Saturday, August 22, 2009

Job Measured Up

Job had everything that a person could possibly want. He had seven sons and three daughters. He had many servants and possessions, thousands of sheep and camels, hundreds of donkeys and oxen. He was very wealthy. His name was the greatest among men of his day.

One day, Job was sitting in his home and a messenger came to tell him about the Sabeans that came and killed all the servants, and stole all the oxen and donkeys. He was the only one that escaped. While that guy was still telling him this, another servant came and started telling about a disaster that took all of his sheep and herdsmen. Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, here comes another messenger telling him of all the camel that were stolen and servants that were killed elsewhere. All this chaos had just hit Job in the same day, but the worst was yet to come. He was about to find out that all of his children were just killed by a freak sand storm.

Job had gone from the most renowned man in that time, to a man in total despair. Tragedy struck every aspect of his life. All he possessed and all he cherished were taken away.

Job knew where every one of these blessings had come from. They were God’s to begin with; they were God’s to take away. In all of this suffering, Job didn’t sin or even blame God. This is found in Job:1.

Still more tragedy was on its way. After all of this happened Job is struck with a horrible, embarrassing disease. His wife, who was the only family member still in his life, told him to just curse God and die. His friends tried to convince him that he was guilty of something or even sinning, that’s why all these things happened. He didn’t know why these trials had come so suddenly or even why they happened at all, but Job still did not blame God. Instead, he cried out and asked his Heavenly Father for understanding. God seemed like He was far away and not listening but Job knew deep down he was still a righteous man and God was still with him. He had realized that his integrity and moral standards had remained with him through all of these trials because he trusted the Lord.

Job 31:5-6 If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity.

Job wanted to be weighed with God’s accurate scales. He knew he hadn’t sinned in anyway, and he never turned from God: he still had a relationship with the Lord. Job’s confidence was still in the Lord. He knew His judgment was righteous. Job wanted to be measured by God’s standards, not what the world thought.

The Lord knows our heart, nobody else can claim that. Our God knows all. He understands everything; He is omniscient.

Thru all of these trials, Job had come to a better understanding of God. He had grown closer to Him. He relied on God to be there with him at all times. He kept the Lord first and foremost in his heart. Job didn’t understand why things went this way, but because he kept his trust in the Lord, he gained more insight and extraordinary wisdom from God. Job became a bigger man of God because he had stayed with Him instead of turning.

We could turn to things around us when we go through trials, turn to our best friend, someone we love, somebody professional, or we can decide to turn to God during hard times. If our heart isn’t directed towards the love of God, we will not grow in His ways. We might even be condemned as Job was by his “friends”. Going thru hardships helps us realize how much God really does love us and what He can do for us.

God knew Job’s heart. He knew what he was made of and where his heart was. The Lord knew ahead of time that Job would stay with Him no matter what. (Job 1:6-12 and Job 2:3-6) God was adding on and building Job’s character.

Our Father’s standards are not unreachable, they are just. They are not too high for us; God puts them at a level He knows we can reach. We just have to trust Him to get us there. Knowing in our heart that God is with us and relying on Him completely brings us more than we can imagine. We are brought His peace, joy, wisdom, knowledge, love, and more. Best of all, it brings us the His presence.

Are we measuring up to what God expects of us, or do we put the world’s standards in front of us and forget about the Lord? Do we look at what God wants, or do we see what the world wants? Do we see what God has given us or do we see what we have gained for ourselves?

Job didn’t measure himself by what he owned or used to own. He measured himself by what was in his heart. This is what we are to do.

Sometimes we are too concerned with what we have or could have. We are concerned about how many hours we put in at the job or the raise we can obtain. These things can be good if God is in the picture first. All this stuff can be used for God’s glory, but we have to remember to make God our first goal. We have to rely on God’s strength, not what we think we have.

The main idea here on this earth is to have God’s Word in your life. Relying and trusting in the Lord and knowing that He is here with you is what counts. His presence within you is what makes you worth something. Christ gives you quality in your life.

How much Jesus do you have in your life? You can have more every day if you live for God. Like Job, you will grow bigger and better. God will give you everything you need to measure up.