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 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.
Jesus begins by teaching His disciples eight attitudes called, the beatitudes, or blessed attitudes, because each one is introduced by the word blessed. Jesus is promising to bless the disciple who has each of these attitudes. This word blessed can actually mean happy, spiritually prosperous, or in a state of grace. Each attitude also includes a promise that describes the form in which this blessing will come into the life of that disciple.
Many people think Jesus was contradicting the Old Testament in these verses, but He was only confronting the teaching of the religious leaders. He was telling His disciples: Everything I am teaching you is found in the Word of God, but what I am teaching is in direct conflict with what your religious leaders have been teaching you.
When we are meek, seeking Gods leadership, we develop a hunger for righteousnessthe desire to live our lives with the goal of pleasing God. We want to know what is right and do what is right. What you do and how you act are important to God. We are called to do what is rightnot just what is expedient. That is what it means to hunger and thirst for righteousness.
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.
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