Our Sunday school lesson was looking at the book of Job this week. I doubt it’s anyone’s favorite book. In one sense, I’m glad it’s in the bible. I mean, I’d hate to think every time things weren’t going my way, that it was because I had screwed up and God was mad at me. However, we are all a little thrown by the idea of God and Satan making bets about how we will respond in a given situation. And good grief, no one wants to be handed over to Satan like Job. Though, now that I think of it, I have heard of that elsewhere. Wasn’t Peter told he was to be sifted like wheat?
But that one didn’t really come up in the discussion. We were actually talking about God providing for our needs when we obey Him. That’s kind of an odd choice of scriptures for that theme, especially when the first part says quite clearly that Job was obedient, and yet look what happened. So of course we moved into how we respond when life becomes disastrous. One person observed that those difficult times often make us better people, at the very least, more able to empathize with others having hard times.
That was a perfect segway for another member of the class to update us on his current situation. This man is a broadcaster, who stood up for his beliefs by refusing to participate in a broadcast about how strip clubs are a great way to earn a living in a down economy. I kid you not. Even the counselor they brought on to supposedly mention the downside of that failed to do so. So, our member ended up fired, when all he requested was a personal day off, which is apparently a no no during a ratings period. So, here he is without a job in a bad economy. But the interesting thing is, that his situation has drawn national attention to the issue, which would not have happened, had he simply had his day off and returned the next day.
Well, we are all watching to see where God will go with that one. Meanwhile, one of the women, getting back to the Job story, observed that even though he had more kids afterward, it really doesn’t replace the first ones. I think we all agreed on that, though surely it must be better to move on and continue to live even after a tragic loss. I’ve heard stories of people who refused to ever change the loved one’s room for years after a death. It seems like that is choosing death over life in a sense.
In the wrap up portion of the lesson, there were some questions about what we believe that pretty much everyone struggles with. One was can God help you? I would hope that few believers would struggle with this one. But the second was will God help you? That one has caused many of us to struggle. It’s the one that I think causes some to stop praying, or to pray minimal prayers, that they think are somehow acceptable. It seems like our early experiences of adversity cause us to doubt God, which in turn diminishes our faith. Perhaps we would have done better to look at Job a bit more during those times.
I mean, who was behind Job’s problems? It was Satan’s idea in the first place. I think that is more often true in our lives as well. In fact, when we blame God, we play into Satan’s hands. So if we are struggling with our faith in the midst of the challenges of life, what would help? Well, in my own experience, I found spending time studying the attributes of God seemed to revive my faith. I had to admit that God is able to do far more than I would even dream to ask for, and the part about whether He is willing seems to be a matter of trust. I don’t know about you, but my walk with God is in large part about learning to trust Him. As I trust Him more, my prayers get bigger. May it be so for you as well.