Taken from Jobs time of suffering, we learn three perspectives of life when we face trials. Our difficulties can lead us to ask the right questions. Suffering can also lead us to listen to God for the right answers. And finally we can let our mourning bring us to a place of believing Gods answers to our questions. When we do these three things, we will experience the blessing and comfort of salvation.
Why do the righteous suffer? That is a question people have asked for thousands of years. We normally do not ask or even wonder when bad or evil people suffer, but why do good people suffer? Not only does the book of Job address that question, so do many other parts of Scripture. In fact, the issue of suffering comes up in nearly every book in the Bible. The Bible gives many reasons that help us understand why we suffer.
The Book of Job shares great insights on how to respond to lifes storms. When we first encounter suffering in our Christian life, we usually do not really understand why. As we grow and learn from the Bible, however, we begin to find many reasons why people suffer. Great benefits can come out of the trials we face, especially when we are able to stand firm in our faith through them.
The book of Psalms is biblical poetry of worship, praise and prayers. The Psalms have four major themes: psalm telling us about those who are blessed, psalms expressing the emotions we feel, psalms of worship, and psalms of prophecy of the coming Messiah. The best-known psalm, and most beautiful description of the relationship between God and man, is Psalm 23. This blessed man psalm portrays God as a wise and gentle shepherd.
The Psalms are Gods hymnbook of praise! Psalm 1, like many blessed man psalms, presents both positive and negative truths. We learn what blessed people do not do, and then what they do. Our convictions and our choices in life have a lot to do with how God blesses us. We learn how the godly are blessed and the ungodly are not. As we read the Psalms it is important to ask ourselves: Which one am I?
Many believe God should bless everyone regardless of the choices and the convictions they have made and held. But the Bible is very clear that many of the blessings from God are conditional. The blessed man is blessed because of his faith and his choices. The psalms promise blessings to those who love and fear the Lord and walk in His ways. Psalm 127 teaches how the family is one of the great building opportunities we are given by God.
Psalms with an emotional theme are often prayer psalms, where the psalmist is talking to God about human beingsusually himself. They teach us that when we bring our feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, discouragement, despair, or anything else to God, He helps us through those feelings and leads us into gratitude and worship. When we are experiencing emotional distress, we can always turn to Psalms and find rest, trust, and peace to overcome our stress.
David described the only appropriate way to enter into Gods presence is with thanksgiving and praise, and one of the best ways to express those attitudes is through music. In Gods presence, we can experience how good He is, we learn of His desire to be worshipped by all people in all nations, and we learn to joyfully serve Him. Worship leads us to greater depth in our relationship with Him and results in greater growth and fruitfulness for Him.
Hopelessness is a huge problem in our world, but Gods desire is for the hope He has planted within us to lead us to faith and a personal relationship with Him. God invites us to taste and see that He is goodto follow Him in obedience and trust His Word. Those who trust in God will be blessed as they grow strong in hope and faith as they experience Gods faithfulness to provide, protect, and deliver them.
The book of Proverbs is the most practical book in the Bible, so that Gods people might know how to live. Solomon was considered the wisest man in the world. Much of Solomons wisdom was learned from his failures. He wanted to teach young men not to do as he did. His purpose was for the wise to become wise leaders, the simple-minded to become wise, and for all people to discern how to live right.
The first four books of the New Testament are called gospels, which means good news. They are central to revealing Gods eternal plan: to redeem and save lost mankind. They are often referred to as biographies: Through them we gain a comprehensive insight into the life of a Man who only lived for 33 years, but who impacted the history of our world more than anyone who ever lived. The gospels declare Jesus the Christ, Gods greatest revelation of truth.
Jesus made two important statements: He has come to fulfill the Law of God, not destroy it, and the righteousness of those who follow Him should be greater even than the righteousness of the religious teachers of His time. Jesus says that to be part of His solution, His disciples have to know Gods Word and apply His teaching in their relationships: brothers and adversaries. Jesus teaches that we can control our passions before they influence us to disobey God.
The Sermon on the Mount is one of the key teachings of the Bible. Jesus preached this sermon on a mountaintop in Galilee when He challenged people who professed to be His disciples to be strategically placed between the love of God and the pain of the hurting people in the world. He challenged His disciples to partner with Him and be conduits of His love. He concluded His sermon with a call to commitment. It changed the lives of many who heard it.
The theme of Philippians is Living in Christ through fellowship. Let this mind be in you. Paul emphasizes the importance of humility in the fellowship of believers and to consider others higher than ourselves. He teaches that we can and should know and fulfill Gods good and perfect will for our lives. Paul also said, This one thing I do, I forget the things that are behind and I reach forward to those things which are ahead.
Salt is a preservative that keeps meat from spoiling, and Christians with the attitudes of Jesus are like salt to the world. When disciples with Christ-like attitudes are rubbed into the people of the world as salt is rubbed into meat, their influence will keep the world from total corruption. They become a valuable commodity Jesus uses to revolutionize the culture. The second metaphor indicates that Christians are the only source of light for multitudes living in darkness. As with the first metaphor, Jesus words literally mean that you and you alone are salt and light. If His disciples do not fulfill their role as salt and light, no one else is left to fulfill it. The people who have Jesus attitudes are sent into the world as Gods solution in order to shine for all to see.