Suffering is Your Opportunity to Show Your Quality (Part 3)

God hates the proud, the haughty, liars, deceivers, mockers and the self-righteous. But he exalts the humble and meek.

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6.

You are not here to exalt yourself but to be a display of perfect submission, trust and dependence on Him. That gives God glory. That establishes your place as his son and Him as your Father. It is the place that all men in their natural state will not go. Men love to seek the high places and to gain to themselves the best seats. They love long flowing robes with lots of bling-bling. In reality the heart that is not submitted to God wants to be God – its that simple.

Remaining stiff-necked, and that after many rebukes – refusing to submit is a loud and clear, undeniable declaration of “I will” and nobody will tell me what to do – I am God. This is the resolve and permanent position of the enemy of God. When you stand here you stand as an enemy against God.

“He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” Prov. 29:1.

So what does all this have to do with Job? A lot. Whereas Job’s three friends related everything that was going on with Job to themselves. Job entrusted himself to the One he knew would have to make sense of what was happening. He humbled himself under the mighty hand of God. When many would have either been tempted to curse God and die, thus giving up their faith or alternately would have tried to find a way to reconcile the situation by agreeing with the friends to protect God’s image according to the their beliefs regarding how God punishes wrongdoers and rewards the righteous, Job did not – he endured. “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Heb. 12:3.

Job stood (or should I say sat) in the midst of a terrible crisis of faith. He was forced to deal with things as they are – that he is righteous and he is suffering – and most of the suffering came from those who were closest to him. He is in a place that few will ever get to unless they go on with God, trusting Him and obeying Him. Few will be given this test because few could pass it.

God is looking for a few good men and women to show their quality. He is looking for doers of the word and not hearers only. He is seeking them out diligently throughout the earth. Do you not realize the signs of the times? God is moving swiftly and accurately with the determination and skill of a smart bomb to target those who will prove Him against the onslaught of this world system. He is looking for sons who will reflect His character in the midst of crisis and trial and affliction and whatever else the enemy wants to throw at him.

Job had one thing that his friends did not have. He knew God in an intimate relationship, they did not. Here is the final analysis given in Job 42:7: “And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.”

They did not know God, they knew about Him. They had reasoned in their human minds who He was by the things they could observe and manage and organize. They had a form of godliness. They had religion.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Tim. 3: 1-5.

A form of godliness will not stand the test. It will always breakdown under the trial of suffering. A person who pretends to know God but does not will eventually be brought to a place of testing so that he or she may know that they deceive themselves. It may not be apparent to everyone else, but they will know in the crisis whether they are faithful or not.

Trials and afflictions, suffering and denying of self are tools that God uses.

Suffering is your opportunity to show your quality.