By Reverend Paul N. Papas II
May 2, 2023
Do you know what is coming? Do you have the mettle to persevere under demanding circumstances being foisted upon us by stealth or deceit?
You may not know the cause of every situation such as empty grocery shelves; sky rocketing fuel prices; and supply line shortages. You hear about wars and rumors of wars. There is a full court press to have you believe right is wrong, up is down and your values are offensive. This is not new; the first recorded time it started was in the Garden of Eden.
Many times throughout history the same thing happen.
There was Job:
“Job is a wealthy man living in a land called Uz with his large family and extensive flocks. He is “blameless” and “upright,” always careful to avoid doing evil (1:1). One day, Satan (“the Adversary”) appears before God in heaven. God boasts to Satan about Job’s goodness, but Satan argues that Job is only good because God has blessed him abundantly. Satan challenges God that, if given permission to punish the man, Job will turn and curse God. God allows Satan to torment Job to test this bold claim, but he forbids Satan to take Job’s life in the process.
In the course of one day, Job receives four messages, each bearing separate news that his livestock, servants, and ten children have all died due to marauding invaders or natural catastrophes. Job tears his clothes and shaves his head in mourning, but he still blesses God in his prayers. Satan appears in heaven again, and God grants him another chance to test Job. This time, Job is afflicted with horrible skin sores. His wife encourages him to curse God and to give up and die, but Job refuses, struggling to accept his circumstances. “(1)
“The interaction between Job and his friends illustrates the painful irony of his situation. Our knowledge that Job’s punishment is the result of a contest between God and Satan contrasts with Job’s confusion and his friends’ lecturing, as they try to understand why Job is being punished. The premise of the friends’ argument is that misfortune only follows from evil deeds. Bildad instructs Job, “if you are pure and upright, / surely then [God] will rouse himself / for you” and he later goads Job to be a “blameless person” (8:6, 8:20). The language in these passages is ironic, since, unbeknownst to Job or Job’s friends; God and Satan do in fact view Job as “blameless and upright.” This contrast shows the folly of the three friends who ignore Job’s pain while purporting to encourage him. The interaction also shows the folly of trying to understand God’s ways. The three friends and Job have a serious theological conversation about a situation that actually is simply a game between God and Satan. The fault of Job and his friends lies in trying to explain the nature of God with only the limited information available to human knowledge, as God himself notes when he roars from the whirlwind, “Who is this that darkness counsel / by words without / knowledge?” (38:2).” (1)
Book of Job Summary: A Complete Animated Overview
You may feel more like Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego from the Bible book of Daniel 3 which tells us of three young men who refused to bow down to the King of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar.
The three men grew wise and respected as highly appointed officials in Babylon. Other Babylonian officials who were jealous of the Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego could get King Nebuchadnezzar to command that all people bow down to a golden statue. When the three young men refused to bow down and worship the idol and god of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar had them thrown into the fiery furnace heated seven times hotter than usual. Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego had faith that God would save them. When King Nebuchadnezzar looked into the fire, he saw four men walking around in the furnace unharmed – Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego, and the Son of God. King Nebuchadnezzar brought the young men out of the flames, promoted them to a higher office, and decreed that the God of Israel be worshipped. (2)
Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NKJV)
9 That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.
You have choices. The choices you make on this side of eternity determine where you spend the rest of eternity.
You can read the same end of the book to see we win, Revelation.
You can have the mettle to persevere under demanding circumstances being foisted upon us by stealth or deceit by making the right choices.
Together we will get through this.
Say yes to Jesus, He saves. There is no better plan than God’s plan.
The Corruption is FAR WORSE Than You Thought — Economic Hitman, John Perkins
Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.or g and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org
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