Job 23:3 Sometimes God Is Silent

Guy at sunset

If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! Job 23:3 

Finding someone who does not want to be found can often be very difficult. It is easy for a person to hide in this world. This is even with the high technology of tracing someone through cell phones or credit cards. If one really wants to hide, it is possible.

There are times when some people want to just be alone. They go into hiding in various ways. Often stopping the normal things that they do. Other times they move to a new location to bring on anonymity.

Job had the problem of trying to find God in everything that was occurring in his life. Everywhere he searched, he was unable to find God. He wanted to talk with God about what has happening. Yet, during all of this God was silent and staying hidden, out of sight.

God is outside man’s physical realm of seeing, touching or hearing. With this being the case, if He does not want to be found, no one will be able to find Him.

There are times when God is silent. He chooses not to speak or reveal Himself openly. This usually occurs during a time of testing. He is testing someone to see how faithful he is to Him and how much he trusts Him.

As a believer is going through a harsh testing, God is standing back and watching what will happen. Too often, a person gives up on God, because he does not understand what is happening and loses faith in God. He no longer fully trusts God.

If a person holds on to what he knows about God, he will realize that God is faithful and will always be there, even when not seen or felt. God will not and cannot go back on His promises.

Just as Job held on to his faith in God, you must also hold on to your faith in God when going through a difficult time. God may be silent, but that is when He has His eyes on you and is proving how you will react to your situation.

Do not give up your faith in Him, but know that despite how it looks or feels, God is right there by your side. He will never leave or forsake you, though He may be silent for a time. Keep searching for Him and He will be found in the right time.

I pray today that you will have a personal relationship with God; that you will know His promises to you; that you will trust God in every situation; and that you will hear God’s voice every day.

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Job 18:21 A Bad Implication

Shipwreck

Surely such is the dwelling of an evil man; such is the place of one who does not know God. Job 18:21 

Generalizations of people happen on a regular basis. Because someone is something specific, other rules ‘must’ apply to him also. This is where racial prejudice usually comes in. Because a person is of a certain color, then he must be like something bad or especially good.

People are often categorized according to one or two things in their lives, rather than looking at their entire life. It is easy to judge someone with just a little bit of evidence, but that does not mean that the judgement is correct and accurate.

Bildad chooses to talk about how the life of a wicked man is. In this chapter he describes one who is abandoned by God and people and loses everything. It is a picture of total hopelessness and destruction. Job was going through total loss and destruction, but it was not eternal. It was not because of his sins. It was God testing and proving him.

It is true that in the end the wicked man will be completely abandoned by God and destroyed. He will lose everything in the end. However, that ‘end’ is when Jesus returns to judge the earth. That loss is when he is finally cast into hell with the devil and all others who have rejected Jesus.

While a person is still alive on this earth living in sin does not mean he will automatically prosper or not prosper. There are people who reject Jesus today that are living very well, by earth standards. They are not being rejected and have everything going for them, at least it appears that they have it going for them.

However, when Jesus returns, if they have not chosen to follow Jesus, they will lose it all. They will be rejected and destroyed in eternal punishment.

Believers today may be tested and proven by God, but that does not mean God has abandoned them.

You may be going through a time of testing and proving. Stand strong and true in your belief in God. Do not waiver or give up. In the end you will not lose everything, but will gain everything.

When Jesus returns and finds you faithful, despite the struggles on this earth, He will invite you into heaven for eternal life. Be careful how you judge what others are going through and what you are going through.

I pray today that God will reveal His presence to you; that you will see God’s hand in all you are going through; that you will know God’s peace in the midst of any trials; and that you will be proven faithful to God. 

Job 1:21 Praise God No Matter What Happens

Dead forest

And said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” Job 1:21

In life many things happen that people do not usually have control over. Bad things happen and things fall apart, things that are not expected to fall apart. There are periods in the lives of many people where if anything can go wrong, it does.

During these times, many people feel as though God is against them and hates them. Many will turn away from God and leave the church in bitter anger against God, because of the constant trouble in their lives.

The majority of people think that God should give them an easy life with no problems or difficulties. Yet, Jesus had promised that there would be trouble in this world.

Job had been serving God faithfully when he got the message that all of his livestock and children were killed in a single day. Every thing he had was taken from him. Immediately upon hearing the message, Job fell down in worship to God and praised God anyways.

Job had the mindset that he came into this world with nothing and that all he had was given to him by God. God gave it to him and He can take it away. Either way God was to be praised. He trusted God’s decisions.

In order for a believer to have the same mindset as Job, he must realize that he had nothing when he came into this world. There is also nothing in this world that will last for eternity, except the souls of men and women and God. Without God no one has anything, not even life.

Job had done nothing wrong, but was being tested by God. God was proving to Satan that Job would not sin against Him under pressure. Job did not and in fact gave God praise in spite of the terrible messages brought to him.

You will have troubles in this world. Some of it will be brought on by your choices, others will be by the choices of others, and yet, others will be God allowing things to happen to test you. Regardless of why you go through troubles, praise God and trust His judgement in your life. He knows what is best for you.

Give God praise regardless of what happens. It will be worth it in the end with eternal life.

I pray today that you will trust God’s judgements in your life; that you will praise God in every circumstance; that you will know God’s great love for you; and that you will honor God with all you say and do. 

Deuteronomy 8:2 The Reason For Tests

Taking a test

Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. Deuteronomy 8:2

Very few people like to go through testing. It is often a time of high anxiety and fear. The higher the importance of the test, the higher the level of fear and worry a person may have.

Testing usually determines what is next in the life of a person. If the person passes the test, he can move on to the next level in whatever field the test was for. If he fails the test, he steps back and either quits or has to re-take the test.

While the common thought of what a test is, is that it is a written test, the majority of tests people take are not written down. They are tests of character. When a person is working for someone, the boss is testing the person by watching how he works and reacts to things. This is done to determine if the person can get a promotion.

Moses tells the Israelites to remember what they went through in the wilderness. That time of wandering was a test from God. It was an unwritten test to determine what was in their hearts and how well they will follow God’s commands.

Even to this day God still tests people. Even though He already knows what is in their hearts, He tests them to see how they will react to situations and how well they will obey God. Although with God, He gives the answers to the test. He tells people how to act and follow Him. All a person needs to do is obey God’s commands and he will pass the test. Once a person passes God’s test, God will move him forward to the next level.

Think about the hard times in your life, the times of being in a wilderness. Those times are there to help build you up. They are a test to determine how well you will follow God.

Each time you are tested by God, you have to make a choice. Will you follow God’s commands in the situation? Or will you follow the ways of this world?

Following the ways of this world, will be failure. Following God will always be passing. God can then move you up and forward.

How are you passing?

I pray today that you will know God’s commands for your life; that you will recognize the tests of God; that you will pass every test of God; and that you will follow God with all of your heart and life. 

Zechariah 13:9 The One-Third Left

This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’ ” Zechariah 13:9

Zechariah gave a prophecy of the time when Jesus was struck and the people would be scattered. During this time, two-thirds of the people would be killed off. The last group left would be put through the fire and a major test to build them up. In the end they would be His people and He would be their God.

Being the last one usually has a bad connotation. It means the person failed or is not worth the time. Children often pick the classmate last that cannot play the game well. In a race, the one who comes in last is the loser.

With God, that is not always the case. Here God has something special for those who are last or are left. At first glance it does not look like something good–being put through fire or being tested. No one likes to be put through the fire. It is hot and it burns.

The fire that God puts His people through is not a physical burning fire, but a spiritual one. It is the challenges of life. It is the allowed attacks of the enemy. The purpose of that fire is to have the person focus more on Him and trust that He will bring him through the situation. It is to burn out any sin in the life of the person.

Every believer, including you, have things in their lives that do not need to be there. It could be actions, thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, or physical things. Anything that does not honor God or goes against His commands, needs to be removed. God will do whatever it takes to remove any impurities in your life.

Being refined like gold through the fire will bring that about. God left you a part of the remnant, the last third left for this reason. He has a purpose for your life. God wants you to have a life that mirrors that of Jesus, perfect, holy and righteous.

Is God able to say that you are His child?

Can you say that the LORD is your God?

I pray today that you will follow Jesus with all of your life; that you will be made more like Jesus each day; that you will allow God to refine you in His way; and that you will say that the Lord is your God.

Psalm 66:10 Tested And Refined

For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. Psalm 66:10

Very few people look forward to a test. Unless a person knows that he is completely ready for that test, with absolutely no fear of failing it, tests are usually dreaded.

Even once the test is over and a person has passed the test, very few enjoyed it. Most look at the test wondering why they had to take it or why some of the questions were even on the test. Tests are rarely looked at as a good thing, unless given to someone else.

The psalmist had been talking about giving God praise and singing songs of praise to God for what He had done. One of the things he praised God for, was for being tested and refined.

Testing is a process of verifying what a person should know and how they would do things. It is also a refining process.

Refining silver is the process in which a person removes all the bad stuff out of the silver metal. Silver, straight from the ground, has many other things, than just silver, mixed into it. It needs to be cleaned out. The best process of removing that garbage is heating up the metal and putting it through the test of fire. Doing that is hot and painful.

In your life as a believer, God does the same testing and refining process. As God puts you through a test to refine you. He is working at removing the garbage, sin, in your life. God wants you to walk, talk, think, and act just like Jesus.

That testing and refining period can, and most likely will be, painful. It is the time of removing things from your life that you have allowed in, that God does not want there.

Some people look at that time of process as a time when God hates them or is being mean. Do not look at it that way. It is God showing His true love for you. If He did not love you, then He would let you live with garbage in your life, but He does love you and care for you.

God will not allow garbage to remain in you.

Will you give God praise for what He is doing in your life, even if it is painful?

Allow God to test and refine you into the image of Jesus.

I pray today that you will see God’s testing of you as an act of love; that you will allow God to change you; that you will give God praise for all He does; and that you will shine like Jesus.

Job 5:17 Right Thought, Wrong Time

“Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” Job 5:17

One of Jobs friends, Eliphaz, came to Job with some advice when he saw Job under extreme turmoil and trouble. He stated that every person who God corrects is blessed and that a person should not despise God’s discipline.

Eliphaz was looking at what was happening to Job, the loss of family, house and health, as discipline from God. Apparently Job had done something sinful against God and he was now paying for it. Since this was the case, Job should not be upset with what is happening.

While it is true that God does discipline a person in sin, the real truth of the matter here was that Job had not sinned. Eliphaz had the right words, but the wrong timing of saying them. God was not disciplining him in any way. The events that were happening were just a test to prove Job’s faithfulness to God.

It is easy for a person to stand on the outside looking at a situation another person is going through and begin to judge what is really happening. Very often, believers judge it as God is disciplining a person or correcting him. Although God may discipline a person, He is not always doing that.

There are times in a believers life that God will allow bad things to happen in order to build the person stronger or to prove his faithfulness. God was pretty sure that Job would pass the test and shame Satan. God allowed Satan to test Job in order for that test to be passed.

When you see yourself, or someone else going through a bad situation, be careful on how you judge what is happening. The main thing to do is trust that God knows what is happening and is absolute control.

Encourage yourself, or whoever is going through the situation, to seek God’s strength and will in the situation. Draw closer to God in spite of the bad situation.

As you speak the truth of God’s word, make sure that what you are saying pertains to what is really happening. Be very careful not to take God’s word out of context or to be used at the wrong time, as Eliphaz did with Job. Be an encourager.

I pray today that you will see God’s hand in every situation in your life; that you will know what God is saying and doing; and that you will speak God’s correctly in the right place and time.