Job 4:7 False Counsel

Baby lamb

“Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed?” Job 4:7 

When something bad happens to a person, many believe that the person must have done something wrong. Often it is that he must have made a bad choice  that brought on the bad situation in his life. According to the world, a person is in control of his whole life, bad things should never occur to a good person.

Once something happens bad to a person, many begin to question the why of what happened. They start searching for answers wanting to solve the problem. In this process the wrong answer is often believed.

Job had done nothing wrong and was notated as living an upright and innocent life, yet, he lost everything. One of his friends, Eliphaz, came by with some counsel on what had occurred. Part of his suggestion was that Job was guilty of some sin, because no one innocent or upright has ever been destroyed like this.

While Eliphaz’s thoughts seem logical, they fall short of understanding God’s ways. There have been many people who were innocent and upright who have perished. No, they did not perish for eternity, but they perished here on this earth. They were killed or became sick to the point of death or something else bad occurred.

Take a look at Jesus, perfect and holy, yet He suffered and died. In a sense He was destroyed. His body on this earth was killed. However, despite the killing, because He was perfect and holy, He rose again and was not destroyed eternally.

The believer in Jesus is also made holy and righteous before God through the power of Jesus. He may suffer and die here on this earth, but it is only a temporary death, he will be raised again to life.

As a believer, do not be quick to judge yourself or others for problems occurring in life. Allow God to examine you and point out any sins you may have that may have brought on the suffering, but also accept that it may not be caused by your sins.

God does allow suffering and pain in the lives of His children. Don’t give the false counsel of blaming personal sin for personal problems always. Sometimes it is God working in your life as He was in Job’s life.

You cannot always see behind the scenes as to what God is doing or why He allows something. However, you can trust Him fully.

I pray today that you will trust God’s work in your life; that God will reveal any sin in your life; that God will strengthen you during sufferings; and that God will make you more like Jesus. 

Philippians 1:12 Suffering With Purpose

“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” Philippians 1:12

At one point in his ministry Paul said he needed to go to Jerusalem. Several people in the churches did not want him to go because they knew that he would most likely be thrown into prison. He was still willing to go. They were right. When he got there, Paul was taken into captivity and thrown into prison.

As he was taken, Paul appealed to his rights to stand before Cesar. The Romans were in control at that time and Cesar would be the highest authority. He is taken to Rome and put in prison there. This is where Paul is writing this letter.

He tells the people that all of this that has happened to him has actually helped spread the gospel message.

In the lives of people many negative things can happen. Vehicles break down, someone gets sick, accidents happen, jobs are lost, or many other disastrous events.

Those of the world will fall apart when these things happen. They will struggle with the why and cannot make any good come from it.

As a believer you do not have to live or believe that way. Remember that all things work together for the good of those who love God. Paul took a negative thing, being put in prison, to spread the gospel message to more people. There were new prisoners and prison guards to talk to about Jesus.

When your car breaks down and it is being towed or fixed, talk to the person about Jesus. When you are at the doctor’s office sick or injured, talk about the grace of God in your life. Use these bad situations in your life to tell someone about the love and caring of God.

No matter how bad the situation is in your life, remember that as a sinner all you deserve is death, and God has chosen to give you life instead. Let other people know about that life in Jesus. Do not look at your bad situation as a bad thing, but as an opportunity to be His witness.

I pray today that God will show you ways to be His witness; that you will see God’s hand in every situation in your life; that God will give you His boldness to tell others about Jesus; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you.

Acts 16:25 What To Do When In Prison

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25

Paul and Silas had been in town preaching the gospel just like they always did. The people got angry with them and beat them and threw them into prison. Late that night they are seen praying and singing to God and everyone was listening.

Most people, if they were thrown into prison for preaching the gospel, would be singing to God while there. They probably would be praying for release or calling friends and an attorney to get them out. This would be the case if they did not have their eyes focused on God.

Focusing on God gives you the correct perspective–that God is in control. They were able to relax and sing because they knew that God was there and was in control of the situation.

Most believers, as a believer, have never been thrown into a real prison. Yet, many are in a different type of prison. The prisons many people are thrown into are financial problems, sickness, death, injury, or many other challenges in life.

When you are going through a bad situation it is easy to lose focus on God and look only at the here and now. Yet, are you trusting that God is still with you and in control?

First thing to do is start praying for God’s desire to be done in the situation. Next, give God praise for the situation and how He is going to take care of it.

Use that time to be a witness to others. As Paul and Silas were praying and singing out loud, many others were listening to them. What they were doing was not common for people in prison and would make a difference.

Are you stopping to pray and praise God in your prison in life? Or are you complaining or afraid? Keep in mind that God is in the prison with you and is in control. Trust Him in your prison today.

I pray today that you will know Jesus is with you in your prison; that you will pray for God’s desire for your life; that you will sing praises to God in your prison; and that others around you will hear you praising God.