Central Christian Church Lampasas
LESSONS FROM JOB: Testing
What happens when life crashes in around you? How do you handle adversity? Join us Sundays at 10:30 AM as Pastor Nathan explores Jobs.
Locations & Times
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  • Central Christian Church
    204 S Broad St, Lampasas, TX 76550, USA
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Sunday, October 2nd
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Oct 19th -- Christian Women's Fellowship 9 AM
Women's Wednesday 6:00 PM
Oct 22nd -- Men's Breakfast 8 AM @ Country Kitchen
Oct 23rd -- Board Meeting
Oct 24th — Women’s More Event - 6:30 PM Old LMS Cafeteria
Oct 31st -- Neighborhood Block party 6-8 PM
JOB LESSON 1: TRIALS ARE USED BY GOD TO TEST US AND ALSO TO ALLOW US TO DEMONSTRATE FAITHFULNESS.

JOB LESSON 2: GOD CALLS ON US TO HAVE FAITH IN THE MIDST OF TRIALS.

The Hebrew word Nacah means testing or trial.

Peirasmos is the Greek word for trials. It means an experiment, a trial, temptation. Both senses can apply simultaneously (depending on the context). The positive sense ("test") and negative sense ("temptation") are functions of the context (not merely the words themselves).
Choosing faith in the midst of suffering will not stop the questions.

In the book of Job, two chapters of great faith are followed immediately by 35 chapters of great questions. In Job chapter 3 a man of great faith wished that he had never been born. He said that God’s way was hidden. He did not understand what was happening in his life and why it was happening in his life.

It is easy for us to give simple answers to those who are grieving or to say that we understand their grief. Counselors and pastors have found that the best way to help someone who is dealing with unspeakable tragedy is to be there with them and speak only when asked to speak. We often don’t know why someone is going through tough times, but we can be there for them. The church is to be with people in the good and the bad times. We are to love people when they are happy and when they experience great tragedy. People see who their friends truly are when their lives fall apart.

These times also remind us that we don’t have the answers. God does. We are creations who do not see as the Creator does. We do not what happens in the Heavenly Court and we have not seen the end of the story yet. Think about your favorite novels, TV shows, or movies. In the middle of each there is great conflict and uncertainty.

Michael Rabiger has directed or edited 35 films. He has the following to say about conflict in movies. Conflict is essential to drama, but can be defined in different ways and take many different forms. Conflict can come from external factors, from within a character, or arise from a combination of forces.

Person versus person (external conflict)
Person versus environment or social institution (external conflict)
Person versus a task they are compelled to undertake (internal and external conflict)
Person versus themselves, as in someone with conflicting traits or beliefs (internal conflict).

Job wasn't alone with his questions. Jeremiah couldn't preach without weeping, questioning how God could have allowed such despair.David wrestled with questions for years, especially while hiding from Saul and wondering if he'd even live to see the reign the prophet had said would be his. Remember how he began his Psalm 13?
Paul wasted two years in a prison cell in Caesarea, right in the middle of his best church-planting days. Maybe that's where he learned that the Holy Spirit would take over his desperate prayers, when he had run out of painful words.
Although Job was stricken with grief he knew that the Lord was more important than anything in this life. By the end of the book of Job, we see beauty from ashes and we see a man’s faith grown even deeper by his trials.

Job was nearly crushed by the pain of suffering. He tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell to the ground when he heard that his children had died (Job 1:20). His physical ailments were so painful, he used broken pottery as the instruments in his homemade surgery (Job 2:7)
Choosing faith in the midst of suffering will not create a "logical" reason for your suffering.

The book of Job presents one of the most unusual pictures in all the Bible. The God of all the universe entertains an audience with Satan. The subject of their celestial conversation is a nearly flawless man, and how he might be tortured. It's a test fit for the Roman Coliseum, and God Himself takes a seat to see how much of a beating the overpowered one can take. We don't like anything about the story. We don't like God having a conversation with the enemy. We don't like God watching from the sidelines. We don't enjoy the results of the blood-letting. Nothing about this story seems to make sense, and it certainly isn't satisfying.

That's part of the point. Suffering doesn't make sense, either. The more natural expectation in life is spelled out in the first paragraph of Job. We want for every new baby a good family, a good childhood, a good education, eventually a fulfilling and well-compensated job, a good home, and a retirement set against the sunset of a perfect life. We want the first paragraph of Job, which tells us this man was blameless, upright, righteous, and the greatest man among his people. He was a man who did without something we'd all like to do without. He was a man without suffering.

Our expectation of such a life soon collides with reality. Suffering comes well armed, with grief, hardship, misfortune, illness, crisis, tragedy and more. It pays no attention to age, sex, nationality, or the size of one's bank account.
In the midst of such hardship, faith is still an option, even if it appears illogical to choose faith. Choosing faith in the midst of suffering, as Job did, may look like insanity to all who watch. Job's friends tried mightily to find logic while they looked at the illogical comparison of great faith, and great suffering. Job's wife certainly didn't think highly of her husband's nonsensical faith. Her only lines in the book?
A lot of things about faith don't make sense to those outside the circle of faith. Eventually, God would work his greatest triumph through what appeared to be His greatest loss.
Despite all of the reasons why Job might not have chosen faith in the midst of his suffering, he chose faith anyway. By doing so, he made the better choice, by far, and survived his season of grief. His choices also illustrate the wonderful things faith will do for us, if we'll make the choice of faith in the midst of suffering.
Choosing faith in the midst of suffering will be a rare gift to God.

Anyone can sing a song of praise on the good days. All of us have. But it takes a person of tremendous faith, and tremendous spiritual maturity to sing those same songs of praise on the bad days. If you can pull it off, you will give God a precious gift of worship that may be unlike any gift you would ever give Him again.

Job was wise enough to know that God had controlled the good days, and the success of his life, just as surely as God was now controlling the bad days. Beyond that, Job learned a lesson that must be remembered in a time of suffering. Nothing about your present circumstances – be they good or bad – have changed the first thing about the nature of God. God is still the same today, just as He was the same yesterday, and the same He will be tomorrow. That God is always worthy of praise.

In the midst of the worst of it, when he knew so little that seemed secure, Job hung on to one truth.
Without the circumstances, we might not have remembered Job's words at all. Understanding how bad Job had it when he said such a thing is what makes the words memorable to us, and a precious gift to God.

Job wasn't the last man to give such a gift to the God who allowed terrible pain. Long before he wrote the words
On their first visit to Philippi, Paul and Silas were wrongly accused, beaten severely, and thrown into painful stocks in the town dungeon. What were they doing at midnight? According to the history of Acts 16, they were singing their songs of praise to the same God who'd let them go through a Job-like day.

During the midnight song service, a miraculous earthquake came with just enough power to free the men, but not kill them. That single day of suffering, coupled with the way two faith-driven men reacted to that suffering, created a church in Philippi that would help change the world. It was one of the greatest gifts either man ever gave their Savior. Had they missed the opportunity, they would have never had such a great harvest in that community.

The ultimate gift of worship in the midst of suffering? Watch Jesus as he struggled with the weight of the cross, the burden of the task, and the unspeakable pain of the crucifixion. Through it all, he committed to the will of the Father, and never let his Spirit be committed anywhere else.

If you're in the midst of suffering, you're also in the midst of an incredible opportunity. If you can worship now, the gift you give may be more valuable than it ever has been, or ever will be again.