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What to Do When the Trouble Keeps Coming

Notes & Transcripts

What to Do When the Trouble Keeps Coming

Job 42:1-17

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - July 27, 2014

BACKGROUND & INTRODUCTION:

*On the world scene, there is some new, big trouble almost every day: Crisis on our southern border, planes shot down in Ukraine, with the Russian army ready to attack, and rockets raining down on Israel.

*Much closer to home, many people we know are going through big trouble. At least 3 of our families have loved-ones battling cancer. Jackie is back in the hospital, and Peggy's cousin passed away last week.

*As I headed back from Dallas yesterday morning, I saw a truck pulled off on the left shoulder of that 6-lane highway. At first I thought it must have been engine trouble or out of gas. But then I saw a middle-age man walking back down the median hillside with his little dog. They had just come from a well-tended memorial cross on the side of the road. So with all of those cars racing by, he was there to mourn the loss of a son, a daughter or a wife.

*Yesterday afternoon at the hospital, Jackie was in surprisingly good spirits: So thankful that Patsy "just happened" to be there when Jackie fell, so thankful for Valda also being at the emergency room, and so thankful for your love and prayers. Jackie was also thankful that she didn't get hurt any worse than she did. And it could have been a lot worse. I walked out of Jackie's room pleasantly surprised at how well she was doing. But as I walked back into the ICU waiting room, I saw a young woman who had obviously just heard some very bad news about someone she loves.

*The list of troubles goes on and on. There are even times when trouble seems like it will never stop coming. That's what happened to Job. What do you do when the trouble keeps coming? -- God's Word shows us what to do, and Job's story is a great place to start.

*The background to today's Scripture reminds us that bad things happen to the best people. Job was certainly a very good man. Job 1:1 tells us that Job was "blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil."

*In Job 1:7&8 we also see that:

7. . . The Lord said to Satan, "From where do you come?'' So Satan answered the Lord and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.''

8. Then the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?''

*God gave a good testimony for Job. And if God says good things about you, then you must be doing something right! But in His infinite wisdom, God allowed the devil to test Job.

*Why did the Lord allow so many bad things to happen to this very good man? -- Much of it is a mystery, and there could be many other reasons, but let me suggest four:

[1] First: The Lord loved Job and He knew that when it was all over, Job would be twice as blessed as he was before.

[2] Also, Job needed to learn that he could trust the Lord in every situation. We get a hint of this truth in Job 3:25, where Job said, "The thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me." Job needed to learn that he could trust the Lord in every situation.

[3] But the Lord also let these things happen so that we would not think that living for the Lord brings a life without trouble and pain.

[4] On top of that, the Lord wanted to teach us to be careful about judging other people when they are having troubles in life.

*God has great reasons for everything He does, and for everything He allows the devil to do. Listen to how the devil attacked Job in chapter 1. This is vs. 13-19 from the New Living Translation:

13. One day when Job's sons and daughters were dining at the oldest brother's house,

14. a messenger arrived at Job's home with this news: "Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them,

15. when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."

16. While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: "The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."

17. While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: "Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."

18. While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: "Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother's home.

19. Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the desert and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."

*Then in Job 2:7, "Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head."

*In these verses we can see that the devil has some control over thieves, murderers, lightening storms, tornadoes, and diseases. On some level, every trouble in the world can be traced back to our enemy, the devil. And bad things happen to the best people. With all of this background in mind, let's read Job 42:1-17. And as we read, think about what we can do when the trouble keeps coming.

MESSAGE:

1. What should we do when the trouble keeps coming? -- First: Know that God is near

*When we are going through trouble, we might be tempted to think that God has forgotten or abandoned us, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Psalm 46 gives a great testimony about God's nearness in troubled times. There the Bible says:

1. God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

2. Therefore we will not fear, Though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

*That Psalm writer knew about the nearness of God, and so did Job. By the time we get to this chapter, Job had already been reminded of God's nearness. But it happened in an extraordinary and terrifying way. Job 38 tells us that the Lord appeared to Job in a whirlwind, and that word "whirlwind" came from the Hebrew word for hurricane.

*So the Lord appeared in a terrible storm. Then He began to quiz Job with some very hard questions. Job 38 begins by saying:

1. Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:

2. "Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?

*In the NLT, God's question says: "Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?" And that was just the start. Here's a little more of what God said to Job that day:

3. Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.

4. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.

5. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?

6. To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone,

7. when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

*That was not a pleasant experience for Job. But it was a giant step to help him get through his troubles. It was a giant step to help him come out blessed on the other side. And it makes all the difference in the world when we realize that God is here with us.

[1] God draws near and one reason why He draws near is to correct us.

*God Himself said that Job was the best man of his generation, but Job needed correction, and that's why God chastised His servant Job. But God did that in love. He wasn't trying to be mean to Job or add to his pain. The Lord knew He had to do something to straighten out Job's thinking. That's because it's easy for believers to trust in the Lord when things are going fine. But when everything goes wrong, we can start to question God. We can start to think that we know better than He does.

*That's the trap Job fell into, and the Lord knew that as long as that hurting man thought he was better than God, Job would turn away from the only one who could really help him. Job needed correction. And if he did, surely we do too.

[2] In the midst of our troubles, the Lord draws near to correct us. -- But He also draws near to comfort us.

*God wants to comfort His people. That's why 2 Corinthians 1:3&4 says:

3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,

4. who comforts us in all our tribulation. . .

*God wants to comfort His people, and we see a good example of God's comfort in Job's life. Look what the Lord did for Job in vs. 10&11:

10. . . The Lord restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

11. Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the Lord had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold.

*Some of the comfort came from the godly people the Lord had put in Job's life. But all of Job's comfort ultimately came from God, and God comes near to comfort His people. Jesus stressed this truth on the night before He died on the cross for us. In John 14, Jesus said this to His followers:

15. If ye love me, keep my commandments.

16. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

*God comes near to comfort His people. Dennis Lawrence told about a papaw who saw his grandson Jeffy crying in his playpen. Jeffy looked pitiful, standing there in his little baseball T-shirt and diaper. His face was red and tear-stained from crying. When Jeffy saw his grandpa, his face lit up in a way that touched papaw's heart. He reached his chubby little hands up for help, and pleaded: "Out Papa, out!"

*Papaw couldn't resist. He walked over to the playpen and reached down to lift his little buddy out of captivity. But just then, Jeffy's mother stepped into the room. As soon as she saw what was going on, Mom sternly said, "No, Jeffy! You are being punished. You have to stay in bed! Leave him right there, Dad."

*Papaw was torn. He surely didn't want to contradict his daughter. And he couldn't bear to let Jeffy down. But love found a way. Papaw climbed in the playpen with him! He told Jeffy: "If you're in the playpen, Buddy, I'm in the playpen too! What's your sentence? How long are you in for?" (1)

*With Papaw close by, Jeffy found comfort in his captivity. And in the midst of our troubles, the Lord is here to comfort us. What can we do when the trouble keeps coming? -- Simply know that God is near.

2. But also get straight about your sins.

*This is one of the most important things Job did in today's Scripture: He got straight about his sins. After that strong rebuke from the Holy God, Job properly responded to the Lord. And Job shows us what we need to do about our sins: We have to recognize our sins. We have to repent from our sins. And we have to confess our sins to God. Job did all 3 of these things after that close encounter with God in the whirlwind.

*Listen for these 3 things in vs. 1-6:

1. Then Job answered the Lord and said:

2. "I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.

3. You asked, 'Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know." (That was Job's confession).

*Next in vs. 4-6, we see how Job recognized his sin and repented. Job said:

4. "Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, 'I will question you, and you shall answer Me.'

5. I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.

6. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.''

*Job got straight about his sins, and that's one of the most important things we can ever do.

3. But we also need to remember our responsibilities.

*The responsibilities God gives us in today's Scripture focus on Job's friends, and in vs. 7-10, there are two main responsibilities.

[1] The first is forgiveness.

*This includes the forgiveness Job's very judgmental friends needed from the Lord, and the forgiveness Job needed to give his friends in order to be able to help them. Please listen to this part of the story in vs. 7-10:

7. And so it was, after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.

8. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.''

9. So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord commanded them; for the Lord had accepted Job.

10. And the Lord restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

*Those 3 friends had basically piled insult on top of injury when Job was hurting so badly. They thought God must have been punishing Job for some unconfessed sin. And that's a warning for us to be very cautious about judging other people. But Job's friends would have been up the creek without the forgiveness they needed from God and His servant Job.

[2] Job did forgive his friends, and so he prayed for them in vs. 10.

*That's our second responsibility here, and notice the amazing blessings that came from Job's prayers. Again in vs. 10: "The Lord restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

*The friends were blessed, and Job was doubly blessed, when he prayed for his friends. So when the trouble keeps coming, we need to remember our responsibilities.

4. We also need to keep believing in God's blessings.

*Again, we see how the Lord blessed Job in vs. 10-13:

10. And the Lord restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

11. Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the Lord had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold.

12. Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys.

13. He also had seven sons and three daughters.

*Verse 10 says the "Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before," and that is what God literally did. If you go back to Job 1:3, you will see that Job originally had 7,000 sheep. Now he has 14,000. He originally had 3,000 camels. Now he has 6,000. Job originally had 500 yoke of oxen and 500 female donkeys. Now he has a thousand of each.

*But I got a little confused when it came to the children, because Job 1:2 says, "seven sons and three daughters were born to him." And vs.13 here says, "He also had 7 sons and 3 daughters."

*I was looking for twice as many, but you see: Job never really lost his first ten children. They were in Paradise, waiting for their daddy to come home! And that's what Job did 140 years later.

*Christians: This is the hope we have of Heaven today! When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are born again into the Family of God, and Heaven becomes our home!

CONCLUSION:

*Trust in the crucified and risen Savior, and Heaven will be your home too. But until that day come, we may have to go though trouble as bad as Job's.

*What are we to do? -- What can we do when the trouble keeps coming?

-Know that God is near.

-Sort out your sins.

-Remember your responsibilities.

-And keep believing in God's blessings.

*Let's ask the Lord to help us right now, as we go to God in prayer.

(1) SermonCentral illustration contributed by Dennis Lawrence

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