Tag Archives: contentment

(Job 37-42) Blessed Be The Name of the LORD

So after God spoke and Job repented, God blessed Job with even more material blessings than he’d had before the trouble began. Doesn’t that seem to support the prosperity gospel so appealing to so many theses days? If you say the right thing, manufacture the right faith, BOOM – you win the lottery. Makes me want to get my checkbook out and write a big one to Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Peter Popoff, Kenneth Hagin, and the like. Let that “seed money” do its thing.

I’ve sat here for quite a while this morning, trying to make sense of this because I don’t believe the property gospel is Biblical. I can think of many examples of believers who struggle physically and financially, yet consider themselves blessed. I believe the above mentioned public figures are charlatans. But the health and wealth gospel seems to be here in Job’s life. I went to the internet and read things from sources I trust, and even from sources I consider questionable to try to make sense of this passage.

Then I prayed.

Yeah, I know. I got that backwards, didn’t I?

God seemed to point me back to chapter one. And I was reminded that the book of Job is not primarily about suffering or loss, or even restoration. It’s about worship. Remember Satan challenged God on the idea that Job worshiped God because his life was easy. Satan’s premises was that if things turned for the worst in Job’s life, he would stop worshiping God.

The book of Job is full of imagery. We see pictures of nature, of creation, God’s supremacy, and His intelligence which is far above our own. We hear Job question, and can almost feel his agony. But what we don’t see is Job turning his back on God.

In fact, in the end, Job confesses his sin and falls on his face before the one true God as he realizes God’s ways are far above our own, and that through it all, God can be trusted.

However, as demonstrated in the book of Job, God delights in blessing his obedient children. Job once again enjoyed a materially blessed life. He had other children to fill his household. His physical problems were behind him. But here is what I think God pointed out to me today: Job wasn’t blessed because of things. He was blessed by his relationship with God. Remember what he’d said from the beginning?

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. (1:21)

If we make the book of Job about material blessings, we miss the point. The question asked and answered in these chapters is: is God worthy of praise and worship no matter the circumstances of life?

The answer is a resounding YES! Read what God says about Himself as He asks Job those probing questions. Is He worthy?

Paul told the church in Philippi (4:11-13)

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength.

That’s the message from Job’s life. Is it your experience as well, or are you waiting until your ship comes in before you truly worship God?

I pray we will all bow before our Creator God who is holy and righteous and does all things well. I pray that no matter what our struggles or disappointments or challenges or devastating circumstances, we will with Job continue to say:

Blessed be the name of the LORD.

Not because we think saying that will get us out of our trouble or move us to Easy Street. May we say it believing it’s true because:

The NAME of the LORD is worthy.

December 17

I Timothy 3-6

I’ve often said that if I ever win the lottery the first thing I’ll do is buy an ocean front home on my favorite Georgia island. If I ever win the lottery it’ll truly be a miracle. I’ve never bought a ticket.

So many people are looking for some kind of windfall. Maybe they spend thousands of dollars on the lottery or maybe they jump from job to job expecting the next one to be the one where they’ll bring in the big bucks. Some even compromise on what they know is right in order to get ahead. How much money is enough?

Paul said if he has food and clothing he is content. He makes it plain that godliness is not a means to financial gain and anyone who says it is has a corrupt mind. (6:5) “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap… For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil”. (6:9&10)

The Bible tells us to do everything as though we were working for God. It’s not wrong to work hard and expect compensation for our effort. It’s not wrong to work for a promotion if God can be glorified in the effort. But what is your motivation?

In chapter 6 verse 11, Paul tells Timothy to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. I don’t see anywhere where it says to pursue a six figure income. Being rich is not a sin. But if riches are your focus – that is a sin.

Can you be content with having food and clothing? Can I? Let’s not forget that there are some people in our world who would consider themselves quite rich if they had warm clothes, a place to call home, and a full stomach. So just how rich are you?

Father, I pray that my priority will always be you. Thank you for blessing me with everything I need. Forgive me if I look with envy at those who live in those million dollar condos on the beach. I don’t ever want to seem ungrateful for all you have given me. May I pursue the things that matter – righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness, and eternity with you. And, Lord, show me how I can help others who have financial struggles and may you find me faithful.

June 10

Ecclesiastes 11&12; Psalms 73&88; I Kings 11:41-43, 14:21; 2 Chronicles 9:29-31, 12:13&14

What is Solomon’s conclusion to his experiment? After who knows how many years of earnestly seeking happiness and meaning what is his answer?

Ecclesiastes 12:13&14 say:

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

Solomon came to realize late in life that it’s all about God. He challenges young people to remember their Creator before the days of trouble come. Wisdom, pleasure, wealth, religion, morality, living for yourself are all meaningless. 

I hope Solomon found joy at the end of his life. I hope he turned back to God and repented of his wasted years. The Bible doesn’t really say. It just tells us Solomon died after leading Israel for forty years and was buried in the City of David. 

I don’t know where you are in life but I do know it’s never too early or too late to turn to God. If you are finding your life has no meaning, if you cannot find joy and contentment, Solomon and I would suggest you are looking in the wrong places.

Jesus died to give your life meaning. He longs to fill you with his joy. Just accept it. Repent of selfish ambition or misguided efforts. Recognize sin and lay them at his feet. I promise you will find the most amazing meaning to life .

It’s in God alone.