Faith Under Fire

May 8, 2022    Ron Barnard
There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless, a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil. He had seven sons and three daughters. He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area. Job 1:1-3 NLT

One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the LORD, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. “Where have you come from?” the LORD asked Satan. Satan answered the LORD, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.”
Job 1:6-7 NLT

And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Job 1:8 ESV

Satan replied to the LORD, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!” Job 1:9-11 NLT

“All right, you may test him,” the LORD said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the LORD’s presence. Job 1:12 NLT

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. 1 Peter 5:8-9 NLT

Fire tested faith is the strongest kind of faith.

Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. Luke 22:31 NLT

But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers. Luke 22:32 ESV

Our faith has an adversary, but it also has an advocate and He’s the King of creation.

One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger arrived at Job’s home with this news: “Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.” Job 1:13-15 NLT

While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, "Bolts of lightning struck the sheep and the shepherds. I'm the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.” Job 1:16 MSG

While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, "Chaldeans coming from three directions raided the camels and massacred the camel drivers. I'm the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.” Job 1:17 MSG

While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, "Your children were having a party at the home of the oldest brother when a tornado swept in off the desert and struck the house. It collapsed on the young people and they died. I'm the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.” Job 1:18-19 MSG

Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!” In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God. Job 1:20-22 NLT

Satan left GOD and struck Job with terrible sores. Job was ulcers and scabs from head to foot. Job 2:7 MSG

His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” Job 2:9 NLT

He told her, "You're talking like an empty-headed fool. We take the good days from God, why not also the bad days?” Not once through all this did Job sin. He said nothing against God. Job 2:10 MSG

Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. Job 2:11 ESV

I wish you'd shut your mouths, silence would be your only claim to wisdom. Job 13:5 MSG

God is mighty, but he does not despise anyone! He is mighty in both power and understanding. Job 36:5 NLT

Then the LORD answered Job from the whirlwind: “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Job 38:1-7 NLT

Can you direct the movement of the stars binding the cluster of the Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion? Can you direct the constellations through the seasons or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens? Do you know the laws of the universe? Can you use them to regulate the earth? “Can you shout to the clouds\ and make it rain? Can you make lightning appear\ and cause it to strike as you direct? Who gives intuition to the heart and instinct to the mind?\ Who is wise enough to count all the clouds? Who can tilt the water jars of heaven\ when the parched ground is dry and the soil has hardened into clods? Job 38:31-38 NLT

Then Job replied to the LORD: “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” Job 42:1-6 NLT

Job’s story is God’s statement that there’s no hurt or heaviness He can’t heal, no catastrophe beyond His comfort, and no life He can’t restore!

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

So the LORD blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. Job 42:12-13 NLT

Handling the challenges we face with faith will make redemption our reality and restoration our reward!