20 Then Job aose and (Z) tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 He said,
"(AA) Naked I came from my mother's womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The (AB) Lordgave and theLord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord. "
22 (AC) Throughout all this Job did not sin nor did he [m] blame God. (Job 1: 20-22, NASB)
As I sit here preparing for my sister's funeral I am reminded of a sermon preached at the funeral of another close relative. The preacher was also a relative and he also drew his topic from the above text. The topic was posed as a Question: Can God Trust You With Trouble? Out of all of the multitudinous sermons I've heard and preached, this one resonates through my soul fluently and incessantly. What I have learned is my faith is not substantiated by the fruit of my acquired moments. It is not justified by the bounty I have accumulated. My faith is validated and confirmed in the mid of trials and adversity. So today I pose the same question to you: Can God trust you with trouble?
When we look at Job in the whole of this passage we see a man that has lived his life in a way that was auspicious to God. In fact, God gives Job One of the most stellar reviews of anyone in the Bible. Let's look at how God describes Job in chapter 1.
8 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, one who [reverently] fears God and evil from and shuns evil [because it is wrong] ? (Job 1: 8, AMP)
God uses words like blameless and upright to describe Job. I want you to take notice of something extremely relevant to the apprehension of this message in full. At the very same time that God is giving Job this sparkling pure review, He is volunteering him for the spiritual and physical hail storm of the ages. "Have you considered my servant Job ..." God is saying to Satan if you are looking for someone to test, I volunteer Job. Understand this; If God volunteers you, you are definitely prepared for the moment.
Why would God offer up His best to end the worst? I will tell you why. In the legal world whenever there is a testimony given the opposition has the right to cross examine. In other words, the testimony is not allowed to simply stand on its merits, it must hold up under cross examination. The same is true with the Christian life. When you make your proclamation of faith you must understand that at some point your testimony will be cross examined by the vicissitudes of life. No matter how tight you walk the line. No matter how often you pray. Irregardless to the depth of your scriptural knowledge, you are going to have to end the cross examination of the enemy.
For all of Job's loyalty he reaped disaster. For all of His righteous living he encountered darkness. For every passionate prayer he prayed he was met with news of death and loss. As we move through the book of Job we learn that he did not understand his heartache. He could not lay a finger on its source; however, the one thing he knew is that he had not done anything to deserve it. Wait, maybe he did. When you live within the will of God and walk in your purpose, you put yourself dead in the crosshairs of the enemy. When you make your proclamation of God I live and for God I die, you become public enemy # 1.
The scriptures tell us that in all of this, Job did not sin. Not only did Job refrain from sinning, but he found a way to praise God in the middle of his pain. When I think about this, that same question keeps driving in the back of my mind: Can God trust you with trouble? When all of the eloquent words in the world can not rescue you, and the unadulterated force of the enemy is indebted against you and your loved ones, will God be able to trust you with that pain?
When you can not pray away the loneliness, will you still praise? When you can not speak away the darkness will you still show gratitude? When in return for your love your friends become your accusers, will you still proclaim the greatness of God? Oh, it's easy to shout his praise when all is well in your life, but when the phone rings only to bear more bad news, can you still sing of his worth?
Your legacy will be established through the way you engage your trials. Your greatness will be unveiled as you press inexporably toward your mark. Will your story reveal your valor or that you simply folded under the pressure? God wants to trust you with trouble. Well, can He?