ask the question. It is another thing to have a mean disposition while you ask the question. It’s one thing to approach God, it’s another thing to approach God with the wrong attitude. It is like the little girl sitting in the back sit of her father’s car as he drives down the street. She is actually standing jumping up and down in his backseat. So he says, “Girl you’d better sit down back there, but she is still jumping. So he says, “You heard what I said. Sit your behind down back there before you make me upset.” She kept jumping, so he said, “If I pull this car over you know what is going to happen.” So the little girl sits down and puts her seatbelt on. So about two minutes later the girl said “Daddy I’m still standing inside”. She did what she was asked to do, but inside she had the wrong attitude. Some of us are still coming to Church. Still singing in the choir, still giving our money but are mean and evil and hard to get along with on the inside because we have an attitude with God.
So God says Job you have some questions for me. I don’t mind engaging in questions and answers. But Job I will ask you some questions first and if you can answer mine, then I will answer yours. Watch what God asked Job. Job where were you when I laid the foundations of this world? Where were you when I placed the cornerstones in the earth? Where were you when the morning stars sang together and the sons of God shouted for joy? Job where do mountain lions give birth in the mountains? Job where is the hail stored when it is not hailing? Job does rain have a father, and who fathered the dew drops? His thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are not our ways, they are higher than ours as the heavens are above the earth. It is not an issue of us calling God onto the carpet, but an issued of us trusting God even when we cannot trace God knowing that God knows what God is doing. This is what happens in Chapter 42 of Job when God turns it around for Job. But God does not turn it around for Job until Job as the right perception about God. It was not until Job got the right perception of God, that God turned around his situation. Preacher what do you mean? Chapter 42:1 Job says, “I know you can do all things. No plans of yours can be overthrown. You ask who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge? I spoke of things that I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to even know.
Watch this. He begins to work on his perception of God. The reason his perception was messed up previously is because he was listening to his friends for 30 chapters talking about God. Job got into a messed up situation. 3 of his friends show up and for 30 chapters they start talking about what God is doing in Job’s life. The only problem was that they were wrong about God. When you listen to folks who wrong about God, then your perception will be wrong about God. So when you go through your pain and problems you must be careful who you listen to. You have to be careful even to what Church you go to. Just because everybody is jumping and running and swinging over pews and chandeliers, doesn’t mean they are right about God. Just because they are promising you big money, big houses, a husband, man or woman does not mean that they are right about God. What are the saying about God? Everybody who comes on the radio, and preaches on television, that does not make them right because they come on TV. You have to listen to those who are right about God. When you are suffering stop listening to those who don’t know about God. This is why is perception was all messed up. But when he began to listen to God about the Word of God this is when he got his mind right, and began to understand God’s power. He knew that even though I have problems God still has all power. Even though I’m in a predicament, God still has all power. Listen to what he says, “I know that you can do all things.” Number 2 I know you everything. When you are up against it remember these two things. God knows everything, and God can do anything. As long as you know He knows all and can do all, you know everything will be alright.
Just because God does not change this thing, does not mean He can’t do everything. Stop thinking that you know God’s character based on an isolated issue that you are facing in your life. So that if God brings you out He’s a waymaker. But if God doesn’t He not a waymaker. Let me help you understand something God is the same yesterday, today and forever. God can do anything and if He brings you out or not doesn’t change the fact that God has all power. Somebody didn’t say Amen. You don’t know that God can heal all diseases, open every door, make a way out of no way, can give freedom, lift burdens, answer prayers, forgive every sin! He can do all things!
He doesn’t just do all things, God knows all things. He knows everything. That is why Job eventually said, “God you know everything, and I don’t know anything.” When you finally understand God in the light of Who He is, and What He knows we don’t know anything in comparison with God. That’s the problem with many of us. We are frustrated because we think we know everything. We’re know it alls. Then we get our selves into situation that we cannot get ourselves out of. Because you will face situations that you cannot think your way out of. We don’t know, but God does. We must realize that His thought are so much higher than ours as the heavens are above the earth. So here is the situation when I look at how much God knows in comparison to what I know, I really don’t know anything. The stuff that I’ve been going through, I’ve been going through it without the knowledge to deal with it.
Okay you all are looking at me like you know everything. Everyone who has attended college say Amen. A lot of times people who attend college try to convince us that they know everything. Because they went to WCCC for a half of a semester then they try to convince us that they know everything. But I went to college and the major thing I learned from my 2 degrees is that how much I don’t know. I made good grades, graduated with honors, studied hard, and still realized that there was so much I didn’t know. So I know how much I don’t know in my discipline, but my college had so many majors, so many other disciplines that I didn’t look at, at all. So if I know so little in my area of expertise imagine how much I don’t know in the other disciplines. Since I know so little I must trust in the One who knows so much!
He says, “My God has plans for me.” This is what Job and many of us miss. That when sickness comes loved ones die, financial difficulties hit, and families fall apart, foreclosures come, economy is bad. When things happen and we don’t understand it, you must know that God has a plan for you. That is why Isaiah said, “I know the plans you have for me. Plans to prosper and not fail. To succeed and not fall down. Job said, “Lord your plans for me are so wonderful that I do not understand them.” God’s plans for us are so wonderful that you won’t understand it, but you must believe in it. You must learn how to trust Him when you cannot trace Him. Trust Him when you don’t understand Him. God I don’t understand why I have to go through this, but I know that your plans are wonderful me. When your enemies meant that stuff for evil, God is able to turn it to good. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.
Mel Gibson and the Passion of Christ.
Job said He has powers and plans. My perception of God is coming together, but wait he begins to pray. Because your theology always has an impact on your spirituality. When you get your theology right – Your thoughts on God, it shows up in your spirituality – how you live and pray. The Bible says that when Job finished praying in verse 10 that’s when God prospered him again. KJV God turned him from captivity. When he finished praying that’s when his turn around came. Somebody, you are one prayer away from a turnaround! One prayer away from God making a difference in your situation. But I know what it is. Some of us don’t pray like we should. We don’t call on the name of Jesus like we should. Why is it that we don’t pray, because the enemy has been so busy in our life. That’s the area that the enemy attacks – Our Prayer Life. Because if the enemy can keep us from praying, he will keep us from having to power we need to handle the problems that we face. There is power in prayer. The enemy knows that. The Apostle James said, “You have not because you ask not”. Some of us don’t have it because we have not asked for it. But when you call on the Lord in prayer, God has a way of showing up in your situation.
But the enemy tries to keep you from praying. The enemy does not care that you come to church, sing in the choir, teach and preach and serve in ministry. He does not care, he just doesn’t want you to pray. Because he knows that if you are doing all that stuff without praying you don’t have any power while you’re ministering. He just attacks your prayer life. He does this by getting you so busy to go to work in the morning that you don’t even thank the One who kept you all night. He tries to get you to rush and put your clothes on and eat your food without thanking the One who provided your food and clothes for you. The enemies tries to get you to complain while you’re driving to work instead of celebrating the One who got you the job. Then the enemy tries to get you to focus on all the craziness in the world to the point you are so distraught that when you get home you just go to sleep without asking God to keep you through the night. The devil is a liar. There is somebody in here that knows the power of prayer. And you are going to pray until something happens.
There is power in prayer. Preacher I have been praying but there has been no turn around. No change. Things have gotten worse for me. Job 42:12 says that after Job had prayed for his friends. It did not turn around after he prayed for himself. It turned around after he prayed for somebody else. I’m not saying that he didn’t pray for himself, and I’m not telling you not to pray for yourself. Job was in sackcloth and ashes, and he conversed with God. But it turned around when he prayed for his friends. We need to learn to pray for other people. You can’t get so selfish and self centered that when we talk to God its me. We must learn to intercede for other people. We must pray to God on behalf of other people. We must learn the value of intercessory prayer. Learn how to pray for your friends and family, and others that God brings into your situation. Here’s the thing about praying for other people. When you pray for others, God has a way of blessing you! Praying for other people is like putting cologne on somebody else. You can’t put some on them without getting a little on your self!
Wait a minute preacher I have prayed for other people and things haven’t changed. I pray all the time for my family, friends, co-workers, politicians, world leaders, the army for the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan all the time and nothing happened. You need to understand the friends that Job was praying for. These are the same friends who abused, misused, and accused him. He didn’t just pray for the friends who helped him, but also those who dogged him. When he prayed for the friends who abused him that’s when God turned it around in his life. Anybody can love folks that love them back. Jesus said the world does that. Anybody can bless those who bless them. Jesus said sinners do that. But can you love your enemies. Can you do good to those who despitefully use you. Can you bless them that curse you. Can you help those who hurt you. Can you lift those who cut you down. It is not until you learn to pray for those who dogged you and that is when your turn around comes. I didn’t say it was simple or easy. But its possible and necessary. If your stuff is going to turn around you must pray for those who have dogged you. I know that they should not have done it, said it, or acted that way, or maltreated you. But if you want to turn it around you must put it on your prayer list.
I’m not just saying this, but the reason I have had one turn around after another. One victory after another is when folks dogged me I don’t start tripping. When people clown me I don’t clown them back. I just add them to my prayer list. I know I have some selfishness in there, because I’m not just praying for them to pray for them, but I’m praying for them for me. I have to pray for them with sincerity because I know that there is some stuff in my life that needs to turn around, and I can’t let anybody get in the way of my blessings. Not even my enemies. I want everything that God has for me.
Somebody need start a new prayer list. I know you want them to die, break their teeth, stumble and fall, go to jail. But if you want a turn around. Wii bowling story. To bown you must let the button go. She went through the motion but would not let it go. So it kept going backwards instead of forward to hit the pins in order to get the victory. How could she get the victory at the bowling alley, and get defeated at the home? It was because she didn’t know when to let it go! Victory and defeat is based on letting it go. You have the control in your hand. I know they dogged you. But if want to get the victory You must let it go! Verse 10 says that after Job prayed for his friends, God turned it around and made him prosperous again, and gave him twice has as he had before. God gave him double for his trouble. All the time God had a plan for him, but Job could not understand it. Sometimes you have go through something in order to get to something. God gave him double then Job’s brothers and sisters came over gave him words of encouragement and consolation, and each gave him pieces of silver and gold ring. God gave Job double for his trouble. His brothers sisters and others came to the crib and gave him silver and gold. God gave it. His brothers and sisters brought it! Don’t confuse the One giving with the ones bringing it. Because it is always God doing the giving, but God will always use us to do the bringing. See God is The Source. The Brothers are the Resource, Sister, Job, employer. They are not the Source, but if that resource cuts out on you remember God is the Source, and He’ll send another resource. God is such a God of diversity and variety until He never puts all of your blessings in one person. Its’ brothers, sisters, and others. God will never put all of my in the hand of one person to bring it because if that brother acts a fool I might never get it. Is there anybody in here that knows that God knows who to use to bring your blessing to you. What God has for you it is for you.
Verse 12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former. The Lord blessed the finish of Job’s life more than the first. The Lord blessed the end Job’s life more than the beginning. God always puts His best blessing at the ends. At the beginning Job was a multi millionaire houses, cattle, donkeys land. At the end of his life God gave him twice as many sheep, oxen, cattle, donkeys, then gave him sons and daughters. Because all of your blessing are not financial, but family. Some of your blessings are relationship. It was at the end of his life that Job got his greatest blessings, because that is the type of God we serve. He always saves His best for last. Because I don’t care how bad your life is right now. Don’t jump off a bridge the very fact that you are here is an indication that you have not seen all of God’s best. Don’t give up or give in because God saves His best for last. Wait a minute everybody is not broke or struggling but no matter how good it is for you now, God saves His best for last! When we have been there 10,000 years bright shining like the sun we no less days to praise His name then when we first become.
Jesus in John 2 at the wedding feast at Cana of Galilee. When Jesus went the wine ran out. This is a great embarrassment for the couple and their family for the wine to run out. Jesus’ mother was at the reception and walked up to him and said, “Jesus we need you the wine has run out, the family is embarrassed, and we need you to do something because the wine has run out.” Jesus said to His mother, “My hour has not come”. His mother left it alone, she just looked at the servants and said whatever He tells you to do, you do that. Jesus told the servants get some waterpots and feel them up to the brim. Then Jesus turned the water into wine. They took a cup of the wine Jesus had just made to the governor, and he tasted the wine and said wait a minute. You all have done things a little different here. I’m used to going to wedding receptions and I know normally people bring the best wine out first then when we get inebriated and drunk they bring out the cheap stuff because we don’t care after that. But you all have turned this thing around. You have saved the best for last. Because whenever Jesus is around He always saves the best for last. Every round goes higher and higher. Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before. Storms clouds may rise, strong winds may blow, but I’ve found a Savior and He’s sweet I know.