Suffering is Your Opportunity to Show Your Quality (Part 15)

The Whittling Work of Waiting (Chapters 8,9,10)

The enemy is working feverishly to wear down Job, to get him to forsake God and His will. He is busy whittling Job down to nothing, till there is no hope left. Little does he know that he is accomplishing God’s work in the life of Job.

As long as we see how it will work out or could work out, we have hope. It is when we cannot see a way out that we must kick into faith gear. We are forced to come to grips with Who God has revealed Himself to be to us. This comes when we have exhausted our ideas and strategies and bag full of human tricks.

These chapters of the meaningless battering of Job’s friends and their religious perspective on life has a way of wearing on Job. Notice that they keep on trying to make meaning out of something that defies sense and the common experience of men, out of something that is foolishness to the natural man. Notice they keep taking pot shots at Job and he is becoming more and more annoyed at their platitudes and nonsensical illustrations.

Listen to Bildad who asks questions but gives no answers. How does that help Job in time of need? What ministry is that? the ministry of frustrating annoyance?

“Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,  How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind?  Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?” Job 8:1-3 Inquisitive yes, helpful, encouraging, supportive, no. It sounds like Bildad is getting impatient with all Job’s suffering, like he is put out by the whole ordeal.

Then there is his string of “if” remarks which is nothing more than hypothetical escape from what actually is. “If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression;  If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty;  If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.” vv. 4-6.

This is Satan’s handiwork. He is whittling Job down, he is diminishing him piece by piece and using Job’s very friends (among other things) as the knives to do it. This is nothing less than death in stages. Job is being chipped away at. But that is how God works, like a sculptor, removing the me to reveal the Him that is in me. There is a son of God that needs to be released and exposed. There is a son that when his good works are shown, will give glory to God. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Eph. 2:10.

Did Jesus do good works when He was here? Did He glorify His Father? You can bet your salvation on it. But what exactly were those good works? It was to reveal His Father in Him. Jesus said, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.” John 14:9. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” John 6:38. Jesus goes on and says the things I do, the places I go, the things I say these are not mine but the Father’s.

Where is the fun in that? How can you live your whole life and not do what you want? not say what you want? not go where you want? Ask Jesus, that is what He did. You can do it when you understand that you have not come to do your own will but the will of Him who sent you. “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8.

Doing His Father’s will was the very joy of Jesus’ life. It was the thing that kept Him going through His trials, afflictions, sufferings. I mean think about it, Jesus said, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:8-11.

Do you see the progression to Joy?

1.) Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

God the Father and God the Son is glorified when we bear much fruit, when there are things showing in our life that exhibit to others our good works, i.e. His work showing through us.

2.) As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

This abiding is dependent on our knowing God’s love and remaining in that knowledge.

3.) If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

It is this love that motivates us to obey Him and do His will. We love Him because He first loved us. The love of God constrains us. Jesus asks, “How is it that you say you love me and keep not my commandments?” Obedience without love, obedience out of fear is bondage and slavery.

4.) These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

When we keep his commandments out of love for Him we experience Joy.

This is how Jesus experienced Joy among a life full of hardship, heartache, betrayal, vindictiveness, pain, suffering and death, even death on a cross. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb. 12:2.

He was not in the thing for Himself, He was in it for His Father’s will. Once we learn to live for His will and not our own, once we eliminate expectations for what others should do for us and to us, once we submit to the sovereignty of a loving and all-powerful, all-knowing God, then we can learn to rest in Him, trusting that everything that comes to us comes from Him according to His will, for our good.

This is precisely what is being revealed in Job as he is learning to trust God and depend on His wisdom and love. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” Job 13:15.

Suffering is your opportunity to show your quality (e.g. Him!).

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