A trial or heartache is either happening right now or will happen in the near future. ARE YOU PREPARED FOR THIS EVENT?
It could be financial loss, the death of a loved one, difficulty in a relationship, parents going through a divorce, feeling overwhelmed with life, loss of a job, and more. I don’t’ want to be a downer, but the reality of life is that we live in a broken, fallen world, and trials come.
In 2002, George Barna wrote, “The State of the Church”. In this, Barna had conducted a survey of several thousand self-pronounced Christians, and here is what he found:
• 48% could not name the four Gospels.
• 52% cannot identify more than two or three of Jesus’ disciples.
• 60% of American Christians can’t name even five of the 10 Commandments.
• 61% of American Christians think the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham.
• 71% of American Christians think “God helps those who help themselves” is a Bible verse.
George Barna said, "Americans revere the Bible, but by and large they don’t know what it says. And because they don’t know it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates." Some 18 years later, I don’t believe our nation has become more Bible literate, but woefully more illiterate.
The Christian faith is often shallow, weak, and untested. The life of a Christian is often “trendy” and in “vogue”, and most want to live their life with a little bit of Jesus on the side. The ideals of Scriptural trials and tribulations are foreign to most believers today. A large portion of the Bible was written by or to those who were persecuted and suffering for their following of the LORD.
The book of Job presents us to a man who was right with God, and walking in truth. To describe Job as a righteous man would be right and accurate. He had a fourfold righteousness according to chapter 1: Job was perfect (mature), upright (good testimony), feared God (humility), and eschewed evil (hated that which was wrong, and avoided it). In every area of life Job had been blessed, and he walked with God.
In the life of Job, God saw a deficiency though. The book of Job bears that out through the conversations Job has with his three friends. Job was not sinful, but he had settled in his relationship with the Lord, and God wanted to take him to the next level. A self-righteous and self-absorbed Job is revealed as the book progresses, and God confronts him in the end in powerful fashion. God took Job through a trial to make him better.
What about us? Most Christians would get angry, moan, and complain if God allowed such trials to come their way. Unlike Job many wouldn’t respond with worship, “Blessed be the name of the Lord”. Job had his weak moments moving forward, but initially when the trial hit, his declaration of trust in the Lord is amazing. How would you respond?
My fear is that we have far too many weak and flabby Christians who would in bitterness and anger leave the Lord, instead of saying “Blessed be His name”! What about you?
Daily Scripture Reading
Job 1 - 4
“And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”