April 18, 2015
The book of Job tells us the astounding story of a man who lost everything. If you think deeply about Job and what happened to him, you realize the seemingly utter despair he must have experienced. And there's one thing that will take you to the Death Valley of hopelessness:
Job felt absolutely, totally alone. His family lost, his wife angry and alienated. To top it off, his last friends on earth arrived and all they did was tell him it was all his fault.
No one understood. Not a soul on earth. Like Elijah who would one day follow him and say, ""I alone am left..."" Job felt total isolation. Listen to his lament.
13 “He has removed my brothers far from me, and my acquaintances are completely estranged from me.
14 “My relatives have failed, and my intimate friends have forgotten me.
15 “Those who live in my house and my maids consider me a stranger. I am a foreigner in their sight.
16 “I call to my servant, but he does not answer; I have to implore him with my mouth.
17 “My breath is offensive to my wife, and I am loathsome to my own brothers.
18 “Even young children despise me; I rise up and they speak against me.
19 “All my associates abhor me, and those I love have turned against me.
20 “My bone clings to my skin and my flesh, and I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.
Have you been there? Have you had moments where you felt completely alone and isolated? That no one understood? Are you there right now?
What do you do when it seems there is no one left around you?
THE SOLITRY CONSOLATION
For Job, in the middle of it all, there was (and is) one consolation. This reality was the anchor of his soul. It was the life preserver that caused him to keep from drowning in a sea of despair.
25 “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.
26 “Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God;
27 Whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes will see and not another.
“My Redeemer is alive! God is coming to the rescue! I know I will see HIM! I myself will behold Him. He is with me!”
Notice that Job calls the Ancient One “my” Redeemer. God was his and he was God’s and that union meant that he was not alone…and would never be alone.
The Apostle Paul would later echo this redeeming thought that banishes loneliness.
35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...
38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God was there and He did come to Job with His manifest presence. His coming turned hopelessness into redemption. The presence of God made all the difference for Job...and it makes all the difference for us!
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June 08, 2019
June 07, 2019
… with most of us modern Christians is that we are stoppable. A little discomfort, a turn from our desired daily routine, or a little resistance from those to whom we’re witnessing throws us off. We have not settled the issue that our greatest joy and highest purpose comes from our witness, and so we are unwilling to push through in sharing Christ with others every day, even in the mildest environments. Even when persecution is not present.
June 03, 2019
These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14)
Prayer is the foundation for all of life. Imagine the emotions and sense of fear and expectancy when Christ had been resurrected, appeared to His disciples, and then ascended. They were instructed to merely wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit who would endue them with power to be witnesses to Christ all across the world (Acts 1:8).
So, what did they do?