Read: Job 14:14 |
James Robertson leaves his house at 8am Monday-Friday to get to work by 2pm. He lives 21 miles away from work and cannot afford to buy a car. For the past decade, he rides a bus for 14 miles and walks the last seven miles through sun, rain, sleet, and snow. He repeats the process to get home.
Undeterred by obstacles, he has never been late to his minimum wage factory job despite his 5-6 hour journey to work. Ironically, he spends more time getting to and from work, than he does working! I vote that James Robertson’s picture should be in the dictionary next to “unwavering”. [CNN article & update on James]
The story of Job highlights Job as an unwavering believer. In fact both God and Satan agree that he is “blameless and upright” at the beginning of the chapter. For this reason, Satan wants to prove that Job is only faithful because God has blessed him so much. God disagrees and allows Satan some leeway, twice, to prove his point. However, Job’s faith does not waver.
God steps in at the end of the book to remind Job and his friends of His omnipotence. God blesses and restores Job with more than he had before. The book gives us lessons on waiting upon God through our trials and tribulations with an unwavering faith.
Wavering faith creates a wobble in our faith walk
Satan first attacked Job’s property, possessions and even his children, to no avail. Satan then afflicted his flesh with horrible boils. By then, even his wife encouraged him to curse God and die. Though he had reason to wobble, he persevered, accepted his circumstances, and acknowledged God’s sovereignty.
Later, Job’s friends tried to advise him how to interpret his situation. They offer solemn “earthly” advice, which reflect little “heavenly” insight. On the other hand, their “words without knowledge” (Job 38:2) parallel many current popular opinions and beliefs. Job corrects and chides them for their negative ill-informed helpfulness.
The book teaches us that man has no idea what God is working on behind the scenes. When we are suffering or waiting for God’s providence and promise, we cannot begin to understand how it fits into God’s plan. For that reason, we have to find ways to encourage ourselves. Without hope, our faith can begin to wobble and throw us off-balance. We have to remember that God is still in charge even when all around us is sinking sand.
Unwavering grows with maturity
Job’s maturity helped him avoid spiritual shortsightedness.
Through it all, he was able to see God at work in his circumstances. He saw no need to rush to judgment, for he recognized that God was still in charge. He also foresaw that he needed to prioritize God’s needs over his own desires, appetites and emotions. This, in turn, allowed him to view things from an eternal perspective rather than the temporal short-term views proposed by his friends. [Based on Spiritual Shortsightedness – In Touch Ministries] His mature spiritual vision allowed Him to perceive that he could wait without his faith wavering.
Os Guiness, in his book In Two Minds, notes that to doubt is to waver between belief and disbelief – at the same time. James calls this “double mindedness” or as the Chinese say, “Doubt is standing in two boats, with one foot in each.”
Job avoided unbelief, he told his friends, ““Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15a NKJV)
Our responsibility to God is to obey Him, to trust Him, and to submit to His will whether we understand it or not. When we do, we will find God in the midst of our trials ready to comfort and guide us as he guided Job. Strive to avoid double-mindedness by setting our minds on God alone.
See topic outline of posts below
1. Discover –
A. Describe a time when your faith wobbled.
B. If the situation where to re-occur, would your faith waver again? Why or Why not?
2. Develop –
A. Our trials and tribulations are intended to prove us and strengthen our character (Romans 5:3-5). If we know this is true, why is it so hard to hang in there with God?
B. How have you grown in handling trials and tribulations –or– are there certain ones that trip us up each time? How can you overcome the challenges?
3. Demonstrate –
A. The theory of waiting on God is well documented and well discussed, but actually doing it where theory meets practice. While in the midst of waiting upon God, can others tell that your faith in God is unwavering?
Profiles on Waiting Outline
Postures we should adopt when waiting for/with/upon God
1. Wait on Time (link)
2. Watch for Him (link)
3. Wait by walking within Touching Distance (link)
4. Work while waiting upon God’s Answer (link)
5. Willful Waiting does not Wilt (link)
6. Weather the Storms while waiting under His Umbrella (link)
7. Wait with an Unwavering Faith (link)
8. Wait while avoiding the Quicksand of Worry (link)
9. Wait with the Weight on God (link)
10. Waiting leads to a Victorious Solution (link)