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"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." --- Psalm 119:105

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JOB --- The Oldest Book in the Bible

How Are You Described?
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. (Job 1:1)
 
The above scripture clearly described Job, including identifying where he was from. It is interesting how people are described. Some people are described by where they are from. "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Sometimes we are described by our relatives or by what we do ("the carpenter's son").
 
Have you ever wondered how people describe you? We should live a life that is representative of how we want to be described. We know that there are some who will describe us negatively no matter what we do, but the general populace will not be wrong. Take note today how you are described among your family, friends, and co-workers. See if you have demonstrated a lifestyle that is pleasing to God and to others.
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Does God Brag About You?
Then the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." (Job 1:8)

God bragged about Job's upright living and his devotion to God. God knows about you, but does He brag about you and asks Satan, "Have you considered my servant _________ (your name)?" How does God describe you compared to the way He described Job as "blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil"?

Would you stand the test of losing everything and still say like Job, "I know my Redeemer lives"? (Job 19:25) Would you stand firm to your convictions and admit like Job, "I know God can do all things"? (Job 42:2)

What you are facing at this very moment might be a test to prove your servitude and devotion to God. How are you going about it? Are you falling flat on your face, or are you being "steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." (I Corinthians 15:58)

God bragged to Satan about Job. Does God brag about you?
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How Are You Described?
Then the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil."  (Job 1:8)

God has a definite description of each one of us. People have a description of us. And we have a description of ourselves. All three descriptions might be different. So, which one do you think is the most important . . . God's description, others' description or our own description?

Only God knows the real you; the workings of your heart; the magnitude of your thoughts and your love quotient for Him, others and yourself. Others see only what you want them to see. Therefore, they can never describe you adequately. You can't see the inner workings of your heart no matter how hard you try. You might think you know yourself until some situation presents itself and you act in a way that might shock you by your own actions (either positive or negative).

God's description is the one that matters. God described Noah as a just man. God described Abraham as a man of faith. God described David as a man after His own heart. God described Job as His servant who was blameless and upright and one who feared God and shunned evil. (Job 1:1; 8)

As God looks upon you today, how is He describing you?

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Trust God No Matter What
In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. (Job 1:22)
 
Job lost all he had through no fault of his own. He tried to understand, yet his faith developed even though he did not know all the answers. We must experience life as Job did — one day at a time and without complete answers to life's questions.

Will we, like Job, trust God no matter what? Or will we give in to the temptation to say that God doesn't really care? Rather than doing this, trust God with your unanswered questions. God's will is perfect, and, in the end, you will not be disappointed with God.
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Why?
Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb? (Job 3:11)
 
There are many questions asked in the Bible. They cover a wide range of subjects and concerns. "Will a man rob God?" (Malachi 3:8) "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30) "Do you love me?" (John 21:15-17) "Is anything too hard for God?" (Genesis 18:14) "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)
 
Of all the questions asked in the Bible and the most frequently one asked by us is the same question that Job asked over and over again . . ."Why?" "Why?" is such a short question, but one that most of us seek an answer to.
 
Throughout the Book of Job, Job asked God "Why?" "Why so many adversities?" After all, Job was blameless and upright. He feared God and shunned evil (Job 1:1). Job had a confrontation with God. Actually Job put God on trial. Guess who won? For 37 chapters this questioning from Job continued. God never answered Job. He was silent while Job and his friends continued to question Job's plight. Then in Chapter 38 God spoke . . . not with answers, but with rhetorical questions about everything starting with creation up to Job's present time. "Job, where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?" (Job 38:4)
 
It was not until the final chapter of the book that Job confessed, "I have uttered what I did not understand" (Job 42:3). Job admitted to God that he had heard of Him only with his ears (head knowledge), but now Job's eyes have seen God (with the heart).
 
When you are going through adversities, it is all right to ask God, "Why?" Be prepared for God to reveal Himself to you mightily in a new light.
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Dogs, Cats, and Bumblebees
What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. (Job 3:25)

How many times were you afraid something would happen, and it did? How many times  did you dread something would happen and it did? Did your fearing it and dreading it have anything to do with it happening? The universe does respond to our fears.

Even when Job was prosperous, he feared losing everything. AND HE DID!  That which made his grief more grievous was that he was a just and upright man. He lived by the letter of the law; dotting every "i" and crossing every "t." However, Job lived with the fear that calamities would invade his life. AND THEY DID!

Job was afraid something would happen to his animals. Some were stolen while others were burned up with fire from the sky. Job was afraid something would happen to his children who indulged themselves in feasts and parties everyday. They died when the house where they were feasting collapsed on them. Job was afraid that his servants would offend his neighbors. The servants died. Job took care of his own health. He didn't die, but he came to the point of death. According to Job, he did everything he was supposed to do. Yet in the back of his mind, he feared the worst. AND THE WORST HAPPENED.

What is the life application from Job's remark? Even when we are healthy, wealthy, and wise, trouble can and will knock on our door. We invite it in when we expect certain things to happen. We invite trouble into our lives when we fear that it will come. It is similar to dogs, cats, and bumblebees. They chase those who fear them.
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Victim or Victor?
What I feared has come upon me, what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil. (Job 3:25-26)

Many times we can determine by talking to a person whether that person has a victim or a victor's mentality. There are certain words victims say, and there are certain words you would never hear coming out of the mouth of a victorious person.

Many times we don't have to wait for others to victimize us because we victimize ourselves. We do so in three ways.

We victimize ourselves by what we think. If we think we will be victimized, guess what? We will be. We can literally think things upon ourselves. Job said it best when he said what he had dreaded had come upon him. Watch what you THINK.

We victimize ourselves by what we say. If we say negative things, we invite negative things into our lives. We call those things (good or bad) that be not as if they are. Watch what you SAY.

We victimize ourselves by what we do. If we sow seeds of a victim, we will reap a harvest fit only for a victim. If we sow seeds of a victor, we will reap a victor's harvest.

Since we can become a victim or victor by what we think, say and do, let's purpose to think, say and do those things that will bring us victory in every area of our lives. Let's stop victimizing ourselves!

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"Because I Said So!"
As for me, I would seek God, and to God I would commit my cause. (Job 5:8)

When a parent tells a child to do something, the child might ask, "Why do I have to do that?" When a teacher tells a student to do something, a rebellious student might question the teacher's motive. When a supervisor tells an employee to do something, the employee might ask "Why?" In each of these situations, the reply could be "Because I said so."

Job and his three friends had the same questioning mentality about Job's situation. They questioned God's authority and wanted to know why He allowed Job to go from prosperous to poverty and ended up in sores on an ash heap. Job asked, "Why?" throughout the book until God answered his question by saying, "Because I said so."

Speaking from the whirlwind, God did not enter into the discussion with Job and his friends about why the righteous suffer. He reveals Himself as the powerful, all-knowing God. God's message to Job is the same message to us . . . He does not have to explain or justify His actions. He is the sovereign, all-powerful God who always does what is right, although His ways may be beyond our understanding.

Whenever you are tempted to question God's motives about why He has told you to do something, you should know the answer in advance. In essence, God says, "Because I said so and I know what's best for you!"
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How to Change Your NOWHERE to NOW HERE
The paths of their way turn aside, they go nowhere and perish. (Job 6:18)

Do you ever feel like you are going nowhere? Do you ever feel like you are going nowhere fast? Do you ever feel that you are stuck? I think we all have been to that place called "Nowhere."

There is a simple way to change your "nowhere" into "now here." It takes the same seven (7) letters in the same order to spell "nowhere" and "now here." However, there is one major difference in the two words. Do you see the difference?

In order to change your "nowhere" to "now here," there MUST be a separation. There MUST be a break. There MUST be a shift of some kind. When you put a space in "nowhere" at the proper place, you get the two words "now here." The "Now Here" principle is that you can't move from where you are until you appreciate where you are right now. You can't move until you have exhausted all possibilities in the Now and in the Here.

If you want to move from where you are because you feel that you are going NOWHERE, you must complete those things you have been called to do right NOW, right HERE. It is only when those things have been completed, that you are ready to move on.

Are you feeling stuck in the place called NOWHERE? Make a shift in your thinking, feeling, and behavior by doing all you can in the NOW and in the HERE! Doing what is necessary in the right NOW and right HERE is your key to get you out of the place you call NOWHERE.
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"And Just Look At Me Now!"
But now be so kind as to look at me. Would I lie to your face? (Job 6:28)

Last night before we began our Wednesday NIght Bible Study, I asked if anyone had a testimony they wanted to share. A 15-year old girl gave her testimony about being in the hospital for the first time a few weeks ago for surgery on her legs. She reminded the congregation how we had prayed for her the Sunday before her surgery. However, she herself continued to pray as she laid in her hospital bed.

When the surgery was over, she thanked God for the miracle He had performed. As she concluded her testimony, she said, "I came out of the surgery with no problem, and just look at me now!" She handed me the microphone and walked down the aisle using the legs that had been straightened by surgery.

"And just look at me now" is what we can all say after God delivers us from what's ailing us. And He will when we go through what we have to go through with the attitude of praise and thanksgiving as this 15-year old girl did.

You could be the next one to say, "And just look at me now!"

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"Violá!" (Pronounced Wa-la)
Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase. (Job 8:7)
 
"Violá!" is a word like "Eureka!" Even if you don't know how to pronounce it, spell it, or know its meaning, you still may know that it radiates excitement. When you hear it, you don't mistake it for something unpleasant.
 
Since you are reading Message #365, say "Viola!" with me. This E-Message Ministry is the result of God's vision for me to reach the masses through brief biblical and principle-based inspirational devotional messages that illustrate simplified life applications. Even though there are 365 days in a year, it took me from January 1998 until now to reach #365 because of weekends, holidays, and time outs. Nevertheless, "Viola!" "This is it!" "Here it is!" "We made it!"
 
While you might or might not have had a favorite, I hope they helped you in some way. Many of you have responded and have identified who you are and where you are. I know that my closest subscribers are right here in Richmond where I am, but some are as far away as India and England and from all parts of the United States. At the beginning the number of subscribers was small, but as in the above scripture, the number has greatly increased. You are in this number by divine appointment.
 
While I can say "Viola!" in excitement for reaching Message #365, Jesus did not say that on the cross. He said, "It is Finished" meaning His earthly ministry was complete, but He went on to do more. Jesus was buried, descended into hell and took the sting out of death and victory out of the grave, ascended into heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us.
 
I say "Viola!" that the first 365 messages have been completed. May the next year's worth be on a higher level; on a more spiritual realm for the writer who has a year's worth of messages in her spirit, and for you the readers who hopefully have received the messages into your spirit as well.
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The Longest Word
If I say, 'I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad face and wear a smile." (Job 9:27)

Did you know there is a variety of literary types in the Bible consisting of narratives, poetry, love stories, songs, hymns, biographies, dramas, parables and riddles? Samson is known for his riddle about the honey and the lion. (Judges 14)

I, too, like riddles. Here is my all time favorite . . .  "Have you heard, have you heard, what is the longest word?"  Even though pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis has been recognized as the longer word in the English language with 45 letters, I know one that's longer. The well-known word, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious has only 34 letters; whereby the best-known long word, antidisestablishmentarianism has only 28 letters. However, there is one word that is longer than these.

The longest word is smiles. It is the longest word because there is a mile between the first letter and the last letter.

Smiles are contagious. So, let's start an epidemic. Smile at someone, and you are guaranteed to get a smile in return. Smile like Hannah who said, "My heart rejoices in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord. I smile at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation." (I Samuel 2:1) Put off your complaining and say like Job, 'I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad face and wear a smile. (Job 9:27) Say like Jacob, " . . . for what a relief it is to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the smile of God! (Genesis 33:10)
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pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis - a lung disease caused by breathing in certain particles
supercalifragilisticexpialidocious - from the movie, Mary Poppins
antidisestablishmentarianism - the belief which opposes removing the tie between church and state.
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Lo and Behold
"Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is his reward." (Psalm 127:3)
 "Behold, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood it." (Job 13:1)

The word "lo" is a shortened form of "look or see." The word "behold" means "look or see." Both are attention getters. The word "lo" may be used alone. The word "behold" may be used alone. Both may be used together as in the expression "Lo and behold,  . . . "

One or both of the words introduce a surprising or unexpected fact. Therefore, these words have a greater impact when they appear at the beginning of a sentence. Notice that a comma separates the imperative "to look" from the important fact that follows. (See the two scriptures above.)

In the Bible, the words "lo" and "behold" are frequently used in the narratives and prophetic books. In narratives, the words often mark a change in viewpoints (Amos 9:8). Also either "lo" or "behold" is used when God invites the prophet to share his viewpoint (Amos 7:8) or when the prophet invites us to join him (Amos 7:1). The expression, "Lo and Behold" could also mean "indeed" as in Amos 4:2.

Whenever you see "lo" in the Bible, pay close attention to what follows. Whenever you see "behold" in the Bible, pay close attention to what follows. Whenever you see "lo and behold" in the Bible pay extra special attention to the surprise or unexpected truth that follows.
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Personal Limitations
Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot reach. (Job 14:5)

Most of our frustration comes from unrealistic limits we have imposed upon ourselves. From the above scripture, we see that God has determined the number of days for each person. Not only that, but God has set limits that no person can reach no matter what he or she does. When you know your purpose, you also will know your limits.

God is so awesome in His design of humankind. He has given every one of us exactly what we need to reach the limit He has established for us. He has given us the personality, the power, the passion and the paths to fulfill our purpose. The problem lies in the fact that some of us try to do things that God has neither ordained nor equipped us for.

When you know your purpose and your personal limitations and operate within those boundaries God has set for you, you will ALWAYS succeed and be in God's will.
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Understanding Your Struggle
All the days of my struggle I will wait until my change comes. (Job 14:14 )

God will do whatever God needs to do to fulfill His purpose. And God will always act in your best interest. Sometimes it might mean answering your prayers immediately. Sometimes it might mean you have to wait a long time. Sometimes God fulfills His purpose with little effort on your part. Sometimes a struggle might lie ahead to prepare you to meet the demands of your next assignment. Abraham was sent away from his own people to become the father of many nations. (Genesis 12) Joseph went through a lot to be in the position to save his family later. (Genesis 37-50) Moses received on-the-job training by tending sheep so he could deal with human sheep in the wilderness. (Exodus-Deuteronomy)

Whether the process is fast or slow, we can be confident that God does what's best for us. God might require of us little effort, no effort or a major struggle. God knows what we don't know, sees what we don't see and has power over which we have no control.  

Several things we can be sure of:
1.   God has a plan for us that fits into His plan.
2.   God will do whatever God needs to do to get His plan fulfilled even if it means we have to struggle in the process.
3.   Our struggle today is not for now but for future success.
4.   Our individual struggle is not for us alone. It is to help others later as we see in the stories of Abraham, Joseph and Moses.

Trust God in your struggle.

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 Stretch Me!
But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. (Job 22:10)
 
A "Stretch Me" prayer is dangerous because when you ask God to stretch you, He will. If you want to grow beyond where you are at this very moment, then you need to pray a "Stretch Me" prayer. You might be in the habit of asking God to change your circumstances, your work situation, your home environment, your church family or a multitude of other things. Stop praying that God will change others. Ask God to change YOU, to stretch YOU! Ask God to s-t-r-e-t-c-h you to grow through your problems. Ask God to stretch you in spite of your adversity. Ask God to stretch your faith. Ask God to stretch your courage. Ask God to stretch your mere existence. Ask God to even stretch your walk with Him. As a result, you will grow spiritually as well as in other areas. If your really want to grow in God, a "Stretch Me" prayer is a good prayer to pray.
(SEE MORE DANGEROUS PRAYERS: ????)
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 God's Greatest Good
As a man chastens his son, so the Lord thy God chastens thee. (Job 33:19)
 
God's will is always our greatest good, even when it is painful. Theologians have asked the question, "What does God want from you if not what is for your good?" Then you might ask, "But how can pain and suffering be good for me?" The above scripture along with Hebrews 12:6 tell us "God chastens those He loves."
 
Don't think that just because God loves you, you will be exempt from pain and suffering. Do you really want to know what happens to those whom God loves? Ask Jesus, God's only Son! Remember the manner in which Jesus prayed in the Garden before His arrest. Consider how Jesus was answered! We know what happened to the One God loved most. Compared to the suffering Jesus went through on the cross, our suffering is just a light affliction.
 
It is not pleasant to be corrected by God, but His discipline is a sign of His deep love for us. "Blessed is the one whom you chasten, O Lord" (Psalm 94:12). Even though it might not be evident at the time it is happening, all that God wills or permits is for our greatest good.
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Why Is Complacency A Sin While Contentment Is Not?
If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment. (Job 36:11)

According to the Dake Annotated Bible, there are 370 sins listed; many that people ignore because they don't think they are sins. However, despite what some people believe, contentment is NOT a sin.

There are some conditional promises from God; that is, "If you will do, then I will do." According to the above scripture, if you obey and serve God, contentment is the reward. Therefore, contentment is NOT a sin.

Complacency and contentment are closely akin and quite similar in certain situations. However, contentment is freedom from anxiety or worry after having done all you can do. Contentment means real satisfaction after you have run the race. Paul says in Philippians 4:11, "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content."  By no means was Paul complacent; however, he was content.

To summarize, contentment grows out of humility and trust in God; complacency is being satisfied without seeking God. Contentment is the real satisfaction that comes from having done ALL. Complacency is false satisfaction that comes from having done NOTHING. Contentment is a gift from God to those who obey and serve Him. Complacency is not a gift from God because complacency is standing still whereas God wants us to move, and grow, and develop.
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What Does God Think About Ignorance?
Then God answered Job from the whirlwind: "Why are you using your ignorance to deny my providence?" (Job 38:1-2 TLB)


Job had suffered. Job had suffered terribly. Because of his suffering, he questioned God.  Job went on for 37 chapters planning what he was going to say to God. God remained silent and let Job continue to plan his strategy.

Instead of answering Job, God asked Job a loaded question: "Why are you using your ignorance to deny my providence?" Within that question, God was not saying Job was ignorant only ignorant when it comes to God and the things of God. Because of that ignorance, Job denied God's providence.

Job was interested in getting his questions answered not a lesson in Creation 101. However, God made no mention of Job's questions or his suffering. God used Job's ignorance of the earth's natural order to reveal his ignorance of God's moral order. God knew if Job did not understand what he could see, he could not understand what he couldn't see.

Could it be that we, like Job deny God's providence because of our ignorance of what God can and will do? Job's answer is our answer.

Let's not miss out on God's providence by not seeing God in His creation!

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Ignorance is Not Bliss
Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind: "Why are you using your ignorance to deny my providence?" (Job 38:1-2)
 
Will the person who said, "Ignorance is bliss" please step forward along with the person who coined the expression, "What you don't know won't hurt you!" Job thought he knew it all, but God proved to him how ignorant he was. Job had questioned God about spiritual things. Out of a mighty storm, God spoke. Surprising to Job, He didn't answer any of Job's questions. Instead, God used Job's ignorance of the earth's natural order to reveal his ignorance of God's moral order. If Job did not understand the workings of God's physical creation, how could he possibly understand God's mind and character?
 
How do we learn about God? By studying His word. Ignorance is no excuse from serving God. Paul said, "I do not want you to be ignorant . . ." (1 Corinthians 10:1; 12:1). When God asks you, "Didn't you read my book?" He will expect more than the answer, "Ignorance is bliss."
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Soaring or Wallowing?
They will soar on wings like eagles. (Isaiah 40:31b)
Take a look at the mighty hippopotamus. I made it, just as I made you.
It eats grass like an ox. (Job 40:15 NLT)

Carl Sandburg, an American poet (1878-1967) captured the human condition when he said, "There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud." Some of us know just what he meant. Sometimes we may feel steady and strong. Sometimes we may feel worried and weak. Sometimes we want to soar in the air. Sometimes we want to do nothing but wallow in the mud.  It all depends on our circumstances at that particular time.

An eagle and a hippopotamus are two different species. The eagle flies high in the sky overseeing what's below while the hippopotamus spends most of the day resting and emerges from the water only at night to eat grass.

Some of us want to soar like the eagle in Isaiah 40:31 while others are content wallowing in the mud just letting life happen. Some of us care about what happens around us and take wings to get things done. Others are lazy and/or complacent. Their greatest pleasure is wallowing in the mud like the hippopotamus.

Which will win the battle for your life? The eagle in you or the hippopotamus? Will you soar? Or will you wallow in the mud for the rest of your life?
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 Knowing For Yourself
My ears have heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. (Job 42:5)
 
Job said he had heard of God. That's second hand information. What Job knew about God was what others had said. "But" is a contrasting conjunction separation what was and is. Job says, ". . . but now my eyes have seen you." That's first hand information. Job is saying, "Now I know you because I have seen you for myself. I am perceiving it. I am getting it for myself because I have had an encounter with you."
 
There is nothing like reading the Bible and having God reveal something directly to you about your personal situations. There is nothing like getting it for yourself. It is always better to see a movie yourself rather than have someone give you their commentary about it. It is better to know what God is saying to you directly rather than have people tell you what God said to them. Learn what the word is saying to YOU and not to YOU through OTHERS. Get first hand information. Read the Bible on your own. Be like the Bereans. They "searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things are so" (Acts 17:11).
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A Rude Awakening
My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:5-6)

What is a rude awakening? The expression, "a rude awakening" carries with it both good news and bad news. It connotes someone has lived a certain way for a long time and all of a sudden realizes that he had been doing it all wrong. At the moment of epiphany, the person has "a rude awakening." It is as if he has awakened from a bad dream and says, "O my God! What have I done?"

Several people in the Bible had rude awakenings to the point of repenting in sackcloth and ashes. Job lived by the letter of the law instead of by the spirit of the law. He knew of God, but he did not know God until after he had been tested and tried with fire. At the precise moment of realization, Job had a rude awakening and spoke the above words in Job 42:5-6.

The prodigal son had a rude awakening when he became aware of what he had left behind in comparison to eating pods with the pigs. The Bible says, "When he came to his senses . . ." (Luke 15:17) Coming to one's senses means the same as having a rude awakening.

In Acts 10:34, Peter explains to Cornelius why the Gentiles had not been received into the family of God. "Then Peter begins to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism." Suddenly realizing that you have been wrong is a rude awakening.

Now is the time to evaluate if you are sleeping on some wrong thoughts, habits, ideas or traditions. Perhaps you are set in some wrong ways of living. No matter how long it takes, you will suddenly realize your mistakes. When you finally come to your senses, it will be a rude awakening. Then you will feel so bad that you will have no other choice but to repent and correct the wrong! Pray that God will show you what you are doing wrong so that you may be spared from such "a rude awakening!"
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From Worst Case Scenario to Best Case Scenario
" . . . the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before." (Job 42:10)

When we go through unpleasant things we think, "Woe is me!" We are so caught up in the bad thing that we do not think our worst case scenario just might turn into our best case scenario. When we think of the things Job went through, surely they were bad. They were beyond bad. When we think of what Joseph went through all those years he was in slavery in Egypt, we wonder if we could have survived those circumstances. When we think of Jesus' agony on the cross, we know there is no way we could have endured it.
 
Job, Joseph, and Jesus all were involved in worst case scenarios; yet each one of them had a proportionate best case scenario. So can we!
 
We must realize that nothing, absolutely nothing happens in our lives or in the world apart from divine appointment or permission. Behind every event and incident, there is divine providence. Behind every worst case scenario is a best case scenario. We only have to stick to it long enough to discover the difference.
 
Are you going through a WORST case scenario? If so, a BEST case scenario is on its way!

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Pray For Friends
And the Lord restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. (Job 42:10)
 
Job had every reason to be angry with his friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite. After all, they insisted that he was going through his adversities because he had sinned against God. They were wrong in accusing Job. They were self-righteous and mean to Job, and God didn't like the way they were treating His servant, Job. Therefore, God told them His wrath was aroused against them for not have spoken of what was right as Job had. Then the three friends were told to repent of their sins.
 
In this story everyone had to do something. First God had to get Job straight about a few things. Then God dealt with Job's friends. But it was not until Job prayed for his friends who had falsely accused him, that all of Job's losses were restored.
 
What is the lesson in this part of the story for us? No matter how much your friends try to turn you toward their way of thinking, trust only what is right. No matter how much your friends get on your last nerve, trust the One who is right. No matter how much you want to get even with your friends, trust the words of God when He said, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay" (Romans12:19). Pray for your friends and leave the rest to God. Stand in the gap by interceding for your friends. Show that you love God and serve Him from a pure heart . . . in spite of your friends.
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Don't Waste Your Pain
The Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. (Job 42:12)

No one in his right mind enjoys pain. However, it is wise not to waste your pain. What do I mean by that? Pain is a reality, and it shouldn't be denied. You can't change what you don't acknowledge. Allow your pain to stand for something. Allow something good to be birthed out of your pain. Look at all the worthwhile organizations and foundations that started because of someone's tragedy. Look at all the books that have been written as a result of somebody's pain. And the records and movies and television programs are too numerous to count. Somebody was hurting. So they shared their pain so others could be helped. They did not waste their pain. They let their pain work for them instead of against them.

Don't waste your pain. Everything that happens to you happens because God allows it to happen. And whatever God allows, He allows for a reason. Remember Job! God allowed Job to suffer. Remember also that the latter part of Job's life was better than the former part after he had endured such pain. Job's pain wasn't wasted!

Whatever you are going through at this moment, it is for your own good. Otherwise, God would not have allowed it to happen. Consider your pain as a gift from God. Wow! I know that's a hard one to swallow. Indeed it is. But you are going through pain anyway, so why not get the most out it? Let it make you BETTER, not BITTER! Don't waste your pain in any way, shape or form.

Your pain has come so that you can rely totally on God and not on antidepressants, narcotics, drugs, illicit sex, etc. Allow your pain to draw you closer to God and not push you further away. While some support groups are good, the best and most effective support group consists of only you and God!

Your pain will make you stronger. Your pain will cause you to have a deeper relationship with God. Your pain will cause God to get the glory.

Now isn't your pain worth it?
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When Life Seems Unfair
The Lord blessed the later part of Job's life more than the first. (Job 42:12)

We have all been there. We have all experienced what we call "unfairness." What seems to be unfair to one person might not seem to be unfair to another. Both parties must have the same definition of unfairness in order to come to the same conclusion.

"Unfairness" as defined in most dictionaries simply means unjust. It means something has been done to you to harm you, to hurt you, or to hinder you. Most of the time when we think life is unfair, it isn't. When we go through certain trials, it is to test our faith and to make us stronger.

There was a blameless and upright man from Uz who had every reason to think life was unfair. (Read the entire Book of Job). However, the end of Job's life was much better than the first, and Job lived to be a happy old man. Was Job's life unfair? Some would say "Yes." Job himself thought so at first, but then he repented for not trusting in the God he had read about.

There was a dedicated writer of the New Testament who was beheaded. Was that fair? Paul longed to be with God. He himself said, "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:8)

Was it fair for the beloved disciple of Jesus to live out his last days in isolation on the isle of Patmos? It seemed unfair, but there John was able to see inside heaven, and he gave us a glimpse of it in the Book of Revelation.

Here are some things to remember when you think life is unfair.
  1. God still has a plan, and He will work out what you think is unfair for His glory.
  2. What you think is unfair now is just a set up for what will happen later.
  3. What you think is unfair is not about you, but it is about how God will use that situation to help others.
  4. What you think is unfair is small for a short period of time in comparison to the intended results forever.
In conclusion, remember that what you are going through now is not about now. It is not even about you. That thing that you think is unfair is actually the springboard to greater and more rewarding blessings for others.
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Latter Day Blessings
The Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. (Job 42:12)

Many of us want to be blessed when we want to be blessed. Many of us want to be blessed like Job without going through what Job went through. In other words, many people want the latter day blessings without the former day sufferings.

Even though Job was a just and upright man, he endured loss, pain, affliction, and suffering. Job's faith, integrity and perseverance were tested. In the end, he admitted he had heard of God but now he sees God with his own eyes. (Job 42:5) It was only after Job had made that declaration and prayed for his friends that God moved on his behalf and blessed the latter part of his life more than the first.

Perhaps you have suffered loss. Perhaps you have endured afflictions. Perhaps your former life has not been all you would like it to have been. There is still hope. You can't change what happened in the past, but you can change what happens next. Get to know God and establish a personal ongoing relationship with Him. And He will bless the latter part of your life more than the first.

No matter how you describe your former life, latter day blessings are available to all who trust in the Lord and do good. Latter day blessings are available to all who delight themselves in the Lord. Latter day blessing are available to all who commit their ways to the Lord. God promised He would give us the desires of our heart. If we didn't receive blessings in our former days, then they must still be available because God doesn't lie.

Let's be open to receive our latter day blessings because God has promised us that He can do for us what He did for Job . . . blessed the latter part of our life more than the first.
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