Biography – Job - Trusting God Despite Suffering!
Were you able to overcome this personal time of suffering?
Every chair has a copy of what Ozark Christian College is calling “In the Midst of the Storm.” The storm struck on May 22 at 5:41 PM. Turn to page 6. This F-5 tornado ravaged the heart of Joplin, MO for six slow miles packing winds up to 200 mph. 150 people died, 1100 were injured, and 7000 homes and 300 businesses were swept away. What question keeps running through people’s minds when we see this type of destruction? Where was God when the storm hit Joplin? The answer is: God was in Joplin on May 22. Turn to page 2 - third paragraph on the left side. Bill Davis, chief meteorologist with the National Weather Service of Springfield, MO, said, “Every day since this event, I have thought about the sheer level of destruction and wondered why more people were not killed. This was an act of nature. The fact that many more were not killed was an act of God.” I really encourage you to read this entire publication. Every page is a story of hope.
I am so happy to say to you. Job’s suffering finally came to an end. One of the reasons I believe Job existed is because James said he did. James said this in James 5:11: As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. What did the Lord finally bring about? Turn to Job 42:12. Read 12-17! God blessed Job again because Job chose to persevere! I want you to know Job isn’t the only person in this world who has chosen to bless because they chose to persevere. I have asked three people to share their Job-like testimony with you! They too bring stories of hope! Would you please welcome Bob & Carolyn Shonkwiler? (Voice of Truth lyrics on the screen)
Worship Songs: Blessed be your name
Here I am to worship
Prayer: Chris Acheson
Interview Johnny Miller & Wes McKenzie
Tell us a little about yourself…
So what happened?
Describe your feelings about God at this time? Afraid? Confused? Bitter? Angry?
Where are you now? Did God see you through?
Wes, Johnny and Carolyn, I can’t thank you enough for giving us hope. One of the stories you will read in the Ozark Christian publication is from Dusty Frizzell, a high school pastor, in Porter Ranch, CA. He posted this on his Facebook page: “Drove around Joplin early this a.m. No words yet. Listened to many stories – some sad, some miraculous. Met an old friend in Joplin today; he is everywhere; you may know him too; he goes by the name of HOPE!”[i]
Are you suffering today? Maybe by your estimation you have been suffering for a long time. May I introduce you to a wonderful friend? He goes by the name of HOPE but most people call him JESUS! (Communion Meditation ) Every week we celebrate the life and death and resurrection of Jesus by experiencing communion! We break a piece of bread - ordinary bread. We call Jesus the Bread of Life. We call the Bible Fresh Bread. We pray to God – please give me my daily bread. The bread represents Jesus’ body. We also drink from the cup. The cup is filled with grape juice. The juice represents Jesus’ blood. His blood represents an enormous sacrifice for without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. The cup represents suffering! Jesus suffered & died. His death encouraged the centurion to make a public profession of faith! His death made Mary cry. His death made John wonder. His death made Peter wander away. His death left everyone confused. Even the religious leaders had second thoughts! “Did we do the right thing!” Can you imagine Jesus’ disciples? Not one thought Jesus’ death was a good idea. All of them left wondering, “What good could possibly result from suffering?” We ask the same question. Communion gives us the answer - good can come from suffering. (Pray for communion) Guilt No More
Have you ever heard this quote before? “If Christopher Columbus had turned back, no one would have blamed him. Of course, no one would have remembered him either.” Take Columbus out and insert Jesus and Job. We remember Jesus and Job because they persevered; they endured.
Both Jesus and Job show us - good can come from suffering. There are reasons why we suffer. Sometimes Satan causes our suffering. Sometimes God allows our suffering. Sometimes it’s the result of living in a fallen world. Poor judgment. Stupid decision. But the promise of Jesus coming back from the dead is this – there’s always HOPE! Hope is your best friend. Trust him!
[i] Meredith Williams, In the Midst of Hope, Qzark Christian College