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When dealing with loss

Charles Empey

A man named Job, whom a God devoted a whole book to, was the example of someone who has the worst of loss in life and all in one day. In one day Job lost all of his many children, all of his employees, and all of his wealthy empire. In one day!!! 

Job’s response stands-out in Scripture as supremely dignified — an amazing testimony to his faith — He said in Job 1:21 “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

If you and I were in charge of leading Job to write instead of God (II Tim. 3:14-17), you and I would at the least not had him write “…may the name of the Lord be praised.” 

You and I possibly instead would have demonstrated bitterness, but from Job’s heart God led him to write what was placed there by Him…” may the name of the Lord be praised.”

To make this tougher, Job’s wife replies that he should curse God and die. She was deeply bitter toward God about all of this, thus no consolation to Job. 

To make this tougher, Job became covered from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet with boils. Boils! Now his health suddenly without warning became a disaster. 

Now, literally, all is lost in his physical world. The pain and stench from the boils moved Job to the trash heap of the city where he took broken pottery pieces and scrapped the boils. Agony does not sufficiently describe Job’s circumstance.

To make things even tougher, we read that Satan, the accuser of the children of God, had come to God and wanted Him to challenge Job’s faith to prove that faith in God is not enough to get God’s children through even the worst. 

Because Job, it says, was an extremely faithful man to God, Satan wanted him to fall, so told God that if He pulled the dearest things in life away from Job, that Job would disown Him.  God, who knows the depth of each of His children’s faith, thus knowing what they can endure, if they are true believers, is not beyond testing it, proving to Satan and the world around us how powerful God’s saving grace really is in one’s life. 

God’s children, if not already doing so, can cling to Romans 8:28 in every day of life and every circumstance, negative or otherwise. 

My God has seen my wife and I through many difficult circumstances. For example, we lost two sons within 18 months to sickness four years ago. There are other things I could share, but that is one of the toughest for us.

Like many in Harvey and in this recent tropical storm, we have lost almost everything, even our two cars. 

It is physically and emotionally difficult, to say the least, and many of you are saying amen to this. 

For some true believers, it is spiritually daunting, as well. 

Just like the hard times of the days gone by through which God has brought us time and again as we stayed faithful, declaring “…the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (King James Bible) 

As Job’s faith held in the LORD, so has ours. This world has never been my home, but a place of trials.  It is heaven I cherish and long for in Jesus.

 

Charles Empey is Interim Pastor at Cove Baptist Church, Orange, Texas