“When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!” Job 42:10 NLT
Job Chapter 1 indicates that Job was a righteous man, upright, who tried to do things right.
He was a blameless person who avoided evil, made sacrifices who tried to get close to God.
He was a man with one wife and ten children.
As a result of trying to do things right ~ God blessed him ~ in a big way.
God even blessed him with good health.
But even though he tried to do everything right, all of a sudden everything went bad for him.
· All 10 of his children died.
· His marriage became miserable.
· Job went from good health to bad.
· From prosperity to poverty.
· He had sores from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet.
Bad things happened to a good man.
If you don’t remember anything else remember this based on the Word of God found in the book of Job “bad things happen to good people”.
Stop being shocked when negative and bad things happen.
Stop being surprised when you go through hard times because bad things happen to good people.
You were trying to do things right, but if the truth be told many things have gone wrong.
Issues in your relationships.
Fractures in your friendships.
Sickness has invaded your home.
Things got so bad for Job that his own wife told him to “curse God and die”.
It is interesting that when you are going through problems everyone has a say on what you are going through.
His wife is telling him, “Listen our marriage is messed up, the kids are gone, you’re sick, things look horrible. It is time for you to curse God and die.”
Mrs. Job believed that the answer to suffering is to take your own life.
Suicide is a permanent solution, your problem is only temporary.
Why would you use a permanent solution to a temporary problem?
Whatever you are going through now, it took a change to get you in that situation.
It will take a change to get you out of that situation.
You have to do like Job ‘all the days of my appointed time I am going to wait until my change comes’.
The Lord God gives and the Lord God takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
But it was not just his wife that did this talking.
He had three friends who showed up in his suffering, and they told Job, “Listen, something is wrong here. You must have sinned some where. You must have so secret sin because God would not let all these calamities come down like this unless you did something wrong. You have been playing holy in front of us, but you must live hellish behind the scene. You show up in holy places making sacrifices, but you must be sinning in private places when you are not around us”.
They begin to tell him that the reason you are going through this is because God is punishing you for your sins.
Let me slow it down right here.
It’s interesting to me that most folks can’t figure out what God is doing in their own life.
But when you are going through troubles they want to tell you what God is doing in your life.
And these are groups of friends who believed that Job was suffering because of sin.
They believed that all suffering is a result of sin. Read John 9:1-10
I submit to you that these are friends who are wrong about God.
If you sin you will suffer, but not all suffering is a result of sin.
You can mind your own business, and make up in your mind that you are going to be in the will of God, and suffering can still come your way.
You can suffer without sinning and this is what his friend could not get into their heads.
Because they begin to confuse, misuse, abuse, and accuse Job.
This is not all the talking that went on.
Job did some talking himself.
Things got so bad in Job’s life that he started questioning God.
I know that someone can identify with this.
That stuff can get so bad and difficult in your life that you want to call God on the carpet.
There is some stuff that you want to get straight with the Lord.
Job 38:3, “If I could find God I have some questions for Him.”
Look a this finite little creature trying to argue with an infinite God.
You better be careful arguing with God because He has the power to cut that argument off at anytime.
“If I could find God. If He would show up. He hasn’t been around in my pain. I have some questions for him.”
It’s like Job was taking his fists and pointing them in the face of God.
As if God was hiding Himself from him.
There is nothing wrong with questioning God, for even Jesus did that.
While dying on the cross, “My God, My God Why?”
And if we tell the truth in here all of us at one point or another have questioned God.
It seems like people who are doing wrong everything turns out right.
Then for those of us trying to do right things turn out wrong.
Sometimes it looks like good things are happening to bad people, while bad things are happening to good people.
Every now and then we want to ask God some questions.
But my issue with Job is not the fact that he questioned God, but that he questioned God with the wrong attitude.
It is one thing to ask the question.
It is another thing to have a arrogant disposition while you ask the question.
It’s one thing to approach God, it’s another thing to approach God with the wrong attitude.
It is like the little girl sitting in the back sit of her father’s car as he drives down the street. She is actually standing jumping up and down in his backseat. So he says, “Girl you’d better sit down back there, but she is still jumping. So he says, “You heard what I said. Sit your behind down back there before you make me upset.” She kept jumping, so he said, “If I pull this car over you know what is going to happen.” So the little girl sits down and puts her seatbelt on. So about two minutes later the girl said “Daddy I’m still standing inside”.
She did what she was asked to do, but inside she had the wrong attitude.
So God says Job you have some questions for me.
I don’t mind engaging in questions and answers.
But Job I will ask you some questions first and if you can answer mine, then I will answer yours.
#1: God can DO all things
Watch what God asked Job chapter 38 & 42
Job where were you when I laid the foundations of this world?
Where were you when I placed the cornerstones in the earth?
Where were you when the morning stars sang together and the sons of God shouted for joy?
Job where do mountain lions give birth in the mountains?
Job where is the hail stored when it is not hailing?
Job does rain have a father, and who fathered the dew drops?
His thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are not our ways, they are higher than ours as the heavens are above the earth. Isaiah 55:5-9
It is not an issue of us calling God onto the carpet, but an issued of us trusting God even when we cannot trace God knowing that God knows what God is doing.
This is what happens in Chapter 42 of Job when God turns it around for Job.
But God does not turn it around for Job until Job as the right perception about God.
It was not until Job got the right perception of God, that God turned around his situation.
Chapter 42:1 Job says, “I know you can do all things. No plans of yours can be overthrown. You ask who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge? I spoke of things that I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to even know.
Watch this. He begins to work on his perception of God.
The reason his perception was messed up previously is because he was listening to his friends for 30 chapters talking about God.
Job got into a messed up situation.
3 of his friends show up and for 30 chapters they start talking about what God is doing in Job’s life.
The only problem was that they were wrong about God.
When you listen to folks who wrong about God, then your perception will be wrong about God.
So when you go through your pain and problems you must be careful who you listen to.
You have to be careful even to what Church you go to.
Just because they are confident and bold doesn’t mean they are right about God.
Just because they are promising you big money, big houses, a husband, man or woman does not mean that they are right about God.
What are the saying about God?
When you are suffering stop listening to those who don’t know PERSONALLY KNOW God.
This is why is perception was all messed up.
But when he began to listen to God about the Word of God this is when he got his mind right, and began to understand God’s power.
He knew that even though I have the problems God has all the power.
Job 42:2 “I know that you can do all things.”
#2: “God KNOWS everything”.
When you are up against it remember these two things.
God knows everything, and God can do anything.
As long as you know He knows all and can do all and will always do what is right and good then you know everything will be alright.
Just because God does not change this thing, does not mean He can’t.
Stop thinking that you know God’s character based on an isolated issue that you are facing in your life.
So that if God brings you out He’s a way maker.
But if God doesn’t He not a way maker.
Let me help you understand something God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
God can do anything and if He brings you out or not doesn’t change the fact that God has all power.
You don’t know that God can heal all diseases, open every door, make a way out of no way, can give freedom, lift burdens, answer prayers, forgive every sin! He can do all things!
He doesn’t just do all things, God knows all things. He knows everything.
That is why Job said, “God you know everything, and I don’t know anything.” Job 42:2
When you finally understand God in the light of Who He is, and What He knows we don’t know anything in comparison with God.
That’s the problem with many of us.
We are frustrated because we think we know everything.
We’re “know it all’s”.
Then we get our selves into situation that we cannot get ourselves out of.
Because you will face situations that you cannot think your way out of.
We don’t know, but God does.
We must realize that His thought are so much higher than ours as the heavens are above the earth.
So here is the situation when I look at how much God knows in comparison to what I know, I really don’t know anything.
The stuff that I’ve been going through, I’ve been going through it without the knowledge to deal with it.
Okay you all are looking at me like you know everything ~ that is revealed in criticism & judgment ~ all of which are DIVISIVE to God’s family.
Since I know so little I must trust in the One who knows so much!
He says, “My God has plans for me.”
This is what Job and many of us miss.
That when sickness comes loved ones die, financial difficulties hit, and families fall apart, foreclosures come, economy is bad.
When things happen and we don’t understand it, you must know that God has a plan for you.
That is why Isaiah 19:11, “I know the plans you have for me. Plans to prosper and not fail. To succeed and not fall down.
Job 42:3 “Lord your plans for me are so wonderful that I do not understand them.”
God’s plans for us are so wonderful that you won’t understand it, but you must believe in it.
You must learn how to trust Him when you cannot see what HE is doing.
Trust Him when you don’t understand Him ~ FAITH.
God I don’t understand why I have to go through this, but I know that your plans are wonderful me.
When your enemies meant that stuff for evil, God is able to turn it to good. Genesis 50:20
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God. Romans 8:28.
My perception of God is coming together, but wait ~ Job begins to pray.
Because your theology always has an impact on your spirituality.
When you get your theology right – Your thoughts on God ~ it shows up in your spirituality – how you live and pray.
The Bible says that when Job finished praying in verse 10 that’s when God blessed him.
You are one prayer away from a turnaround!
One prayer away from God making a difference in your situation.
Why is it that we don’t pray, because the enemy has been so busy in our life.
That’s the area that the enemy attacks – Our Prayer Life.
Because if the enemy can keep us from praying, he will keep us from having to power we need to handle the problems that we face.
There is power in prayer. The enemy knows that.
The Apostle James said, “You have not because you ask not”. James 4:2-3
Some of us don’t have it because we have not asked for it.
But when you call on the Lord in prayer, God has a way of showing up in your situation.
But the enemy tries to keep you from praying.
The enemy does not care that you come to church, sing in the choir, teach and preach and serve in ministry. He does not care, he just doesn’t want you to pray.
Because he knows that if you are doing all that stuff without praying you don’t have any power while you’re ministering.
He just attacks your prayer life.
He does this by getting you so busy to go to work in the morning that you don’t even thank the One who kept you all night.
He tries to get you to rush and put your clothes on and eat your food without thanking the One who provided your food and clothes for you.
The enemies tries to get you to complain while you’re driving to work instead of celebrating the One who got you the job.
Then the enemy tries to get you to focus on all the craziness in the world to the point you are so distraught that when you get home you just go to sleep without asking God to keep you through the night.
The devil is a liar.
There is power in prayer.
Job 42:12 says that AFTER Job had prayed for his friends ~ then God blessed him.
It did not turn for Job while he was praying for himself.
It turned around after he prayed for somebody else.
Job was in sackcloth and ashes, and he conversed with God.
But it turned around when he prayed for his friends.
We need to learn to pray for other people.
You can’t get so selfish and self centered that when we talk to God its all about me.
We must pray to God on behalf of other people.
Learn how to pray for your friends and family, and others that God brings into your situation.
Here’s the thing about praying for other people.
When you pray for others, God has a way of blessing you!
Praying for other people is like putting cologne on somebody else.
You can’t put some on them without getting a little on your self!
REMEMBER the friends that Job was praying for ~ are the same friends who abused, misused, and accused him.
He didn’t just pray for the friends who helped him, but also those who dogged him.
When he prayed for the friends who abused him that’s when God turned it around in his life.
Anybody can love folks that love them back.
Jesus said the world does that.
Anybody can bless those who bless them.
Jesus said sinners do that.
But can you love your enemies.
Can you do good to those who despitefully use you.
Can you bless them that curse you. Can you help those who hurt you.
Can you lift those who cut you down.
It is not until you learn to pray for those who dogged you and that is when your turn around comes.
I didn’t say it was simple or easy.
But its possible and necessary.
I know that they should not have done it, said it, or acted that way, or maltreated you.
But if you want to turn it around you must put it on your prayer list.
Somebody need start a new prayer list.
I know you want them to die, break their teeth, stumble and fall, go to jail.
But if you want a turn around.
But if want to get the victory You must let it go!
Verse 10 says that after Job prayed for his friends, God turned it around and made him prosperous again, and gave him twice has as he had before.
Verse 12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former.
The Lord blessed the finish of Job’s life more than the first.
The Lord blessed the end Job’s life more than the beginning.
God always puts His best blessing at the ends.