As I have been reading through the Old Testament, searching for words from God regarding the challenging days we have entered, I believe God spoke in the 11th chapter of Job. After Job had pleaded his case regarding all the seemingly unjust calamities that had come upon him, one of Job’s friends, Zophar, responds. He had previously done well when, for seven days and nights, he, and Job’s other two friends sat silently with Job, sharing his sorrow. All three had chosen to weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15). Once they opened their mouths, things went downhill fast. All they offered was their opinions which were based on their own limited and faulty understanding.
Don’t Follow Zophar’s Example
Zophar believed that Job was suffering because of his sins. He had no idea of the heavenly conversations between God and Satan that were behind it all. He relied on rationalism instead of revelation. His conclusions were based on “it seems to me.” He was operating completely by sight, not faith. His erroneous conclusion that all Job’s calamities resulted from his sin led him to believe that Job’s sins must have been monumental. If Job would simply repent, his problems would end. Zophar didn’t even try to discover what else God may be up to in Job’s trials.
Look for God’s Purpose
There’s a lesson here for us when a friend is going through his or her own version of Job’s troubles. Some people just can’t resist sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong. They interject themselves in others’ lives without a word from God. Sometimes this describes us. We may have a sincere desire to help, but if we don’t even try to see someone else’s trouble from God’s perspective, we may very well find ourselves fighting against God. Too often, our sympathy drives us to help our friend remove the very thing God has placed on them for His purpose.
Get Ready, It’s Coming
In the coming days, Christians will be targeted by the Left. Your friend’s troubles may be the result of his or her outspoken witness and/or stand for the truth. You will likely be tempted to react out of anger, but you must not let your feelings blind you to what God is doing. Unlike Zophar, you have the Word of God as well as direct access to Him and His thoughts. God has promised to cause everything in the lives of those who love Him (and are called according to His purpose) to work together for good. Joseph was unjustly accused, but God’s intervention lifted him to the second highest position in all of Egypt.
Persecution Brings Growth
I believe Jesus will use these unprecedented days to build His Church in America in unprecedented ways. Throughout the world, the Church has always grown spiritually when the persecution is greatest. If we are to thrive in the days that are upon us, we must be tuned in to what God is doing, especially in the lives of our friends. Every member of Christ’s Church must be purged of all that stands in the way of Christ’s goal—a chaste and pure Bride (Eph. 5:27).
Like it or not, we all have been polluted by the world to some degree. Similarly, all of us will undergo suffering or persecution to some degree, but we must be on guard, so we don’t respond like Zophar, allowing our own thoughts and feelings to blind us as to what God is doing in us or someone else. More than ever, we will need to hear from God before we offer advice.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Inclusion of photographs and/or images in no way implies the endorsement of this blog or its information by the photographer or designer.