Thursday, January 14, 2016

More Lessons from Job

So, apparently it seems that we're going to have a mini-series in Job. In my journaling time today God showed me some more wisdom for daily life in the life of our hero Job. Chapter 3 is basically Job lamenting his birth. He is in so much pain, and his trouble seems to be too much for him to bear. So much so that he is wishing that he'd never been born. He sees nothing of the good things that have happened in his life prior to this time, or the people he's touched or the lives that he's changed. He is only immersed in the pain of right now and that pain and struggle seems so severe that life for all would be better if Job had never been born.
Job's three friends hear his lament, and first to speak up is his friend Eliphaz. Eliphaz reminds him of the good things that he's done, the people that he's helped throughout his life.

"Behold, you have instructed many,
and you have strengthened the
weak hands.
Your words have upheld him who was
and you have made firm the feeble
                               - Job 4:3-4

Sometimes we are so deep in our own pain and daily struggles that we don't remember our purpose and the testimony that our lives give to others. Remember, "Man's chief end is to glorify God." Our daily lives can bring glory to God in many ways. Sometimes we need our own Eliphaz to stick his nose into our pain and remind us that we are in the business of doing God's work. That there are people whom we've encouraged, blessed, instructed, and strengthened by our presence and through our lives. That their lives were changed through our obedience. Job was so caught up in his pain, he forgot every time he brought instruction, strength and encouragement to those around him. He forgot about the lives he touched during the good times. And he forgot that even now, his pain could touch others, teach others, and encourage others. That he could strengthen weak hands through his life and by his obedience. He probably didn't even know all of the people and lives that he touched through the righteous life that he led. So many people learn about our lives and take those lessons with them into their own lives through observation. Often they don't even tell you how much you've influenced them, whether for the better or worse. 
Eliphaz reminded Job of the lives that he touched, and maybe even gave insight to the fact that he and his friends were even now observing Job and how he handled this, his greatest struggle, as an example for themselves.
Ask the Lord today to show you ways that your life has had purpose in building up God's kingdom and encouraging and instructing His people. Remember that how you handle the tough times can be a testimony to others about God's goodness and sovereignty. 
We can bring glory to God in every circumstance, and our lives always matter to God.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Heart of Worship

"Then Job arose and tore his robe and 
shaved his head and fell on the ground 
and worshiped."
              Job 1:20

The story of Job, whether taken as historical fact or allegorical parable, still brings these thoughts and questions from God. 

1. How can a man who has lost everything be blessed by God?
2. Will Job (you?) still serve God even when things go bad for you?
3. What does it mean to worship God in everything?

We have heard and read in Samuel that God does not judge by appearances, like man, but rather, God judges the heart. Here in Job, we see a man who is blessed with the favor of God, yet in that favor, he loses everything. Job is a mourning man, stripped of all of his property and his children, yet he is more blessed than any other. God himself calls him a blameless and upright man. 

In our society, we think that the favor of God means money, positions of power and authority, influence and perhaps even a "following". But being blessed by God can also mean homelessness, poverty, sickness, and pain. Because, as we see in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, Man's chief end is to glorify God, and we can glorify God in ALL circumstances, especially in the hard times.

Which leads us to my second point; Job's response to heartache and loss is to fall to the ground and worship God. Even his wife encourages him to turn away from God, to "curse God and die." But instead of turning away, Job turns toward God in worship. It's so easy for me to get wrapped up in life. I don't inherently consider myself blessed. I let the little things get to me. I get easily overwhelmed. I'm not great at trusting in Him. But even aside from the trusting, is my first response to heartache, loss, sickness and pain to worship? Or is that my last resort? Do I turn to everything else before I turn to the One who created all things? 

So, what does it mean to worship God in everything? What does a heart of worship look like? My bible has a devotional page on the first chapter of Job, and that devotion says this: 

"Worship sometimes looks like a broken man
shaving his head, wailing upon the

That's what a heart of worship looks like. It's not a fancy band that sounds perfectly in tune where all the members look and sound like rock stars. It's not always hand-clapping and dancing in the streets. Sometimes it's honoring God through loss and tears and pain. Sometimes worship sounds more like a wail than a song. But both bring glory to God.

Friday, January 1, 2016


Last year, my #oneword365 was #disciple I felt that God was calling me into a deeper discipleship with Him, as well as encouraging me to look at parenting as discipleship and really disciple my children, especially my teens. This coming year of 2016 the whisper in the wind has been that this will be a year of  #jubilee. From our pastor Mark, to the pope himself, this word is on the hearts and minds of many in the church. When praying about my one word, my personal word for 2016, God also led me to the word jubilee.
 In Jewish history, the year of jubilee was a year of restoration and emancipation. In the Catholic Church, it is about unmerited grace and mercy. For me, it is about all of this. It is about resting in the sabbath of God's provision while diligently working in His fields for His glory. See, in Leviticus, the land was not allowed to be sold and in the year of jubilee it was restored to it's owner, because God told the Israelites that the land was not theirs "because the land is MINE and you are my aliens, my tenants." This land, for me, is not where I live; it is the land that God has planted me in, the harvest He is asking me to reap, the soil He is asking me to till. It is where I am working, serving, and living in my "as you go" moments. Jubilee is about resting in the fact that as I am working His land, he is about redemption and restoration. I don't need to worry about where I will live, or where we will serve as God moves my husband and our family into ministry, God will place us directly where we are needed to further His purposes and His kingdom. I can enjoy a year of #jubilee because God is a God of restoration, freedom, deliverance, grace and mercy. Because God is sovereign, I am FREE.