The Faith and Integrity Of Job
I have missed posting on Sunday!
I've had many thoughts, lessons I've learned, on my mind... clear back from when I was in UT even!
A few weeks ago we studied about Job at church. I love going to church and learning new things. It inspires me to come home and study on my own, search and listen, to learn what I personally need from the scriptures.
For today I want to share some thoughts I've had as I have studied and learned about this man and his story of patience, integrity and faith in God.
- There is an opposing force who knows us and is relentless in trying to break us.
I can't recall another place in the scriptures where it is illustrated that Satan converses with God for permission to test and try someone, to break them.
We know he does tempt us and try us, he was there with the Savior, trying to influence His choices.
I do believe part of this whole plan is that indeed we are in a realm where Satan has power to tempt and try us. I believe his purpose and design is to separate us from God, from the knowledge that we are God's children, that we are divine... He will try to break us...
Satan does know us, what things we struggle with, what our tendencies are, the potential that is inside of us. It seems he knew Job, but didn't recognize how deep his integrity ran, how deep his faith was. Satan seemed sure that all of the physical hardship Job would endure would, somehow sway his devotion and faith.
I am reminded that Satan is ever present, aware. My devotion, my faith is my own. There is a separation between what happens to me and my choice to remain faithful, devoted and full of integrity.
- Although life was difficult Job was sure of himself, his path, his integrity.
There are times we bring trials upon ourselves, by the choices we've made, because of the paths we've chosen. Some trials are experienced because of other's choices. I love that Job looks inward, reviews his behavior, his choices. He knows he is living in a way that is pleasing to the Lord, despite others judgement, even, about this subject.
Are my trials self inflicted? Is there something I can do to change my situation? If not, there is power in acceptance of that... that I am on the path that is pleasing to the Lord. So, pull up my big girl britches and march on, seeking comfort and power through the Lord.
I have a quote on my wall that says: There can be no happiness if the things we believe are different from the things we do.
I feel great peace, even through hardship, knowing I am living what I believe.
“Job’s statements about himself indicate an important reason why he continued to trust the Lord.
He knew that the course of life he was pursuing was pleasing to the Lord.
He also knew that he had maintained this course under considerable stress, which he also regarded as being a test from the Lord. Thus, Job, as a God-fearing man,
maintained his integrity not only to God, but also to himself, knowing that the two of them were in complete harmony. At the same time, his continuing trust in the Lord under such intense stress says volumes about the quality of the knowledge he had about the nature and character of the Lord whom he served." (Keith H. Meservy)
- 'Silence itself had become part of the test'
Do we feel like this at times?
I am doing as I should, things are hard, and I reach out to feel comfort from my Heavenly Father... and I just don't feel it.
Job experiences this at such a deep level, the feeling of loneliness, that God would not answer him, would not comfort him...
Though depressed in spirit, his faith still remains intact.
There is a difference between feeling depressed in spirit and faithless. When our spirit is feeling stifled, tired, beaten down, deflated do we lose our faith? I hope not.
I have lost that at times myself. I have let the depression of my spirit affect my faith. I have questioned my faith because of hardship. I have let go of hope because of pain, because I have felt the heavens closed to me. I have almost drowned, lost me.
As we begin let go of faith and clamor for something to hold to, to rescue us or relieve us, we often grab on to things that take us from that certain feeling of integrity.
How I admire Job and his ability to continue on... faithful.
I found this quote as I was studying.
I love it... the purpose of religion isn't to explain away why God does all that he does, or refrains from doing. How proud are we to think we'd understand it all? The purpose of religion, however is to provide us with some comfort along the way.
We may not understand the test, but we can know God. Even though sometimes the test is not feeling Him, we can know Him. Being sure in that knowledge, having faith in it, is the foundation of happiness... for me, at least.
Of course of less importance, but fun still... what I've been wearing to church!!!
You'd better believe I have loved being reunited with my closets after being away for so long!