I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.
Here we are in July, I want to begin by wishing everyone a happy and safe Independence Day. I encourage you to take a few moments, reflect on our Declaration of Independence, or better yet read it and remember the faith, dedication, and determination of our founding fathers.
Since March 2020 America has been dealing with one issue after another and it appears to me that many of us have forgotten how to deal with each other. There seems to be a lot of finger-pointing and name-calling. There is killing, violence, rioting, and looting. Some of this comes from evil and some of it comes from emotion. God's word gives us sound wisdom for dealing with what appears to us to be unfair circumstances.
The Bible tells us Job was a righteous man yet God allowed things to happen in his life that seemed very unfair. My background scripture for this month is Job 19:1-7 & 19:23-29 and my key verse is printed above, Job 19:25.
Within our justice system is the concept of presumption of innocence (also known as innocent until proven guilty), this isn’t something invented by America, it goes back many centuries. In the simplest form, it means the burden of proof is on the prosecution to honestly prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Yes, this practice allows from time to time a guilty person to walk free but it is one of the best safeguards to keep innocent people from being unjustly convicted.
Job believed in this type of justice. There was one problem, as far as Job could tell his friends were not extending the benefit of the doubt to him. After seeing Job his friends seemed to presume him guilty until proven innocent.
We may remember going through times like these when it seemed we were being punished for no reason. Through this frustration, we pour out our hearts to God and nothing seems to change. People close to us may think we deserve what we are getting. Family and friends become desensitized to our situation. Never give up, hold on to the hope God will do something about the problem. This is where we find Job.
The story of Job is a lengthy one, if you haven’t read it I suggest you take time and do so, you will receive many blessings from his testimony. From his story we learn that over time Job developed a complaint, how long will this continue? Job was counseled by three friends who gave some very bad advice. They were convinced Job’s troubles were of his own making, they accused him of sin and told him God was punishing him.
There is a twofold lesson here. First be careful who you seek counsel from making sure they are capable of giving sound godly advice, free from their personal opinion. Second, you maybe ask at some point to give counsel, if that happens prayerfully take time to understand and be sensitive to the one asking you for help. If you cannot approach the person with an innocent until proven guilty attitude then you better refer them elsewhere. Then pray for them and yourself as they seek answers.
So how does Job 19:25 fit into all of this? Job was resilient in reaching for hope when there seemed to be no hope. He knew God as a kinsman-redeemer, someone Job needed in his life and that redeemer would be standing when everyone and everything else was gone. Is God your redeemer today? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If not I want to encourage you to do so, you know He is calling you to salvation, why continue to reject Him. I have talked with many folks who have walked away from church because of circumstances like Job went through. Let me encourage you to be resilient, get back in church, look to your redeemer, and place your hope in Him.
The testimony of Jobs's faith gives us reason to hope! When it seems as though our world is falling apart, we can draw strength from the fact we have Jesus and His promise to never leave us or forsake us, His promise of a resurrection. If Job could find faith in his day and his situation then we should be able to do the same. We can learn from Jobs's testimony on how to deal with others during difficult times and how to lean on God daily with faith and resilience. What about the other people, the friends of Job? Let God deal with them, Job did and everything turned out fine. Until we meet again, in person, or print may God Bless you is my prayer.