JESUS IS STILL LOVING YOU, EVEN IN THE MIDST OF YOUR STORM

JESUS IS STILL LOVING YOU, EVEN IN THE MIDST OF YOUR STORM

Job, the oldest book in the Bible, chronicles for us one man’s plight from Satan’s smite; and in the end, the only thing we see is our Father’s might. But in the midst of all that intellectual discourse and emotional rantings, one of Job’s friends, Elihu, said,

“God thunders marvelously with His voice;
He does great things which we cannot comprehend.” Job 37:5

Now, for us, we know that this is ‘old school’ thinking; for because of Jesus, things have changed.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

Indeed, “…God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Yet, even in the days prior to Jesus’ coming, before Jesus bore on Himself our sin and paid our price so that we may be able to stand blameless before our Father; even during the days of ‘do good, get good; do bad, get bad’, it is recorded for us that there were those who were able to see past the lightning and thunder, see past the apparent punishment and realize that even though,

“God thunders marvelously with His voice;
He does great things which we cannot comprehend.” Job 37:5

So just what great things does God do that we cannot comprehend? And what lessons do those things hold for us today? Let’s find out.

Taken in context, this verse came in the middle of a discussion that Job was having with His friends. You see, poor Job was the victim of Satan’s smiting and the object of God’s pride, for we remember that before anything happened,

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”
So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
Then 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 fears God and shuns evil?”
So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” Job 1:6-12

It was an ordinary day, the people of the world were minding their own business, and in Heaven, things were going on as usual. Then God decided to have a wager with Satan, just to show off just how good His creation was.

Now, I don’t mean to make light of any situation that we face here on earth. But if this recount is anything to go by, it is little wonder then that Paul says that when we are battling with trouble,

“…we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

Think about it, because God decided that He wanted to show Job off,

“Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house; and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided them and took them away—indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”” Job 1:13-19

He lost his property and children.

And that was just the beginning. Later on, Satan then “struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” Job 2:7

I don’t need to ask you to imagine how you will feel if you were in Job’s shoes because for some of us, we have been there and done that. We have suddenly lost it all before, and then some. And if we were ever left wondering why that all happened, Job gives us a good idea of just what ‘principalities, powers, dark rulers and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places’ were involved in rendering our situation.

But from Job, we can also draw comfort from the fact that when God allows these things to happen, it is because, like He does Job, He considers us, ‘blameless and upright, one who fears God and shuns evil’.

And just like Job, of whom it is recorded that

“In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” Job 1:22

That you are reading this and still have faith in God, that shows that He did not judge you wrongly, and indeed,

“…neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

But while we are going through our storm, it truly feels like

“God thunders marvelously with His voice;…” Job 37:5

We see the lightning of our troubles and hear the fear-inducing taunts of the world; and because we see not the dark powers, our simple minds make us think that all we are going through is due to the thundering of God, enraged by our misdeeds.

But you know what? Even if we think that way, here is the great thing that God does which we cannot comprehend.

“He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous;
But they are on the throne with kings,
For He has seated them forever,
And they are exalted.
And if they are bound in fetters,
Held in the cords of affliction,
Then He tells them their work and their transgressions—
That they have acted defiantly.” Job 36:7-9

Elihu realizes that even if we do wrong, even if we, the righteous children of God, who once were seated on the throne with kings and exalted, are now bound in fetters and held in cords of affliction, we are still righteous. Did you realize that? For you see, this is the fate of the unrighteous.

“He does not preserve the life of the wicked,…” Job 36:6

But does God kill off the righteous once they are bound in fetters? Does He wipe them off once they are held in cords of affliction? No. When that happens,

“Then He tells them their work and their transgressions—
That they have acted defiantly.
He also opens their ear to instruction,
And commands that they turn from iniquity.” Job 36:9-10

He uses affliction to guide the righteous back onto the path of righteousness. But all the while, the righteous never stopped being righteous.

This reminds me of the storm that Jesus’ disciples were in. Remember this?

“…when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.” Matthew 14:23-24

There was a storm and Jesus’ disciples were afraid. So afraid in fact that

“…when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.” Matthew 14:26

Now, we know just how much God values faith. So Jesus could very well have chided them for their lack of faith. But instead, what did He say?

“But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”” Matthew 14:27

But as with life, there’s always a doubter, isn’t there? We doubt God all the time. And in this case, the one doubting was Peter. And how did Jesus respond?

“And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”” Matthew 14:28-30

That man had the audacity to challenge God. But when push came to shove, Peter chickened out, didn’t he? But did Jesus reprimand Him?

“And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.” Matthew 14:31-32

You know, even in the time of Job, when God was ‘far away’ and not present in the flesh, Elihu could still sense His love during the storm. So what more now, that Jesus has come and has taken away all reason of condemnation from us, the righteous children of God in Christ?

As Jesus was with His disciples in the storm, so too is Jesus with you in each and every storm that comes your way. Some storms may indeed be instruments that He allows to show you the work of your iniquity. But you can rest assure that He will certainly open your ears to instruction, that you may turn and return.

So take heart if you are in a storm. Rest, for Jesus is with you. And when you feel like you are sinking, reach out, for He has most certainly stretched out His hand and will surely catch you.

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