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Devotional- Comfort & Counsel

As I have been reading and studying the book of Job, I noticed that the friends Job had were not encouraging to him during his season of suffering. His friends instead tried to figure out what Job had done wrong that caused God to seemingly be ‘punishing’ him.

In the Old Testament days it was believed that if you were ‘upright and righteous’ you would find favor with God and He would be sure you ‘prospered’.

However, the scripture is very clear that Job was righteous and blameless; which is why Job was so distraught when he began losing all of his wealth, quickly followed by his family and his own health.

Job cried out to God asking ‘Why’; he was not trying to argue with God he truly wanted to know if he had done something that caused him to lose favor in the eyes of the Lord.

Job’s friends remained strong in their belief that Job could not possibly be righteous if God took away his prosperity. His friends ridiculed him and tried to convince him that he was not in good standing with God.

This upset Job and he made it clear that their words were foolish and that the Lord gives and takes away, but God is still good regardless.

Zophar tried to convince Job to repent for proclaiming his innocence and righteousness; scolding him that he does not have the knowledge or power to know God’s immeasurable or limitless being and wisdom.

This only confirmed Job’s complaint– God was not acting predictable according to their understanding of Him. Job rejected the faulty ‘wisdom’ of his friend, because He knew that God was ultimately in control regardless of what the circumstances may look like.

Job accused his friends of misjudging him and then stood up to them by making it clear that he is not inferior to them. Job dismissed their criticism and said that they were ‘forgers of lies’ and worthless physicians. (Job 13:4)

According to Job, his friends were speaking out of vain; they intended to offer him comfort in his spiritual distress but instead was passing judgement and giving faulty advise.

Job tells them a better expression of wisdom from them would be to ‘be quiet’. Their counsel was not helpful nor comforting to Job; it only further complicated his circumstances.

Job finally told his friends to basically stay out of it while he pleads with God.

See Job didn’t blame God or accuse him of wrongdoing; Job wanted to sincerely know and understand why God seemed to be giving so much attention to his being. He truly wanted to know why he needed to suffer so much when his faith was unwavering.

Despite all the questions Job cried out to God he remained firm in his belief that one day God would vindicate him; which is exactly what would happen. Job knew that no matter what life looks like his hope could only be in God.

If Job would have listened to his friends counsel and assumed God was punishing him and that he was in fact not righteous this could have led Job down a dark and depressing path, walking away from God instead of running into His arms for grace, protection, love, and justification.

When seeking comfort and/or counsel from someone we need to be mindful on who we are trusting. Although some may have good intentions they cannot give good sound advice regarding your circumstances if they have no understanding or lack Godly wisdom.

Our best bet is to take our questions and concerns to God and not allow those around us to influence our choices, actions, reactions, and especially not our faith.

Reflect

Have you ever felt like God was punishing you for something and that is why you are suffering? Did you seek comfort and/or advice from a friend? Was it helpful?

How does this example from the book of Job change the way you view suffering and who we choose to seek comfort in during it?

Is God telling you anything specific about your circumstances, suffering in general, or seeking comfort and counsel while reading this article?

Call to Action

Declare over your life that God is NOT punishing you and He is NOT mad at you.

Pray and Journal what God is speaking to you about current or past seasons of suffering.

Make a goal to be mindful on who you share your suffering with and be sure you always take it to God first.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

I thank you today for this message on suffering and choosing who we seek comfort and counsel from wisely. Lord sometimes we get so caught up in the hurt, suffering, and grief that we lose control of our words and tend to share to much with the wrong people. Lord I confess I am guilty of not seeking Your comfort and counsel first and allowing those around me to affect my actions, thoughts, and faith in You.

I pray that each person that reads this article will be moved by Your Words and have discernment when seeking comfort in others. Lord I pray that You would ignite a fire in each of us that would encourage us to seek You first above all else. Help us to remember that Your love, mercy, forgiveness, and justification does not come from our actions but from You and You alone. I pray that each would feel Your presence surrounding them in their seasons of struggling and know that You are with them.

I pray for protection over our minds and spirit from the words of those who are faithlessly giving us faulty advice. I pray that our hearts be protected by Your hand and that we remember You are the ultimate comforter and counselor. In Jesus mighty name I pray

Amen

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Devotional- Faith like Job

Struggling is a part of the sinful world we live in. Everyone will face times of struggle, trials, and tribulations regardless of their faith in God. The importance lies in how we react and handle life’s battles when they strike.

Job was a Godly man and had great faith and love for God, but Job faced a lot of suffering and loss. Job was a wealthy man who not only had a lot of money, animals, and ‘stuff’, but he also was in great health.

In Job 1 satan and God have a discussion about Job and his faithfulness. Satan basically says that Job only loves God and is so faithful to Him because God has blessed him and his possessions are great. Going on to express that if God allowed all of his wealth and possessions to be taken away, that Job would certainly curse God.

God allowed satan to have power of Job’s possessions and wealth but strictly told satan not to lay a hand on his body.

Satan left the presence of the Lord and went out to attack Job’s possessions.

Job lost his wealth, his animals, and all of his possessions. However, Job did not sin! Instead Job fell to the ground and worshipped God. In all that Job had lost and faced he did not sin nor did he blame God for any of it.

Satan tells God that all a man has in possessions he will give up for his life, but if He allows Job’s bone and flesh (health) be taken, that he will surely curse Him (God). So God allows this but strictly states to spare his life.

Job then loses his family, his friends, and his health. He is covered from head to foot in painful boils. Job still did not curse God or blame Him for what was happening in his life.

Instead Job cries out and curses the day he was born. (Job 3)

Job is a great one to look at for examples of how we should remain faithful in God during all seasons of our life. Job shows us that our love for God and our faith in God should not depend on how we feel He is treating us.

Satan is the author of pain, suffering, grief, and loss. He wants to use these things to separate us from the love and mercy of God. He wants us to remain bound by our feelings, allowing them to navigate our faith and love for God; keeping us from the awareness of God’s higher purpose for our life.

God is always near regardless of what our circumstances may look like or how we may feel, God is always good and near to us in our brokenness, pain, and sorrow.

Reflection

Do you think you would react the same way if God took away all your belongings, wealth, and health?

What is one thing God is telling you or showing you through Job’s suffering?

Do you allow how you feel God is treating you to affect how you feel about God?

Call to Action

What is one thing you can do moving forward to form a stronger faith in God, regardless of your circumstances?

I encourage you to set your feelings aside and seek the truth’s in God’s Word, allowing Him to guide your every step and trusting what He says over what you feel.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being a faithful, patient, and loving God. For giving us the example of Job’s suffering so that we may see our own suffering in his story. Lord forgive us for falling trap to our feelings and allowing them to drive our actions and faith. I pray that each person who reads this will be touched by Your truth. Lord I pray you would expose our faithfulness or lack of to each of us, show us where we need to apply Your truth more and prune out the schemes of satan. Lead us in every area of our life. Open our hearts, ears, minds, and eyes to Your truth and protect us from the lies of the enemy. God I pray You would remind us of the example Job set when we face our own times of suffering and loss, help us to remain strong in Your truth and faithful to Your calling. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- New Year, New Beginnings

2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

The new year has finally arrived and many of us are hoping for a better year then 2020. The new year seems to be the time people choose to make an effort to change something in their life. New year resolutions for things like weight loss, to stop smoking, eating healthier, to exercise and so on.

However most of these new years resolutions do not make it passed a week or so. This is likely because people are trying to make these changes within their own will power; which rarely ever works. The Bible tells us that without God we can do nothing, but with God we will bear much fruit. With God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

John 15:5-7 NKJV

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

This year I want to encourage each of you to make changes that will last. Make changes that will bear great fruit and lead you to a deeper connection with God.

The Bible tells us that when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior that we become new creations in Him. The old passes away and all things are made new. In God we get a fresh start, a blank slate, and new beginnings.

Are you ready for a new year– new you?

God is waiting for you. Change is inevitable; the changes could be bad or good. However, even the bad changes have purpose in our life; they help us to grow and mold us into who we are.

Change is meant to polish you to make you shine brighter

When we make the ultimate, radical change and choose life over death, committing our lives to God and His kingdom we are made new in His image. His word tells us to forget the old things and focus on what God is doing in our life currently. Explaining that He can make ways when there seems to be no way.

Isaiah 43: 18-19 NKJV

18 “Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.

Change can be scary and uncomfortable when we are going through it, however God reminds us that His plans are for us are good and prosperous; they are meant to give us hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Often times when we choose to hand our life over to God; to renew our minds and save ourselves from our own sinful destruction; we will notice we will lose things from our former self. Things such as friends, family members, habits, and more, but God promises that He will replace these things with something far better.

The story of Job is a perfect example of this. He lost his health, his wealth, and all of his children died, but he kept his faith in God. Guess what?!? When the trial was over God blessed Job with far more than he had before.

Job 42:12 NKJV

12 Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys.

This year make the ultimate change and commit your life to God. If you seek Him above all else, He will guide your path and bless your life.

Proverbs 16:3

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.

Matthew 6:33 NKJV

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for Your safety and protection throughout last year. Lord, although 2020 was full of uncertainties there is still a lot to be thankful for and I am truly blessed by Your mighty hand.

Lord a new year is upon us which means new obstacles, new trials, and many many new blessings. I pray that as we kick off the new year that as a nation we would dedicate our lives and future to You. That we would relay solely on Your guidance, direction, and protection. I pray as we walk through each day we would live a bold and courageous life for You.

I pray those that are lost would seek You and commit their lives to You; accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I pray that You would remind us that change is not always easy but it is necessary to live a fulfilling and prosperous life. I pray that Your will be done in each of our lives in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Beginnings- Settlement (?-1440 BC) Part 2

In the first part of beginnings through settlement we discussed how we could get to know God’s character by reading stories through-out the Bible. We read and broke down what we could learn about God from the story of Noah’s Ark in Genesis.

Today we are looking at how we can see ourselves in the first 5 books of the Old Testament and Job. Grab your Bible if you don’t already have it and lets dig in.

Open your Bible and read each scripture to discover how we can see ourselves in the following scripture.

Genesis 4:1-5

Cain was jealous of Abel and the offering he was offered up to the Lord.

In Cain’s jealousy we can see our own sense of competition and desire to be “better” than someone else.

Genesis 6:7-8

God was sorry he created man and beast as the world was full of wickedness. God said He would destroy the Earth with the flood. Noah found grace from God and was instructed by God to build an ark to be saved from the flood.

In Noah’s need for the ark for salvation- we can see our own need to be rescued from God’s judgement. It also demonstrates if we obey God and follow His lead, He will save us from complete destruction.

Genesis 12

Abraham had great faith in God. He was obedient when God told him to do something.

In Abrahams faith in following God- we can see our own potential for belief.

Genesis 25 & 27

In both of these scriptures Jacob is lying and scheming- following his own desires and relying on himself to get what he wants. Manipulating situations to take what was for his brother Esau. (In Genesis 25 his birthright, in Genesis 27 his blessing.)

In these two examples we can see our own inclination to trust in ourselves to provide our needs and wants.

Genesis 42-45

In Josephs kindness and forgiveness for his brothers who sold him into Egypt- we see our own responsibility to forgive and overcome evil with good.

Exodus 14

Israel struggles to keep faith when the Egyptians began to march after them. Israel feels they are trapped in the wilderness to die. God instructs Moses to lift his rod and stretch out his hand and part the sea so that Israel may cross on dry land.

In Israel’s struggle to keep faith- we see our own struggles and weakness of faith.

Job 3

In this scripture it’s expressing Job’s feelings in response to him suffering. In Job’s response we can see our own feelings and disappointment when things work against us.

These are only a few examples of how we can see ourselves throughout the Old Testament of the Bible. I encourage you to read deeper into each of the beginning books in the Old Testament and make notes on how you relate to the scripture you are reading.

This will help you to develop a deeper and more intimate relationship with Jesus as you discover the powerful truths packed within the books of the Bible.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for providing us with the tools we need to discover who You really are and who we are created to be in You. Lord, I thank you for each person who reads this post. I pray that you would give us all understanding and discernment as we study Your word. I pray each person would desire a deeper, stronger, and more intimate relationship with You. I pray You open the hearts of each person that they would see Your hand at work in their life. I pray that you will guide each of us and cover us with Your peace, love, and protection in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- March 9, 2017

Job 42:2- “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.”

 

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- March 8, 2017

Job 22:21 “Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you”

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- February 2, 2017

Job 5:8- “But as for me, I would seek God, And to God I would commit my cause–“

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- September 20, 2016

Job 34:11- “For He repays man according to his work,  and makes man to find a reward according to his way.”

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- September 19, 2016

Job 33:4- “The spirit of God had made me,  and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. “

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- August 6, 2016

Job 11:18- And you would be secure, because there is hope; Yes you will dig around you, and take your rest in safety.