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S.O.A.P. September 13, 2017

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September 12, 2017

Read: Job 1

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- Job 1:21-22- 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.

Observations- For some unexplained reason God allows Satan to test Job, a man of great character and integrity. Satan declares to God that the only reason Job worships him is because of his abundant blessings. If he lost most everything of value, Satan argued, Job would curse God, which doesn't happen here as Job experiences the worst possible wounds in life. He chose to praise God, even in the midst of profound loss and deep pain.

Application- Job is a book that asks about the meaning of suffering without giving any clear cut answers. The traditional understanding from much of the wisdom literature (like Proverbs) was that God blessed those with character and integrity and punished those who were evil. While this might well have been true in many instances, was it true in every instance? What about the exceptions? The Book of Job says, "Yes, but...what about this? How does this make sense?" Job takes the reader on a slowly unfolding (42 chapters) that ponders the fairness and justice of God. It reminds me that we have a God big enough to handle our questions as long as we can deal with not being given the answers we want to hear in the time frame we demand. The key point is that Job never leaves the conversation with the living God, and neither should we.

Prayer- God, there is so much I will never understand on this side of heaven. Be patient with me as I ask my question, wonder about how things all fit together, and struggle with the pain and suffering I see all around me. Help me learn to trust that You are good and with me and for me at every point along the journey of my life, in Jesus' name and for His sake. Amen.

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”           (John 16:33),

Pastor Jamie

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S.O.A.P. September 12, 2017

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September 12, 2017

Read: Job 2

Scripture- Job 2:13b- No one said a word to Job, for they saw his suffering was too great for words.

Observations- Job's friends arrived full of compassion to comfort and care for him in his deep pain and grief. "Sitting shiva" is the Jewish tradition of sitting silently and listening to another's sorrow. What a response to unbearable pain! When Job's friends began to talk with their explanations of God's ways and accusations of his sin and shortcomings, there was no more comfort for Job.

Application- What a timely word for us! When people we love or don't even know go through the whirlwind, we can open our ears, close our mouths, and hear their story. We can't "fix" anyone or take away a person's deep suffering, but we can walk alongside them, sit down with them, and be fully present with and for them as an expression of the way God- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit- is with and for us. Yes, physical help is vital and important in emergency situations, but some things can't "be made better" through such help alone. When you are tempted to all too quickly dole out advice, remember the tradition of sitting shiva.

Prayer- Lord, there are a lot of hurting people all over the world and next door. We want to be the hands, the feet, the voice, and the ears of Jesus for people in great need. We love You and will seek to live out the values of the Kingdom of heaven today with Your help and guidance. Thank You for Your grace that goes before us in every experience of life. Amen.

"Be happy with those who are happy and weep with those who weep." (Romans 12:15),

Pastor Jamie

P. S. - If you need help or can be of help to others, please let us know. Be safe. Be Jesus with skin on for others. Thanks.

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