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WHERE IS GOD WHEN I HURT

October 3, 2021

Sermon Series: Going Through Adversity

Book of Job

Sermon # 7

WHERE IS GOD WHEN I HURT?

Job 23:1-17


Introduction: Every time this country goes to war, sadly, we always find ourselves with a list of unaccounted for service people. We call these people “missing in action”, which we have shortened to MIA. Regardless of the reasons, they cannot be found or accounted for.

Have you ever had your world to seemingly turn ‘upside-down’ and when you prayed, you couldn’t seem to find God and felt like He was MIA? When you prayed, your prayers didn’t seem to get above the ceiling. I submit this was Job’s dilemma. Let’s look at him.

We read the words of THIS ONE MAN IN BIBLICAL history whom we KNOW was God’s pride and joy. In the words of Scripture, Job was a man of integrity, who feared God, and turned away from evil. He was the greatest man among all the people of the east. That truth is emphasized when God begins to brag on Job to none other than Satan. God tells Satan to consider, behold, and take a look at the one He was most proud of and pleased with. Satan, revealing the heart of mankind in his fallen state, says, “Let me at him.” This seems to be a truth which permeates our world. If someone is living large for the Lord, there will be someone close by who desires to pull them down.

I wonder what it would be like to be bragged on by God Almighty! “Look, that person is doing it right, my way, and I’m proud of him or her.”

We can go through the entire story of Job and learn many lessons, but there is one singular point which brings us back to the 23rd chapter of Job. It is important to notice that while WE know what God is doing; God does not even speak to Job for 37 chapters. Job, knowing in his heart, that he has not violated God’s Word and confidence, he is seeking to know what gives. Everywhere he looks he cannot seem to find God, it like God is MIA.

There is a piece about: Tell Me Where God Is Not

An agnostic college professor decided to have some fun with a small boy who was reading a Bible lesson. Trying to trip up the faith of the young lad, he said to him, “Tell me where God is, and I will give you an apple.” The boy replied, “I will give you a whole barrel of apples if you tell me where he is not.”

The omnipresence of God is one of the most basic truths of theology. The Bible clearly teaches that there is no place where God is not present. This is a foundational truth which Job seems to have forgotten. He claimed not to be able to find God in order to present his case before him. But the truth is that God, a spirit being, is present everywhere. Job could have presented his case at any time to God, who was readily available and always accessible. What Job desired from God, was already a reality to him. The problem was not with God but with Job. In this lesson today, Job is speaking from a broken heart, so he is saying, “WHERE IS GOD WHEN I HURT!

I.

JOB’S DESPAIR

v. 1-9

(Job’s bitter suffering drove him to seek God, but he did not find God)

A. My heart is pained v. 1-2

1. Job longed to meet God

2. He suffered terribly

B. My presentation is prepared v. 3-7

1. He sought after God

2. Job had confidence in God’s justice

C. My pursuit is futile v. 8-9

(Job was frustrated at not finding God)

1. In the east or west

2. In the north or south

As believers, no doubt we have all felt at times that God was absent when we turned to Him for help. We might have pleaded with the LORD for deliverance from some illness, sin, or terrible situation and received only silence. While there are many reasons for unanswered prayer----including some that lie within us---- the most common is simply God’s timing. God never fails to answer prayer, but he does not always answer us immediately.


II.

JOB’S DEPENDENCE

v. 10-12


A. God knows the path I take v. 10a

B. God tests the person I am v. 10b

C. God develops the purity I have v. 10c-12

Job knew God saw his innocence. Even though God was silent, Job acknowledged that the LORD still knew the way or path he took. In other words, God saw Job’s every step. To Job, God may seem hidden, but Job was never hidden from God.


III.

JOB’S DETERMINATION

v. 13-17


A. God is absolutely sovereign v. 13-14

1. Job knew that the LORD alone is God

2. Job knew that God is all-powerful and does as he please

B. Job is absolutely terrified v. 15-16

1. Job was terrified by the thought that he was destined to suffer

2. Job felt faint before God’s awesome power.

C. Job is absolutely determined v. 17

The darkness was Job’s suffering and, perhaps, also God’s silence. And though the darkness hid God from Job and hid the mystery of why he suffered, Job would not let the darkness silence him. He will continue to plead his case before God and beg God for his deliverance.


Job did not fully understand why God would let him suffer so severely, but he did have a partial understanding. He knew God was testing and trying him, seeking to strengthen his faith.


WHERE IS GOD WHEN I HURT?


Responsive Reading: Job 23:1-10-17



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