Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lessons From Job

What did Job do to cause all those problems to come upon him? Who sent all those troubles upon Job, and why? Did Job's "friends" seek to comfort him?

Much has been written and preached about why all those terrible things happened to Job - 99% of those teachings accusing Job of some sin that caused God to punish him so horribly. So I ask "What did Job do to warrant all his suffering"? Let's look at what the Bible says regarding this.

 Job 1:1 -  There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and turned away from evil. Hmmm, well that certainly doesn't tell us what a horrible person Job was.

Job 1:8 - And Jehovah said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job? for there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and turneth away from evil. Hmmm, even God didn't find anything wrong with Job, did He? Yet, most of the "wise" teachers and pastors in today's churches can find something to accuse Job of, even though God didn't. Who do you think is right, God or the "wise men" of today.

Let me ask you another question. Was it satan who brought up the subject of Job or was it God? Look at Job 1:8 - "And Jehovah said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job? for there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and turneth away from evil." It was obviously God who brought up the subject of Job to satan. Why? Only God knows? God could find nothing to accuse Job of and neither could satan. What kind of game was God playing with satan? Why did God bring up Job? There are no answers to these questions because only God knows.

After many terrible things came upon Job, then we have this happening. Job 2:3 - "And Jehovah said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job? for there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and turneth away from evil: and he still holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause". Even through all this Job knew that he had done nothing to cause all this. Then God Himself told satan that he, satan, had moved God against Job to destroy him without cause. In other words, it was God who sent all the troubles upon Job. You don't believe that? Then look at Job 42:11 - "Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him concerning all the evil that Jehovah had brought upon him". That says it pretty clearly that it was God who sent all the evil upon Job.

When Job was going through all his suffering what did his "friends" do to comfort him? They were sitting there with Job until job opened his mouth to pour out his pain. Once he was foolish enough to open his heart and tell his "friends" about his pain and how badly he was hurting, that was when they decided to show him how much they loved him and how wise they were. No doubt they thought they were "helping" him. That was when they began to dump upon him and accuse him of everything under the sun. They were so wise that they knew that God would not send all this suffering upon Job unless he had done something to deserve it. They waited until Job was vulnerable and in great pain to tell him what a horrible person he was and about all the terrible sins he had committed. They waited until he was in a weakened condition to try and stick knives in his heart. They were like the "wise" ones of today who will say "Speaking the truth in love, brother...." When someone tells you that, run away from them as fast and as far as you can.

Sounds just like the "Christians" of today, doesn't it? When things are going fine, when you're happy, successful and doing well, then all your "Christian friends" want to be around you and tell you how wonderful you are, how great God is. But woe unto you when you are feeling down and hurting and are foolish enough to open your heart and let these same people know you are in pain. They will then take that opportunity to tell you all the things that God is punishing you for, how He is dealing with you about some sin in your life, how you missed God along the way and have gone off His path. The one thing they will not do is love and comfort you, just like Jobs "friends" didn't.

I know this from hundreds of personal experiences over the past 29 years when my "Christian friends" have done exactly the same things to me. I know it from others whom I have had to love, comfort, encourage and build up after the religious people did the same things to them. I have seen these very things in many, many churches over the years. I have seen people come into the church wounded and hurting and the "wonderful, wise Christians" in the churches either avoid them or want to sit down with then and "counsel" them what they did wrong to cause God to send this pain upon them. Or they tell them that they should not come to church expecting or hoping for their needs to be met. I have seen many people leave the churches because they went there looking for love and comfort and found none.

When I lived in Tyler, Tx a few years ago I had a neighbor who had lost her 35 year old son to a brain aneurysm unexpectedly. He was alive one minute, then dead the next. Poor Barbara was devastated, torn to pieces, her heart shattered. Four years later she was still in great pain, which is normal in a situation where a parent has lost a child. She was talking to a "spirit-filled Christian friend" of her's and telling that "friend" that she was still mad at God about Him taking her son from her. This "wonderful. wise, spirit-filled Christian friend" then told her "Well Barbara, maybe God is dealing with you about something". How wise! How loving! How comforting! How Christian. This stupid jackass named Juanita might as well as have taken a knife and stuck it into Barbara's heart!! Barbara learned a hard and bitter lesson not to open up her heart to "Christian friends" again. I was the only person she knew she could tell this story to and how much it angered and hurt her. Personally, I wanted to go slap the hell out of Juanita and tell her what a fool she was. Instead I hugged Barbara and let her know that her feelings were okay and that she didn't need to feel guilty about them, that He is a big God and can handle our emotions.

What lessons do we need to learn from all this? When someone is going through hard times, whether it be emotionally, spiritually or financially, we are not to try and understand God's reasons for it because we can't. "For His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. As far as the sun is from the moon are His ways higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts." We are not to criticize them, judge them or condemn them. We are to comfort, encourage and build them up. We are to love them.

Yes, there are times when people are in obvious sin and the Bible tells us how to handle that. But most of the time we will not know what God is doing with someone, why He is putting them through such misery. He tests us and tries us in the fires of affliction. But it is not for us to judge in these situations, it is only our responsibility to love them, to comfort them, to encourage them, and to build them up.

Next we see Job arguing with God and daring Him to tell him what he did wrong to cause all the horrible suffering God sent upon him. What was God's response to Job? Basically He told Job "Job, I am God, I created the world, I created you. Who are you to question Me?" Then Job repented of questioning God, admitting that he did not understand Him. Then God rebuked Job's "friends".

Yes, we see at the end of Job that God restored him and gave him more children and possessions. But you need to know this, when a parent loses a child, or in Job's case ten children, it doesn't matter how many more children God gives you, the pain of losing those other children never, ever, ever goes away. That pain remains with you the rest of your lives.


  1. Thank you for your message. One of the greatest sins of the body of Christ is dumping on hurting believers, blaming them for their own suffering, rather than encouraging them. No wonder judgment will begin first in the house of God to shut up their mouths and see how it feels.

  2. Another good and simple example is John 9:2-3: “And His disciples asked Him ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents, but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’ (NAS)

    I’m sure this poor blind man in his day and society had to bear the brunt of caustic criticism and social outcasting for his misfortune – even the disciples thought he had done something wrong to warrant this malady. But Jesus’ answer was, no, he did nothing wrong – it was for God’s purposes.


  3. I have two sons, adopted from Romania. They were abused by unskilled caregivers and terrorized until age 7, often starved and froze in winters in dark rooms, watching friends and other children die. They are grown up now, but still suffer from Post Traumatic stress syndrome, many fears, nerve damage, sensory integration disorder, identity issues, ADHD and many learning disabilities and the list goes on. I have long stopped shared my concerns with church folks who tell me either all kids have problems or act like all should be well now because they have three meals a day and Christ in their lives. How stupid, ignorant and insensitive can people be? Ever heard of permanent damage? Of course they tell me, God will use it for good, to which I say, "what does that have to do with the fact that they are suffering and the fact they need a lot of support and understanding, not flippant answers and quick scripture verses as if this would be a fix all?" In my personal experience, the world has more understanding, compassion and insight than so-called Christians brainwashed with toxic teachings. Who needs it? In ministering to hurting Christians, the walking wounded for 25 years, I can tell you this of many church organizations: "There are more true Christians outside the church than inside."

  4. I am tired of Christians asking me how I feel, and don’t like it when I just simply quietly say “‘FINE” with my head down, and they reply in shock and ask, “JUST FINE?” like, “why just fine and not good or great?” Why pressure me to say ” great” , just wanting to hear what they want to hear? I wonder what they would say or do if I was really honest and said ”in daily physical pain, also suffering from depression and anxiety attacks?” I suppose they would say, “Count it all joy”” or ”Just have more faith,” then walk away!
    How sick it is to pressure believers as if nothing is wrong, looking for lies getting them off the hook so they don’t have to care or do anything, even worse, looking for ways to give God false praise by me lying about how I feel. Fact is, it is God Himself who not merely allows bad things , but sometimes directly causes them, as was the case in Job’s life of terrible suffering, yet believers are taught to always attribute God with only good from their perspective. Of course, this does not fit into their preconceived theology! They can say what they want, God does indeed cause bad things and so does Satan. One is for a better good in the end, Satan’s is only to destroy. Only God knows ahead of time why we must suffer and it is NOT the job of the church to make ignorant and hurtful assumptions, but CARE and be compassionate. Thank God for the loving exceptions!
    Just for the record: James chapter 1, in context, speaks of the horrific suffering of the early JEWISH church from the 12 tribes of Israel scattered out of Israel, severely persecuted having lost families, country, everything, some their very lives, resulting in bringing gentile nations the Gospel, not merely accomplished by Paul. Their joy was in knowing their anguish and suffering was for a better cause, thereby did not rejoice in their circumstances denying their pain acting like a bunch of phony’s, but in the LORD and what God did through them. They knew it was not mere senseless suffering! Even though THEY knew in hindsight the purpose of THEIR suffering, this did not give these believers THEN or us today the right to minimize their pain, be insensitive to others, by making stupid or insensitive comments, or looking for false answers so they can stay in denial and walk away. But then, THEY would have not done so back then, as THEY ALL suffered.
    Soon we will ALL learn! Soon great suffering is coming to ALL the end-time church! Hollywood Christianity is about to come to a screeching halt. Shepherds fleecing sheep for selfish gain and budding sheep will run like rats from a sinking ship. In stark contrast, the true and caring remnant church will emerge into a loving army of loving shepherds caring for loving sheep.
    Indeed, God’s end-time judgments are not merely for an unbelieving world, but clean house in the church. – In fact, judgment always began and will always begin in the house of God FIRST! – He will allow great suffering for this great purpose to present His bride without spot or wrinkle.
    So be it!

  5. The above comments are from believers who have suffered greatly as I have in the churches and from other "Christians". Their pain, as is mine, is obvious. It has been caused by "religious" people who have no love or compassion, only "wisdom". In the near future we will see many, many more like this; many, many more whom the religious people have wounded and rejected. Our job will be to reach out to them and love and comfort them