I just finished Charles Swindoll's book on Job. in his last two chapters Swindoll, in his traditional way, gives us principles to live by.
What we learn about ourselves and others
- We don't know ahead of time the plans God has for us. Our god does know what is best. (Jer 10:23-24, 29:11-13: Prov 16:9, 20:24, Isa 55:8-9, Phil 4:6-7, James 1:2-4, I Peter 5:6-7). Be ready for anything in life. there is no guarantee that life will continue tomorrow as it is today. Our times are in His hands. (job 1:20-22).
- A vertical perspective will keep us from a horizontal panic. A strong vertical perspective fans the flame of passion. When hard times come it is easy to forget our vertical relationship and only concentrate on the horizontal problem at hand.
- Discernment (Job 2:10). Discernment is needed to detect bad advice from well-meaning people.
- When things turn from bad to worse sound theology help us remain sound and stable.
- Caring friend know when to come, how to respond and what to say. Unfortunately, Job's friends did okay on the first two items but when they opened theirs mouths it went downhill.
- Its easy to be Monday morning quarterbacks when we encounter another's outburst.
- The cultivation of obedient endurance is the crowning mark of maturity. Growing up and growing old should walk hand in hand.
What Job teaches us about our God
- There is nothing God cannot do (job 42:2). God's power is infinite and independent, self-energized and never depleting.
- It is impossible to frustrate God's purposes (job 42:2b). There is nothing out of control with God.
- God's plans are beyond our understanding and to deep to explain (Job 42:3). God doesn't reveal His grand design He reveals Himself.
- Only through God's instruction are we able to humble ourselves and rest in His will (job 42:4-6, I Pet 5:6-7).
- when the day of reckoning arrives, god is always fair. God never forgets He just doesn't adjust His plan to our timetable.
- No one can be compared with God when it comes to blessings (Job 42:9-15). Grace doesn't wait for works to catch up. God doesn't bless perfect people only imperfect ones.
- Only god can fill our final years with divine music that frees us to live above our circumstances. God's unmerited favor frees us. It enables us to live fully for Him.