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Job 2:7-13 THE RESULTS OF LIFE'S TRIALS

Intro: Gary Carr tells the story of Chippie the parakeet. "Chippie never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage, sending a song into the air; the next second he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over.

"His problem began when his owner decided to clean his cage with a vacuum. She had stuck the nozzle in to suck up the seeds and feathers at the bottom of the cage when the nearby telephone rang. Instinctively she turned to pick it up. She had barely said hello when--ssswwwwwpppppp! Chippie got sucked in. She gasped, let the phone drop, and switched off the vacuum. With her heart in her mouth, she unzipped the bag.

"There was Chippie--alive but stunned--covered with heavy gray dust. She grabbed him and rushed to the bathtub, turned on the faucet full blast, and held Chippie under a torrent of ice-cold water, power washing him clean. Then it dawned on her that Chippie was soaking wet and shivering. So she did what any compassionate pet owner would do: she snatched up the hair dryer and blasted him with hot air.

"Did Chippie survive? Yes, but he doesn't sing much anymore. He just sits and stares a lot. It's not hard to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over! It's enough to steal the song from any stout heart." Life is like that sometimes. You never see it coming, but life just sucks you up, washes you up and blows you over.

Ill. The trials of Job. We are familiar with the things that Job had to endure. He suffered greatly for the glory of the Lord, and for thousands of years, his life has stood as a testimony to the faithfulness of the Lord and of His ability to bring His people through any trial. Job's story is one of vast encouragement, at least to me. In this passage, we will see what the trials of life bring our way. We are going to come face to face with four of the Results Of Life's Trials.

I. V. 9 TRIALS WILL CHALLENGE YOUR FAITH

A. Ill The Context. Job's wife comes to him and tries to get him to curse God and go to his death with some dignity. I have always been bothered by this woman's attitude. However, as I thought about all that she had endured, I could just begin to sympathize with how she must have felt. After all, she has just lost her ten children, she is no longer the "first lady of the east." Her husband, once the greatest man of the east, v. 1:3, now he is sitting on a garbage dump scraping his disease ridden body with a piece of broken pottery. No wonder she is a little upset.

B. Job was first attacked in the area of his faith. This is always the way with trials. If we will listen to the devil, he will tell us that God doesn't know, doesn't care, doesn't understand; and isn't able to do anything about our situation.

(Ill. Do not be surprised when your faith is the first thing to be attacked in the midst of a trial. Just remember the Disciples in the storm on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was in the boat with them and yet they despaired of life. Sometimes, even those things we know to be absolutely true will seem to be just dust in the face of our trials.)

(Ill. This couldn't be father from the truth. Jesus is absolutely interested in everything we face in life. He is quick to tell us this in 1 Pet. 5:7; Matt. 10:29-31.)

C. When the trials of life come your way, instead of listening to the faith destroying lies of the devil, learn to rest upon the unchanging promises of the Lord God. The Word of God is sure! Therefore, you can count on the Lord to do what He has promised to do for you in your life. Your faith in God is never misplaced!

II. V. 12 TRIALS WILL CHANGE YOUR FACE

A. Ill. When Job's three friends arrived, they didn't recognize old Job. He looked so bad to them that he seemed like someone else. It seems that the trials of Job's life were enough to change his face.

B. Your trials will do the same to you if you allow them to. They will rob you of your joy. They will steal your smile. They will replace the look of hope with the lines of worry. It is evident when people are troubled. Often, you can see the worry and the strain in their faces. This is just human nature, but I believe that the Lord has a cure.

C. The reason that burdens and trials can change us in the way we appear is simply because we allow them to! God desires that we learn to handle our trials by a biblical model instead of allowing them to handle us. Notice what the Lord would have us to do.

1. Learn To Refrain From Worry - Phil. 4:6-7; Matt. 6:25-33.

2. Learn To Rest In The Yoke - Matt. 11:28-30.

3. Learn To Rely On The Lord's Plans - Rom. 8:28.

4. Learn To Remember His Promises - 2 Cor. 4:17; Rom. 8:18; Phil. 4:19.

5. Learn To Regularly Pray About Our Trials - Col. 4:2; 1 Thes. 5:17 (Ill. Psa. 55:22; Psa. 62:8).

6. Learn To Rejoice In The Midst Of Trials - 1 Thes. 5:18; Eph. 5:20.

D. When the trials of life pick you up and squeeze you, the devil longs for you to produce lemon juice. He wants you get sour and bitter at God about your trials. For once, throw him the curve ball. When life squeezes you just continue to serve the Lord faithfully and to praise His wonderful name. If you want to make the devil mad, there is no greater way!

III. TRIALS WILL REVEAL THE CHARACTER OF YOUR FRIENDS

A. When the friends of Job arrived, they did not come with any words of encouragement for the suffering saint. If anything, they tried their best to push him farther down in his misery. Just a small sample of what they said to him is as follows.

1. Eliphaz - This is the man of Testimonial Experience. He has already been there and done that. No matter what you go through, this kind of person has had it worse. Know anyone like that? (Man will fail you, Jesus cannot - Pro. 18:24)

A. 4:3-4 He Flatters Job - Tells him what a blessing he has been, he really butters old Job up.

B. 4:5-11 He Flogs Job - He accuses him of Hypocrisy, v. 5,8; Weakness, 5-6; 10-11; Wickedness, 7-9.

C. 4:12-5:27 He Floors Job - Says that he is Self-righteous, 17; Not accepted by God, 5:1; Simply getting what he deserved, 5:13; Has a bad attitude, 5:17. In 15:2, Eliaphaz goes as far as to call Job and old windbag! There is more, but who needs a friend like that?

2. Bildad - This is the man of The Traditional Explanation.

A. 8:2 His Attack - He calls Job and old wind bag

B. 8:3-22 His Appeal - Bildad says that all these things happened to Job because he was a bad fellow.

3. Zophar - The man of the Total Estimation - He looks at the situation and simply tells Job that he needs to repent of his sins and get right with God, then these things wouldn't happen.

4. Elihu - The man of Truthful Expression - It takes this great talker 6 chapters to tell us that God is great and fair. He never does do Job any good.

B. Do you have any friends like these men? From time to time, we all have those around us that seem to do everything in their power to keep us in our places. They feel that it is their job to point out our failures and our shortcomings. God deliver us from friends like these! (Ill. Job's attitude toward his friends - Job 12:2; 13:4)

C. My whole point in saying these things has been to show you tht men will fail you. Our friends in this world are nothing but sinners like we are and are prone to failure, Psa. 146:3. However, Jesus Christ will never fail those who place their faith in Him - Deut. 31:6-8; Heb. 13:5; Pro. 3:5-6. There is a Friend who shall never fail - Pro. 18:24.

IV. 1:20-21; 42:10-17  TRIALS WILL CONFIRM YOUR FOUNDATIONS

A. In the end, Job was restored to the station he previously held - Job 42:10-17. God gave it all back.

(God restored everything!

1. Health

2. Finances

3. Family

4. Relationship with spouse

B. Life never goes as we plan it, but it never takes God by surprise! He knows the way we take and when we are tried, we shall come forth as gold, Job. 23:10. God knows how to take the worst that face and turn it into great victory in our lives. He may not give everything back just as it was, but you can count on the Lord to prove Himself faithful in your time of trial.

C. I believe that Job's great victory hinges on the fact that he never lost sight of God in his trial. Notice his actions in 1:20-21. He was a broken and humbled man, yet he was still able to exalt the name of the Lord and give praise to the God of Heaven. As long as you can still worship, you still have the victory! (Ill. Whether we live it or not, the victory is ours anyway - 1 Cor 15:17; Rom. 8:37.)

Conc: As you have faced the trials of life, I am sure you have seen the things proven true time and again. I do not know what valley you may be walking through this evening, but I do know a God who wants to help you get safely through it. Will you bring your need to Jesus this afternoon? Will you came before Him and lay it all down? Whatever the situation, whatever the trial, whatever the burden of need, please bring them to the Lord right now. Will you do that?

Sermon By Alan Carr

 



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