I’ve been doing a series every Monday on the book of Job, which records the struggles of a good man whose life took a turn for the worse. You remember. He lost his finances, his children, his health, and his marriage – one right after the other.
And this book has helped us answer some tough questions, such as: Are good people exempt from suffering? What is God doing when life takes a turn for the worse? What is the Devil up to when life takes a turn for the worse? And the question I want an answer to today is, What should I do when life takes a turn for the worse?
This is a good question for every single one of us. Sooner or later your life and my life will take a turn for the worse and we’ll experience some type of hardship and pain. And we need to be ready. So what should we do when life takes a turn for the worse?
I. Remember the Omniscience of God
That’s what Job did when his life took a turn for the worse. He remembered that God is all-knowing. Listen to what he said in verse 10, “But he knows the way that I take . . .”.
Whenever your life takes a turn for the worse, you may feel like God has forgotten you, or He isn’t paying attention to what’s going, or He’s ignoring you. But nothing could be further from the truth. Our God knows everything there is to know about the universe and about YOU! He is always aware of your thoughts, your actions, and your circumstances. Furthermore, He knows everything there is to know about your past, your present, and your future. God knows what happened to you yesterday, what’s happening to you today, and what will happen to you tomorrow. He knows when you are on the mountaintop and when you are in the valley. He knows the way that you take!
You can take great comfort in this truth, especially when life takes a turn for the worse. You see, God knows what’s going on and what’s best for you in the long run. He’s in charge and He is working all things together for your good. Let me put it another way. It’s like the Pilot and the Air Traffic Controller. The pilot doesn’t have to worry about what’s going on in the air around him because the air traffic controller knows everything that’s going on. Like that pilot, you can face life with a lot less worry when you realize God knows the way that you take! So remember the omniscience of God.
II. Realize the Outcome of Trials
That’s what Job did. He realized that God tests His people in order to build their character and strengthen their faith. Look at what he says in verse 10, “. . . When He has tested me . . .”
God will test you from time to time. HOW CAN YOU KNOW GOD IS TESTING YOU? Whenever a circumstance comes into your life that stretches your faith, you can be pretty sure that it is a test. Things such as Financial Problems, Family Problems, Physical Problems, marital problems, and others can fit into this category.
WHY DOES GOD TEST YOU? Look at the rest of verse 10, “. . . I will come forth as gold.” Job likens himself to gold that has been placed through fire.
Fire is used to refine gold. Fire is used to make it better.
Let’s suppose you’re literally living on top of a gold mine. But the gold you dig up is embedded in rock and dirt, so what do you do? You put it in a hot furnace. The intense heat burns and separates every particle of impurity or alloy, leaving only the pure metal. That’s how you refine gold, and folks that’s how God refines us. He uses the flames of suffering to refine us and make us better people. Sometimes He uses suffering to purge a particular sin out of our lives, or prepare us for a future task, or strengthen our faith, or develop and build our character. But the bottom line is, He uses suffering to refine us and make us better. And that illustrates why God allows suffering to enter our lives. He knows that we’ll never grow and develop into the people He wants us to be if we don’t go through those struggles and exercise our faith. That’s why He tests us.
HOW CAN YOU PASS THE TEST? I’m glad you asked that because that brings us to the third word of advice.
III. Remain Obedient to the Word
That’s what Job did. He decided he would remain obedient to the Word regardless of his circumstances. And that’s what we need to do when life takes a turn for the worse. Why?
For one thing, the Word of God will GUIDE YOU through the good and the bad. It will give you direction and help you stay on the straight and narrow. That’s why Job said in verse 11 . . . He decided to remain obedient to the Word because he knew it would guide him through the tough times.
And for another thing, the Word of God will SUSTAIN YOU in the good and the bad. Reading, meditating, and studying the Bible, is to your soul what a good well balanced diet is to your body. A good well balanced diet will nourish and strengthen your body and help it face the coming day. A good well balanced diet of Scripture will nourish and strengthen your soul and help it face whatever the day holds. That is why Job said in verse 12 . . . He decided to remain obedient to the Word because he knew it would sustain him through the tough times.
The Bible is an important book and you need to read it, meditate on what it says, and put it into practice every single day. And when life takes a turn for the worse, you will find the guidance and strength you need to weather the storm.
What about you?
If you’re saved, commit Job 23:10-12 to memory and put it into practice when your life takes a turn for the worse. It won’t make the trial shorter or easier. But it will help you hang in there, and it will help you stay focused on God.
If you’re lost, put John 3:16 into practice and get saved. And if you get saved, you’ll still experience the trials and troubles of life- but you’ll have someone who will be there with you in the midst of those trials.
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© 2016 MANLY TRAINING
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