Monday, July 11, 2016

Dangerous Ground - Eyes of Understanding

NOTE* - I have added a small portion today (the day after this was originally posted). If you have already read this article once, you may have missed the addendum. Lord bless you.

Part One here   Part TWO here

Eyes of Understanding
For God speaks once, yea twice, yet man perceives it not.  [Job 33:14]

Although I have read the whole book of Job a few times (skimming over various chapters on occasion), it was only during a recent reading that my eyes were opened to see more. Is that not the way it is when we read the entire Word of God? Others may have seen even more than us long ago, yet we stand in awe whenever we learn something new, wondering why we did not see it before.

It is never my intention to announce such a thing with any false or hubristic pride, in that I saw something new and am arrogantly going to share it with others who have not seen it, as if I am wiser in some way. No, not at all! There are so many times I discover a thing, only to find out that others knew about it, perhaps centuries before me.

The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. [Eccl 1:9]

It is more that when my eyes are opened to truly see a thing in scripture, more often than not, a realization occurs simultaneously of what a holy God I must stand before and how I pale in His presence. I see the corruption in my flesh and how easy it is to slip into pride and even rebellion.

Other times, I see the potency of His love and the depth of my selfishness. It is with great humility that I admit how much more I need further purging. The excellence of God’s holiness and the pureness of His glory reveal the great need I have of Him – the deep need we all have of Him.

Any good in me has been His doing, not only as my Creator, as the one who formed me in the womb, but also as a loving God who purges and purifies, who molds and changes us into the image of Christ, step by step, from glory to glory. It is all to His glory alone, and most certainly not anything that I have done, or that any of us can accomplish.

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. [2Cor3:18]

Each of us can read any given chapter or verse of scripture several times, when suddenly, we see a part with new eyes of understanding, as if reading it for the first time. In our excitement, we cannot wait to share it with others.

Who knows? Another member may not have only seen what you just happened to stumble upon, but may even be able to add deeper meaning. The body of Christ has need of each and every member. We are to learn from and help each other along the narrow path, and the Holy Spirit teaches and guides us all.

The Holy Bible is a book filled with such a wealth of wisdom that it will take us our lifetime to grasp.  Yet, even at the end of our time upon this earth, we still will not have attained the fullness of God’s wisdom, knowledge, goodness or character revealed to us in His Word.

When All Falls Apart and Seems Lost
What do we do when all seems lost? Does anyone notice when hardships hit? 
Do others truly pray for us or do they just offer empathy and counsel (advice)? Is it not true that at times we can actually sense the prayers of brethren spiritually? If others get busy and neglect to pray, do we not feel a greater heaviness upon us?

Where do we turn when everything seems to go wrong?  In the midst of what seems to be never-ending adversity, does a true believer begin to question their faith? Do they wonder if there is hope or if they have believed a lie?
Do we feel like we are in a parched and desolate land, all alone in a vast wilderness? Do we hide a sin and are afraid to approach God, fearing that His wrath will be upon us? Do we consider suicide, or long for death to end our misery? And if that desire is met, will we face torment in hell by a righteous God?

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[Unusual insert and interruption to the article (in obedience to the LORD)] 

– (There is someone who is reading this that has been contemplating suicide, angry at God and even challenging the reality of Him.  There is another (someone else) who is believing for a miracle; something that defies logic. (Don’t all miracles defy logic? It is why they are called miracles.)

What you wait for was birthed by a promise from God, a knowing in your spirit. You have had confirmations from the Lord, but Satan has brought doubt to destroy your faith, kill your trust and steal your hope.

This knowing (promise) was released by God’s [Holy] Spirit into your spirit in a time past (I do not know how long past, whether weeks, months, years, but I sense at least a year, perhaps longer, give or take. The Lord does not always speak all details to me.)

This person has held fast and strong in their faith, but since a length of time has passed, you have begun to wonder if you heard from God, despite the fact you were given a small sign at the beginning. Though it was slight, you knew it meant His approval. Perhaps you forgot?  Satan and his minions are very real adversaries. He will do all he can to thwart the destiny of God's people by questioning their faith and trust in Him.

Both of you (the one contemplating suicide and the one who has begun to question what God ordained for you) have longed to hear from God, whether you admit it or not, or whether you are even aware of it or not.

One has asked for a sign; the other has waited only for some kind of answer, some glimmer of hope.

To the one who seeks death: This (prophetic word) is your sign!
To the other who waits: This is your answer, a ‘voice from heaven’, as it were.

Yes, I know there are no thunderclaps, no lightning, no angelic appearances…just a disciple of Christ Jesus, a regular Jane Doe with a website. Please believe me when I say, I am just as awestruck as you, as this is highly unusual for me to interrupt an article and do something impromptu.

All I can say is that I must obey His leading, and thank Him for allowing me to be an instrument in His hand in this way.  But then again, He did use a donkey once…

Below is the word as given to me.
To the one who has contemplated suicide:

“Why resist the One who created you? What is it you fear? Receive My love for it will cast out all fear, for fear has torment. You are not perfected in My love because You have not believed My love for you and therefore have not opened up to receive it. My love is not as the world gives, just as My peace is not as that of the world.”

You wonder if I am really real, and if I am, do I even care. I have been longsuffering (patient).  I have been drawing you, but you have resisted. Is not your very life in My hands?  

Would you choose to end your inner suffering, which is temporal, only to suffer in eternity, separated from Me? That would be a never-ending suffering, a torment of which there is no escape. The lake of fire is the second death – it does exist.”

You feel the heaviness of your rebellion; the blackness of your sins. This is why the darkness round about you is so heavy upon you. Yea, all have sinned and fallen short of My glory. You have seen no hope, no way of escape, except to end it by your own doing.

Yet, I tell you that there is a way to be free from your burdens. There is hope; there is a way out of your captivity and bondage. I, Jesus am the way, the truth and the life, and no one goes to the Father except through Me.

I have come to give you good tidings; I have come to bind up your broken heart. I have come to proclaim liberty to you who is held captive. I have come to open up the prison doors, and loose your bounds.  Are you ready to come out?

I have come to comfort you; to give you beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for your mourning. I have come to put the garment of praise upon you for the spirit of heaviness that cloaks you. I have come so that you may be called a tree of righteousness, a planting of Mine, so that I might be glorified.

Come, come, come to Me, you who are weary and heavy-laden (burdened) and I will give you rest. Come now, and let us reason together. Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Come to Me in repentance and I will have compassion on you. I will subdue (crush) your iniquities (sinfulness, wrong) and will cast all your sins into the depths of the sea. I shall wash you in My blood, for I am the Lamb that was slain for the sins of the world, and you shall stand in My presence in white robes.

If you do not desire your life anymore, then lay it down. Give Me your heart and I will care for you.  Surrender your heart (life) to Me, then shall you have eternal life; or refuse Me still, hold fast to your heavy burdens and lose. 

I am not the author of confusion. If you are blinded to the way out, I heal the blind. Take My hand, for My arm is not shortened that it cannot save, or My ear heavy that it cannot hear.

This is the sign that you ached for in your desperate anger. I am here. I heard your cries. When you cry out to Me and turn away from unrighteousness (repent) with godly sorrow, I forgive. And I say again, that which is forgiven will never be called up again, but cast into the depths of the sea. 

My blood, sprinkled and spilled from the cross has paid the debt of your sin in full. I know you do not understand everything. I know the hatred, the bitterness, the anguish, the anger you carry inside. It will be as a slow poison to you if you do not let it go. Come to Me and I will show you the way.

Call upon Me and you shall be saved. Have faith and believe. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. Confess Me before others, and I shall confess you before my Father in heaven. I love you and I am here for you. Yea, for I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 

Yet if you still refuse,  it shall be your choice. Choose life! I love you; come and discover the length, height, depth and breadth of My love, which melts the coldest heart. Come and see. I wait...
                              * * * * * * * * * * * *
To the one who waits for an answer:

“I say to you that I am not man that I should lie, nor am I the son of man that I should repent. Have I not spoken and shall I not do it? Have I not spoken and shall not make it good?

Why do you strive so hard to understand, to figure out how I shall do a thing or why? How many times must I remind you not to lean on your own understanding, but to trust in Me with all your heart?

You weary from waiting, yet have I not said that those who wait upon Me shall rise up with wings as eagles, that you shall run and not weary, and that you shall walk and not faint?

Come away from distractions and seek My face. Find the time to pray and wait upon Me. If you find the time for other things, shall you not find time for Me? Beware lest the distractions take priority over Me.

You seek to pass time as you wait and wait for Me to move, yet I counsel You to spend more time with Me. At times you feel weak in your walk, and other times, you wonder if you have enough faith to see your miracle come to pass. Do not give up now -- you are closer than you realize!

Speak those things which are not as though they were. When I have revealed a thing to you, and I confirm it through My Word and by My Spirit, then speak it forth. Speak My Word, with thanksgiving and praise.

Flesh and the enemy work together. Satan cannot touch your spirit, but he will surely bring temptation to the flesh. He will tempt you in areas of your weakness. Pause and think upon it…

There are those who have told you that the world has not entered into the last days, the end times, but I tell you that the last days began with My apostles. Focus on Me; keep Me as your first love. Continue to seek first the kingdom of your God (My kingdom), for all these things shall be added unto you.

Have I not supplied all your needs? Have I not encouraged you and strengthened you in the moments when you felt you could not go on? Do not put off any longer the one thing you must yet lay down.

This is where things have been stalled. You can and must do it. Lay all down and watch and see what I shall do. The vision is indeed for an appointed time, and you have waited for it.

Yet I say to you, come into alignment in every way, being obedient in all things, for the appointed time is nigh upon you. Do not let it pass due to disobedience. I wait for you to act in faith, trust and obedience. At the end, the vision shall speak and not lie.

Though it has tarried (you now know why), wait for it, for it will surely come (at the appointed time). It will not tarry. It will be right on time, the time that I have chosen. Multitudes around the world are receiving miracles, even if you do not hear of it. 

I have spoken of the clash of the kingdoms. What people are witnessing (great evil) is a precursor to that which is yet to come, but fast approaches. Corruption and deception are everywhere. Evil abounds in every nation, amongst all clans and tribes. That which was written long ago is coming to pass.

Rise up in this hour. Keep on your armour and gird up your loins. Set your face as a flint. Keep Me as your main focus and you will find the strength to overcome in obedience. Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit…selah!

When the past is truly let go of, then you shall walk in that which has been ordained for you. My people, those who walk in faith, trust and obedience do not fear what they see and hear. Their focus is on Me and My commandments, both in My Word and to them personally. You know this.

I have declared the former things from the beginning. They came forth out of My mouth and I have shown them. I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. Again and again, I do things suddenly and they come to pass.

I have declared things to you also, and before they come to pass, I showed you. This is so that you cannot say any idol has done them, or any graven image, or any false prophet has commanded them.

I have shown you new things from this time, even hidden things, and you did not know them. They are created now, and not from the beginning, even before the day you heard of it (the prophetic vision which you believe for). It is I who has revealed it, so that you cannot say, "I knew it."

Only I know the end from the beginning. You have wondered at all that has come against you. Did I not say that Satan has desired to sift you as wheat? Yea, but your faith did not fail you, for I interceded to the Father on your behalf.

I have refined you, but not with silver. I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction. Through the trial of your faith (which is much more precious than gold that perishes), I have tried your faith with fire – to see if it was genuine.

It will result in praise and honour and glory at My appearing. I have brought you through the fire and refined you as silver is refined, and tried you as gold is tried (tested). You shall call upon My name and I will answer you.

I have given you a promise, a personal promise, as I have those who went before you and as I have to many that walk with Me today. Do your part in willing obedience and I shall surely do Mine.

Do not fear any false prophet, for what they say shall not come to pass. They have spoken presumptuously; you need not be afraid of them. I forewarned that in the end times, many false prophets would arise and deceive many.

They will lead many astray. They will not tell people to repent of their sins, nor tell them that it is their sin that separates them from Me. They will not counsel people to pick up their cross daily and die to self.

They will not call for obedience to My commandments, or tell you to fear God. They will speak My name and even speak of Me, but they are ravenous wolves, seeking to destroy My people for their own gain . 

They will cause many to stray from Me and to embrace things of the world. They will perform great signs and wonders, insomuch (to such an extent) that if it were possible, they would deceive even the elect.

Now, I have strengthened you further, and restored hope to you. Do all that I have asked of you; lay all down and delay no longer. It is for your good, but for My glory. This is the answer you have waited for. I am with you; I have heard you. 

I end now with this final verse from My Word:

[Let us] draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with the pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;)  [Heb 10:22, 23]

This is the end of the word that the Lord had me write. I trust that whoever it is meant for will be led to this writing, by His Holy Spirit. Bless the Lord; He alone shall be glorified!
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The article continues on now, with what I had already written.
Do we look to Jesus and humbly cling to God? Will we find strength to offer up thanksgiving and praise anyway?  If we find our strength is small, will we cry out in our weakness to God? Will we trust that Jesus will not fail or forsake us and accept His mercy and grace, which strengthens?  God is close to the brokenhearted.

If we stumble and fall, will we reach out and take hold of the strong arm of God that saves, or will pride keep us down? When we wait upon Him and rise again in His strength, will we confess with a broken and contrite heart and humbly repent?

Will we wait for God and trust in His wise ways and timing, even when we do not understand or if the Lord seems slow in moving?  How many reel in distressed bewilderment, shaking an angry fist at God?  Are there believers who would turn away from God completely, blaming him for being aloof (uncaring) or callously unjust? 

Some may end their own lives; some seek consolation with trusted counselors, close friends or family; others may turn to something or someone to numb their senses. How often do we feel we are alone in our distress, in our moments of weakness?
In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him, even into His ears. 
[Ps 18:6]

Have mercy upon me, o Lord, for I am in trouble: my eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones are consumed.

I was a reproach among all my enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to my acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.

For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life. But I trusted in You, O Lord: I said, You are my God. My times are in Your hand […] 
[Ps 31:9-15]

And after David poured out his heart to the Lord, in all honesty and truth, how did he end his prayer in the psalm?  O love the Lord, all you His saints: for the Lord preserves the faithful, and plentifully rewards the proud doer. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the Lord. 
[Ps 31:24]

To the discouraged, I say be encouraged; to those without hope, I say, there is hope. To those who need strength, I say, be strengthened by waiting upon the Lord humbly, in His presence.

The Job Syndrome
Anyone who has any sense of reality knows that waiting is never easy. Even young children become impatient when waiting has seemingly gone into overtime.  The question, “Are we there yet?” was repeatedly asked by Donkey in the movie Shrek. It became a popular catch phrase to indicate impatience (and for some, a way to annoy another).

How many people have related to Job where two or more crises take place concurrently, or if everything seems to be falling apart, with no apparent end in sight?  They may relate to the suddenness of events, the steady onslaught or perhaps the monetary loss (employment, finances, properties, possessions) and/or the unexplained, untimely or unexpected loss of a loved one, either by death, separation or severed relationship.
Throughout history, millions of people have identified with Job at some point in their lives, self included, even if they did not lose the vast amount of riches as Job did, or the severity of loss of a startling number of employed staff (servants) or the loss of several relatives (10 children) in one fell swoop as he did.  Even a fraction of such losses can numb and paralyze us emotionally by the impact.

Ordinary people can relate to Job if they encounter a lengthy time of suffering or an intense test of patience as they wait for God to move on their behalf. Patience is tried as never before and the darkness that falls upon us can be blinding.

How many seek answers from God, only to be met with silence?  How many experience persecution and false accusations from those they trusted? We long for God to answer our plethora of questions to understand, but like Job, we may never get the answers that we seek. We long for a remedy, a way out.

Others relate to Job when they are the targets of gross misunderstandings, ill-advice or unfounded accusations from those closest to them. Job’s trial proved to be a most difficult conundrum for his three friends, although they were emphatic that God is just and that Job must have done some wrong to bring such suffering. 
Desiring to comfort Job, they erred in their attempts at solving the mystery behind Job’s adversity. In defense of God, they blatantly accused Job. How many of us have unintentionally been like Job’s friends, trying to figure out why a loved one has such hardships and trying to come up with a sensible reason behind it all?

It is not just the suddenness of a thing, or an onslaught, or even the severity of loss (whether monetary or loss of a loved one(s)) that folks relate to when it comes to Job. Perhaps it is due to a sickness or disease, particularly when medicines or herbal solutions do not help, or if it an illness is terminal (no known cure).

People may relate when loved ones die in what they consider to be violent, mysterious or sudden ways, or die too young.  Others may relate to Job due to the duration of an ailment, or from the intensity of discomfort, pain and suffering (physical and/or emotional) that may cause one to prefer death rather than to have to live through the misery and agony that they must constantly bear.

Ofttimes, it is the shock and bewilderment, the lack of understanding as to “why” and “how” certain things happen that baffles most, especially if they are a child of God. When things go from bad to worse, even the strongest in faith can be rattled.

Confusion, frustration and pain (whether physical [body], mental [soul] or spiritual) may very well give in to anger, bitterness or self-righteousness. The severity, intensity or longevity of even one traumatic/dramatic event can challenge and even weaken the bravest and strongest person, whether a disciple of Jesus Christ or not.

It is during the hardest trials of life that one’s true character, their heart and fruit is revealed.  What is uncovered may surprise us, or others, as surely as it did with Job. We all tend to hold onto a rather incomplete and inaccurate worldview or theology of God. How often do we conclude that He blesses the good and brings affliction (suffering) as chastisement for sins?

Although it is true that God does or has done these things, the theology is incomplete. There are times that our trials are a test/ trial of faith, a purging to refine us or a pruning to produce more fruit. Our suffering may be due to our poor choices or sins which have consequences, or from the sins and/or choices of others.

Suffering can also come from evil people committing evil deeds that either directly involve us or is part of a ripple effect. We were also warned to expect persecution simply for being followers of Christ Jesus.
It may be Satan and his hordes launching attacks, which have increased as the time that Jesus forewarned us about is upon us. Satan will entice us with every imaginable temptation, just as he did with Jesus. He knows that now his time is running short.

None of us know all the thoughts or ways of God, as He is too vast and beyond our meager comprehension. [Is 55:8, 9] As a result, we often speculate and try to explain all that God does or all that He is.

None of us have all the answers, but together, as one body, we can learn from each other. None of us can fully describe our Maker, let alone define His methods and ways, or predict what He can and cannot, will or will not do.

We have an advantage over Job; we have the Holy Scriptures to teach us, filled with God’s wisdom. His magnificent Word is one way that He speaks to us and guides us.  If we are born again and Spirit-filled, His precious Spirit will also teach and lead us. Jesus made it possible for us to come humbly before God and pray.  

Patiently Waiting
Waiting with patience for God to answer us or to intervene in desperate, unexplainable or even in impossible situations is the area where most relate to Job. As mentioned before, questions and doubts that arise can lead to our undoing if we abandon or forsake faith or our trust in Christ.

Jesus (Yeshua) said that faith as small as a grain of mustard seed will move mountains. When God’s people weaken and become frustrated or impatient as they wait for God to act or wait upon His timing, they wonder if their faith is at least the size of that famous mustard seed.

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove from here to yonder place; and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you. [Mat 17:20]

Will faith see us through?  Yes, faith expels fear and when combined with trust in God, unbelief cannot exist. Some may question whether they are in right standing with God, whilst others may feel abandoned by God. 

Some may feel they are either cursed or being punished for their sins, whilst others consider God unfair, just as Job did. Some feel He is putting more upon them than they can bear.

Some have such fears and doubts wherein they magnify every shortcoming, error, imperfection or struggle they have that they plead for forgiveness of sins, even ones they have not committed…but “just in case”, they repent anyway.

Some seemingly repent for even existing; almost as if the way they breathe is a sin that they must repent of. These tormented souls have not accepted (received) or perhaps fully believed God’s perfect love for them as His, nor fully realize His mercy and abundant grace.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect (whole, mature, complete) in love. [1Jn 4:18]

Others become angry as they remind God of all their good works or their faithfulness to Him, practically demanding an explanation for the ‘injustice’ they are suffering.  This is what Job had to repent of, self-righteousness.  Such as these would do well to remember the goodness and faithfulness of Jesus Christ, who died for them so that they could be forgiven and live eternally!

There must be balance, and that balance will come through the Holy Spirit, through repentance and prayer, and by reading the Word of God. Everyone can have doubts, but it comes down to if those doubts are constructive or destructive. 

Constructive doubts, as explained previously, are doubts or questions that arise, but are mingled with faith and trust. I remind you again, Abraham, Gideon and Mary are three examples of those who had doubts (questions) but had faith that what God told them would come to pass.

Destructive doubts are those that do not believe God, no matter what confirmation He has given. They lack trust and will not wait, refusing to believe until they see. They turn away from God and walk in disobedience, rather than obedience. Some who did this were the Israelites in the wilderness, Saul and even Solomon. [1Kings11:9, 10]

There are times some simply may not understand the “why” behind something that has taken place or will take place (when a promise given was prophetic).  They may not understand God’s “timing” at first.
Ingratitude, if left unchecked, can dangerously bypass faith and become unbelief, such as what happened to the Israelites. One must stand before the holy, living God with a broken and contrite heart, forsaking rebellious pride and bearing the humility of repentance.

Do not allow bitterness, pride or rebellion to take hold of you when you are waiting for God to move. Wait patiently and persevere as Job did. God will answer.

Wrestling Theories about Job
Job was a very healthy and wealthy man. He owned eleven thousand of various types of livestock (sheep, camels, oxen and she-asses [female donkeys]), representing a fortune in terms of value, even by today’s standards.  Countless servants tended the herds.
He was happily married and had ten children, seven sons and three daughters. He had a fine home, status in the community and was respected by everyone, from royalty to servants and everyone in-between.

Most importantly, Job was a God-fearing man, considered in right standing with God (righteous) and upright (moral, law-abiding, honourable, noble, honest etc). He even disciplined himself to not even look upon another woman to lust after her.

Theologians still wrestle and debate whether Job was an actual person or if the story is allegorical. The arguments are that a good and loving God would not allow such suffering to come upon a godly man, with an upright moral character.

Other theologians posit that no physical evidence (archaeological) exists to prove that Job was a real, therefore, Job was likely mythological. Skeptics mention an ancient Sumerian poem that was written 1,000 years before the story of Job.

The poem eerily writes about a pious man who also suffered loss and physical ailment, only to be healed and everything restored in the end.  Yet, even the story of Daniel in the lions’ den is considered folklore by some.

This should not surprise us, as the serpent (Satan) began to sabotage God’s word in the Garden of Eden and destroy God’s plan of salvation.  He failed miserably.

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. [1Cor 2:7, 8]

Theories about the Biblical accounts being Jewish folklore or tales rewritten from Sumerian tablets are presented to the public in an attempt to sabotage the validity of the Holy Scriptures and cast the shadow of doubt upon any who would believe God’s word.

Such skeptics echo a voice from the past, when Satan slyly asked Eve, “Has God said…?” The prophet Ezekiel mentions Job, along with Noah and Daniel two times. Always pay attention when the Lord repeats a thing. The apostle James also mentions the “patience of Job[Jam 5:11] because of how he persevered through the great trial of his faith in and love for God.

Most of us know the story of Job. When Satan appeared before God, stating that he had been going to and fro about the earth [1Pet 5:8], to which God asks Satan if he had considered Job, a man who fears God and eschews (shuns) evil.

Immediately, Satan makes accusation against Job stating that he is only faithful to God because He has blessed Job and put a ‘protective’ hedge around him, his family and all that he owns. Satan challenges God to put forth Your hand (grant permission to Satan to come against the work of Job’s hands and his substance) [Job 1:10]

God grants permission. Sabeans stole his oxen and asses, killed all servants but one, who escaped to tell Job. Whilst the surviving servant was still speaking, another breathless man ran to Job to report that fire from heaven fell, killing all the sheep and servants tending them. Only he escaped.

Whilst he was still speaking, yet another servant ran to Job, reporting that three bands of Chaldeans stole the camels and slew all the servants by sword. Only he escaped. Whilst he was still speaking, a fourth servant ran to him proclaiming that a great wind destroyed the house where all of his sons and daughters were feasting and drinking, killing all of them.

An onslaught of calamities overtook Job’s happy life – a domino effect. Shocked and overwhelmed, Job tore off his clothes and shaved his head in his pained anguish, fell to the ground and remarkably praised God. Still dissatisfied, Satan contends that if Job’s health was taken from him, he would surely curse God.

The Lord said to Satan that Job was in his hands, but commanded Satan not to take his life. Job’s body was then completely covered in painful, inflamed boils from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.

It is not my intention to discuss every detail, but to bring the story to remembrance and to merely to point out a few things that most definitely help us when we ourselves go through incredulous trials or events in our own lives. If we read Job’s responses at various times throughout the story, we can often relate to Job.

God considered Job righteous from beginning to end, despite Job’s emotions and some of the things he stated about God.  Job’s first response to his losses was to worship God. Yes, outwardly he expressed his grief by tearing his clothes and shaving his head.
Who would not grieve if they lost everything they owned, as well as all of their children or a great number of relatives at once? Even his wife, overcome herself with grief and sorrow told Job to “curse God and die”.  Before judging her, remember that she too lost everything, including the ten children she brought into the world. She was suffering greatly in her soul. Yet, she spoke foolishly.

After Job’s body was in great pain and torment, he did wonder why he was born and even longed for death, so that his suffering would be ended.  Many times when we go through long trials, friends and families come down with JFS (Job’s Friends Syndrome). 

Job’s friends were silent for the first week that they saw him and they wept. They were horrified by what happened to him, and in their compassion and love for their friend, they wept.  As Job’s trial continued, then they did what most of us do; they tried to make sense of why God allowed such devastation to befall Job.

In their minds, Job’s friends believed that there had to be a perfectly logical explanation for Job’s suffering…after all, God is good and just. However, they did err in their understanding and in their counsel.  We accuse ourselves?

In the book called the “Homan Old Testament Commentary – Volume 10 Job”, written by Max Anders and Steven Lawson, draw some interesting conclusions. First they point out that Job’s name is derived from the Hebrew word, radap which means “persecution, hatred”. 

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:  Job [‘iyobh] doubtful; object of enmity; “he who turns to God” – Bibliography information from Smith’s Bible Dictionary – Dr William Smith 1901.

Anders and Lawson point out that Eliphaz, the first friend who spoke to Job, was “the most considerate”, but still spoke with “stinging words, reasoning that only the wicked suffer.”  They suggest that the second to speak, Bildad, used “stronger terms” when addressing Job, but also concluded that if Job “would repent, God will remove your suffering.”

The authors of the Holman OT Commentary state that Zophar was the harshest, whose discourse was “rude and curt, probably out of growing frustration, as he relies heavily on assumptions.”

“He is the voice of orthodoxy, unbending and pointed, declaring in no uncertain terms to Job, “You are sinning and if you do not repent, your life on earth will be short-lived.”
They deduct that Elihu, the fourth and youngest counselor, spoke with “greater perception, applying sounder logic”.  Elihu reminds Job that “God purifies and teaches through man’s suffering.”  He advises Job to “humble himself before God.”

Anders and Lawson write: “So “why do the righteous suffer?”  The answer is: The righteous suffer because God, according to his infinite wisdom, chooses for them to suffer.”

They go on to explain that even if it appears unjust or unfair, “the reader is allowed to go behind the scenes and see the higher purposes of God behind Job’s suffering.”  “Through his fiery trial he perseveres and becomes an even stronger, more mature believer (cp 42:5).”

“More importantly, the anguish he experiences is used by God to show the sovereign workings of God behind the veiled curtain of human circumstances for his own glory.”

“In the bigger picture the person who undergoes painful suffering must remember that his life is part of a much grander scheme than he could ever imagine. Pitted between the kingdoms of light and darkness, stands the righteous person.”

“He is the battlefield for the invisible war between two unseen worlds. Satan is always pressing to destroy God’s plans by attacking the human race, especially the righteous. At stake in this spiritual warfare is the glory of God.”

“Honor is given to God when the righteous endure suffering patiently. Therefore, believers can face trials and tribulations triumphantly, knowing they are appointed for God’s glory and their good.” Holman Old Testament Commentary ©2004 B and H Publishing Group (authors Max Anders and Steve Lawson) Sold on Amazon.

Despite the fact that some scholars and historians challenge whether Job was a real person or not, he is mentioned in Genesis 46:13 as the third out of the four sons born to Issachar.

The prophet Ezekiel pens Job’s name twice in the fourteenth chapter of his book.
Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness. [Ezek 14:20 and 14:14]

The apostle James mentions Job: Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. [Jam 5:11]

Rebellion is Dangerous Ground
What I read in the Bible that I had not seen before was something that Elihu accused Job of that I had not noticed before, nor have I ever read commentary on it. It surprised me because when the Lord did finally speak, He rebuked Job’s three friends for being wrong, but He did not mention anything about what Elihu spoke.

For he (Job) adds rebellion unto his sin, he claps his hands among us, and multiplies his words against God. [Job 34:37]

Now that is the part that I read with new eyes of understanding. It simply never registered in other readings, and I have never heard anyone else mention it. Perhaps they have and I just have not heard it before. It was a surprise to see that it was the fourth counselor, Elihu, that brought this accusation against Job. 

The dictionary defines rebellion in two ways. Firstly, it defines it as: an act of violent or open resistance (armed or otherwise) to an established government or ruler”.  
Secondly, rebellion is defined as: “the action or process of resisting authority, defiance (open resistance), insubordination (bad behaviour), insolence (rude or disrespectful behaviour)”

Clearly, when Elihu accused Job of adding rebellion to his sin, he referred to what he considered Job’s impolite, discourteous words and his demand for answers to the Lord. How long Job’s trial lasted is anyone’s guess, as the Bible does not say. We do have clues.

So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spoke a word to him: for they saw that his grief was very great
Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me; 
[Job 2:13; 29:2]

We can see that when Job’s friends came to comfort him, they were so shocked by what they saw and the great suffering of their friend that they sat for a week with him, unable to say anything. When they did speak, they were adamant about their understanding and belief that Job was being punished for some sin he committed.

When Job is mourning and distressed about his wretched, afflicted condition, he mentions the “months past”.  Therefore, it is quite possible that months did pass indeed. How many, how long, no one is sure. Yet, it must have been a trial of significant enough duration that Job became known as a man who had great patience [Jam 5:11]; a man who persevered or endured through great hardship.
It is near the end of his severe testing that Job began to demand of God some kind of explanation.  He cannot think of anything he has done wrong and challenges God to give him answers. Job fears God, yet he is quite forthcoming in his dialogue with the Lord – no holds barred.

Perhaps that is the reason Elihu states Job added rebellion to his sin. The Lord did not correct Elihu, or even mention him when He instructed Job to pray for his friends, who were not right in what they spoke about the Lord. And God did not rebuke Job regarding rebellion, expressed in the frustrated words Job spoke, which accused God of injustice.

Rebellion is a dangerous ground.  When Lucifer was filled with pride, he desired to exalt himself above God. He rebelled against God and convinced one-third of the angels to join him in rebellion. The future fate of Satan (aka Lucifer) is sealed.

So, why was Job not further disciplined if he rebelled by his attitude and words toward God?  According to scripture, he repented and prayed for his friends. Then, God healed him and restored double portion to him, with the exception of children. The number of children (10) restored to Job was the same number he lost.

God does not deny us the emotions that He created us with. He well understood all that Job suffered and granted grace and mercy toward him. Job was no hypocrite; he said what he felt and meant it.

Job remained steadfast in his faith, despite the severe trial. Although he sought answers to explain why everything happened to him as it did, he never stopped trusting God. The Lord blessed Job mightily in the end.

If your emotions get the better of you during a great hardship, let the fear of the Lord be your guide.  Repent if need be, and hold fast to your faith and your trust in God. Wait patiently for Him. He will not fail you in the end, just as He did not fail or forsake Job.

Final Word

I am led to end this portion of the article with a word from the Lord, which was posted back in March of this year. May it refresh your spirit and may you be strengthened by Him. It is all for His glory alone!\
In Your Darkest Hour I AM With You

And about the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus (Yeshua) cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?  [Mat 27:45-46]

O LORD, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear! even cry out unto You of violence, and You will not save! Why do You show me iniquity (injustice), and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.


Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment does never go forth: for the wicked does compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceeds. (justice perverted)  [Hab 1:2-4]

Many question My Sovereignty in this hour when faith is being tried as never before. "Where is justice? Why do you You stand afar off and allow such horrors to take place?"  Many of My people are crushed in spirit at all that is happening, yet I promise you that I am with you, even now. I grieve with you; I collect your tears. In your darkest hour, I AM with you, even if it does not seem so.

You tell (record, track, know) my wanderings: Put You my tears into Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?  [Ps 56:8]

Hearts filled with sorrow, grief, anger, doubts; confusion abounds and the enemy whispers, "Where is your God now?"  Shut out the voice of the adversary, for only I know the reason behind all things. Sin abounds in this world; human error and choices between doing what is right and what is wrong is still a reality.

When things happen that do not make sense, you must trust that nothing has escaped Me. I DO work all things together for good, but in the midst of pain and sorrow, nothing makes sense. I know your frame; I remember that you are but dust. Yet, I say to you, will you trust Me through this?

Multitudes whisper, "Nothing happens that God does not allow." They readily lay even the consequences of sin at My feet, indirectly blaming Me for all that goes wrong in this world.

There is truth in the statement, yet does what I allow mean that everything is My will? Are abortions, murders, suicides, illegal drug use, incest, adultery, fornication, betrayals, false doctrines, witchcraft and much more...are these such things My will?  Consider carefully!

If I intervened and intercepted every vile word, action or deed, most, if not all, would accuse Me of reneging on the gift of the power to choose. I promise you that justice shall be served in the end. My promises (including personal promises to My people) will come in MY timing, if you will but be patient just awhile longer. Stay abiding and obedient. I never fail nor leave nor forsake!

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompence of reward. For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry. [Heb 10:34-37]

The hearing and knowledge of that will not satisfy most in their darkest hours, yet I assure you that if you will but trust Me through all situations, no matter how mysterious, unfounded, unfair or seemingly untimely, the day will come when you will see that in My wisdom and omniscience, I allowed what I allowed for good reason and purpose.

I can handle your outbursts of anger, frustration and all else that you may bring to Me in your emotional turbulence. It is better to approach Me in honesty than hypocrisy. When the storm passes and you calm yourself once again, you will repent if you truly love Me and I am ever ready to forgive.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. he that goes forth and weeps, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing his sheaves with him. [Ps 126:5-6]

If you will find the strength to lay all your life down upon the altar (hopes, dreams, plans, emotions, feelings...your very life) and TRUST Me enough to WAIT upon Me, and OBEY My instructions in FAITH, then I shall indeed give you beauty for ashes. 

I shall turn your sorrow into joy and clothe you in robes of righteousness. You shall be as a tree planted by the waters...if you will but hold fast to your faith, despite all the outward circumstances. Indeed, I shall avenge. I AM a God of grace, mercy and love, but also of justice, judgment and righteousness. Selah

To appoint unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified.  [Is 61:3]

Shut not your eyes as one blind, nor harden your heart against Me in your dark hour, for I will yet come and bless you if you will surrender all, lay it all down and trust and wait upon Me.

This is the time to turn your eyes toward Me and not away from Me. There is a very real adversary that hates all of mankind, but particularly My people, those who follow after Me and seek Me in earnest, willing to abide, even when their faith is shaken. 

Do not go by your feelings or emotions. Do not go by outward appearances, for in the twinkling of the eye, it can all change. Hold fast to your shield of faith. I AM your shield, your strong tower, your refuge.

If My people would only know what is around the corner, they would be stronger. Yes, horrific things are coming, as foretold, yet I say to you, the Bride is being prepared - and astounding things not heard of are about to take place.

For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither has the eye seen, O God, beside You, what He has prepared for him that waits for Him. [Is 64:4]

Set your face as a flint. Repent where you know you must. Keep on your armour; fast and pray, be alert! Give thanks and praise even when you do not feel like it, for great is the reward after humility is expressed. Above all, faith, trust and obedience!

But now, O LORD, You are our father; we are the clay, and Your our potter; and we all are the work of Your hand.  [Is 64:8]

 I AM still the God of the impossible. Nothing is too hard for Me. Believe and have faith; trust and obey...WATCH and see what I shall do.  Selah

And He said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. Behold, I AM the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing to hard for Me?  [Lk 18;27; Jer 32:27]


Original posting of “In Your Darkest Hour”

Come to Me!
Added July 11, 2016: After awhile of being awake, there was something placed in my spirit that I was to add here this day. To God be all the glory, praise and honour!

"Come to Me! As surely as I now live, My arms are as open and waiting for you as much as they were open and waiting the day I died upon the cross for you. I am as willing to forgive you now as I was on that day, when I cried out, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!"  
For this purpose I first came into the world. Great is My love. I shall soon return to gather up My own. Before you were in the womb, I knew you. Nothing has taken Me by surprise. All who repent and obediently follow Me shall be by My right hand.

In that day, I shall say, Come, you [who are] blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For it is written, Eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him."
[Mat 25:34; 1Cor 2:9]
for His glory alone

Bonita                         dovesofthevalleys4@gmail.com

2 comments:

  1. Bonita, I am certainly one of those whom you mentioned who has been waiting for Gods answer now for over a year now. Its been since June 2015 that i have waited for a FT job in my field to open up. In actuality, He opened the door in Oct 2013 for a temp job that i worked at until it ended at the end of June 2015.

    And yes, i waited patiently for along time. Waiting for the door to open. In ths past few months, I have struggled with deep discouragement, anger, diminished faith. Not understanding why all doors remained shut. Or what i have done wrong to be ignored by my heavenly Father who had been very gracious to me.

    His words thru you have been a cold cup of water to me when i was desperately thirsty. I still have no answers but know i need to find a way to trust my faithful God irregardless. Thanks Darrell

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bonita, the Lord led me to read this post again today. His words thru you have once again brought much encouragement. Bless you my sister and friend. I cannot wait to be able to give you a hug in person! Until then...Hugz :)

    ReplyDelete

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