October 30th, '18
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message by Kris Jackson
not my help in me?" (Job 6:13)
He pitched camp in an ash pile, attacked in his
finances, all wealth liquidated in a single afternoon, attacked in his family,
seven sons and three daughters snuffed out in a freak storm, attacked in his flesh,
stricken with boils from the crown of his head to the sole of his feet, and the
ultimate stakes, attacked in his faith, could he hang on to God through
such difficulty? Job had lost nearly all. Where would he find help? His friends
were suspicious and critical. He begged an encouraging word. "To him that is
afflicted pity should be shown from his friends" (6:14), but there was none.
His family was dead, except for a neurotic wife who urged, "...curse God and die"
(2:9). Brilliant advice from the better half. And God seemed distant,
even seemed an enemy. "For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison
whereof drinketh up my spirit..." (6:4) Imagine that, poisoned by God? The worst
brand of poison is the poison of doubt. Put the skull and bones label on that
emotion because it is spiritually lethal every time.
To survive Job had to tap into something
deeper. Time to flip the lever on the reserve tank. "Is not my help in me?" He
looked way inside. In context that sounds like more doubtful questioning but
really it became the key to his survival and recovery. Like Job, you and I have
a "within". David praised, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within
me" (Psalm 103:1). As there are rivers beneath the earth that can be tapped by
the well-digger, we too have an unseen supply that is there for crisis times.
The Pentagon has a "strategic oil reserve" for the heat of battle. The wise
virgins in the parable brought enough extra oil to burn through the
night (Matthew 25:4). Paul proclaimed, "For I know this shall turn to my
salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ"
(Philippians 1:19). It's wise to check the fuel level before the attack, not
wait until after and chance being caught sitting on empty.
Though it wasn't immediate, Job did after a few
days, shift to the reserve tank and tapped his hidden inner strength, what Paul
had in mind when he prayed that we might "be strengthened with might by his
Spirit in the inner man" (Ephesians 3:16).
First he mustered praise. When pressure rises,
praise rises. The "joy of the Lord is our strength" so we counter his attack
with attitude. Amid all that hit him Job "fell down upon the ground, and
worshiped" (1:20). Satan gains no headway when we maintain humility before God
seasoned with a thankful heart. Next, he decided to trust or bust.
"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him..." (13:15) Believing that God was
too good to do wrong Job decided to rest in His hands and ride out the storm.
Third, he talked faith in the face of fear. Fear cancels faith, faith casts out
fear. Job confessed, "I know that my redeemer lives!" (19:25) In the day of
adversity we are prone to say what we think rather than what we know. "I think
we are going under. I think God is out to get us". Contrariwise, the inner
reservoir bubbles up with confidence saying, not "I guess" or "I hope", but "I
know!" Once you know something then you "know" something. Faith then becomes
concrete. Finally, but hardest to perform, Job chose endurance over escape.
"Behold, we count them happy that endure. You have heard of the patience of
Job, and have seen the end of the Lord: that the Lord is very pitiful, and of
tender mercy" (James 5:11). Job held on. The reserve tank was enough to get him
home. Be warned that you can't live off reserves forever. Prayer, worship and
feeding on the Word are our fuel-ups. But when crossing the desert and it is
two-hundred miles to the nearest station, be assured that the Holy Spirit will
be your backup. "Is not my help in me?" If you have Him I would answer...yes.