Lord, Your power is greater than the power of Satan. Help us never to forget this. Satan is “roaming through the earth”, “prowling around like a roaring lion, seeking for someone to devour” (Job 1:7; 1 Peter 5:8) – but he can only do what You allow him to do (Job 1:12; Job 2:6). When Satan seems to be getting the upper hand, remind us that You’re the One who’s in control – not him!
What are we to do when, like Job, we find ourselves sinking into a state of deep depression? Help us, Lord, to remember Jesus. Help us to remember His suffering. He suffered for us. He suffers with us. We thank You that Jesus knows how we feel. He’s been there. He went to the Cross – for us. Behind His suffering, we see His love. In our suffering, we need Jesus. We need His love. Without His love, things will only get worse. Thank You for Jesus – for His love and His help.
Lord, we read about Eliphaz. We see so much pride. We don’t see much love. Satan is speaking through Eliphaz. Help us not to listen to Satan. He’s trying to put us down. He’s trying to keep us down. Help us to listen to the voice of Your love. Your Word lifts us up. Help us to look to You, to be lifted by You, and to give all the glory to You.
We read about Job, going through hard times. We remember Jesus, suffering for us – ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? At the Cross, there is no Voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’ (Mark 15:34; Matthew 3:17). Job is suffering. Jesus is suffering. What are we to make of this? Where are You, Lord, while all this is happening? What are You doing about it? We remember the words, spoken by Jesus to His enemies, shortly before His crucifixion: ‘This is your hour, and the power of darkness’ (Luke 22:53). You allow Satan to have his ‘hour’. ‘The power of darkness’ appears to have the upper hand. This is not the end of the story. There is ‘a happy ending’. Job is raised from his depression (42:10,12). Jesus is ‘raised’ from the dead (Acts 2:23-24). Help us, Lord, to look beyond what’s happening to us right now. Help us to catch a glimpse of the glorious future for which You are preparing us.
We read the words of Bildad. He speaks as a ‘know-it-all’. He sees what has happened to Job, and he thinks, ‘Job must have forgotten God’. He fails to see that not forgotten God You. Help us, Lord, to see that bad things can and do happen to people who love You as well as people who don’t love You. When things are going badly, help us, Lord, to remember Your long-term purpose. You’re preparing us for ‘eternal life’ (Matthew 19:29). Help us to look beyond our sufferings. They are ‘slight and short-lived’. Help us to look ahead to the ‘eternal glory that is greater than anything we can imagine’ (2 Corinthians 4:17).
What are we to do, Lord, when, like Job, we think that You are “against” us (Job 10:2)? Where do such negative thoughts come from? Do they come from You? No! They come from Satan, the “accuser ” of Your people (Revelation 12:10). When Satan attacks us, help us to remember that You love us, that Jesus died for us, that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”, and that “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 5:8; Romans 8:1; Romans 8:37).
We read, Lord, about Job – “a righteous and blameless man! (Job 12:4). He was suffering, and he was confused. Was He being punished by You? That’s what Zophar was telling him – Job must have done something pretty awful to deserve this. You, Lord, were saying something very different – “My servant Job” (Job 1:8). When Satan is hurling his accusations at us, help us, Lord, to keep on listening to what You’re saying to us. May the voice of Your love lift us out of the pit of our despair.
Sometimes, Lord, we need to say, “The less said, the better.” We read what Job said about his ‘friends’ – “Oh that you would keep silent, and it would be your wisdom!” (Job 13:5). We feel for Job. From his ‘friends’, there was nothing but one accusation after another. What was he to do? What are we to do? We turn to You, Lord. Can we look beyond our suffering? Is there something better? – “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). We thank You, Lord, for the answer of faith: “I know that my Redeemer loves … Even after my skin has been stripped off my body, I will see God … ” (Job 19:25). Help us, Lord, to look to Jesus, the risen Lord, to hear His Word of triumph: “Death is swallowed up in victory”, and to offer to You our joyful praise – “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:20,54,57).
Lord, we feel the pain of Job. He’s been listening to Eliphaz. Now, Job says, “how often have I heard all this before! What sorry comforters you are!” (Job 16:1). Job needed “words of encouragement” (Job 16:5) – but he didn’t get them from Eliphaz. Where, Lord, does true comfort come from? It comes from the Holy Spirit – “the comforter” (john 14:26). Help us, Lord, to listen to the voice of the Spirit – and to speak with His voice, the voice of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
“There is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure” (Job 16:17). We wonder, Lord, ‘Is this no more than Job’s own opinion of himself?” Your Word tells us that it’s also Your view of Job: “My witness is in heaven, and He that vouches for me is on high” (Job 16:19). As we read about Job and his suffering, Help us to think about ourselves. How do we react when suffering comes our way? Do we become bitter – blaming You and turning away from You? Or, do we become better – “the righteous holds to his way, and he that has clean hands grows stronger and stronger” (Job 17:9)? How, Lord, can we become better – and not bitter? It’s Your love that changes us (Romans 5:3-5). It’s Your love that lifts us when we feel like we’re falling down. Lead us, Lord, out of the bitter way and into the better way.
“How long will you torment me, and break me in pieces with words?” (Job 19:2). Lord, we read Job’s reply to the harsh words, spoken by Bildad, and we ask, “What about us? What effect do our words have on other people? Lord, You speak to us about our use of words “The tongue is a fire … set on fire by hell …With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, this should not happen!” (James 3:6,9-10). As we think about what You are saying to us, help us to pray that “our conversation will be always full of grace” (Colossians 4:6). Lord, may our words “bring a blessing to those who hear” them (Ephesians 4:29).
“I know that my Redeemer lives … In the end He will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25-26). Lord, we read these great words of faith, spoken by Job, and our thoughts turn to Jesus. We think of His resurrection – He “has risen” from the dead” (Matthew 28:6). We think of His return – He will return “with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). We think of “our redemption” – “When He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is”; “We shall always be with the Lord” (Luke 21:27-28); 1 John 3:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:17). We think of all of these things – Christ’s resurrection, His return, our redemption, and we give to You, Lord, our thanks, our praise, our hearts and our lives. To You, Lord, be all the glory!
Lord, we read Zophar’s detailed description of “the wicked man’s portion from God, the heritage decreed for him by God” (Job 20:29). We wonder if Zophar has ever thought of asking the question:’ Help us, Lord, to learn from Zophar ‘Does all of this apply to Job? Is Job a wicked man? Is Job being punished by God? Help us, Lord, to learn from Zophar’s mistakes. Help us to listen to what You’re saying to us before we start telling other people what we think You should be saying to them. may our words be Gospel words – words of love, words of encouragement, words of hope. May our words bring glory to Your Name, the Name of love, the Name of Your salvation.
Lord, we sense Job’s deep disappointment, as he says to his ‘comforters’, “How then will you comfort me with empty nothings? There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood” (Job 21:34). We thank You, Lord, that Job was looking beyond his ‘comforters’. He was looking to You: “He knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). When life is hard, and it’s difficult to understand what’s going on, help us to hold on to Your promise: “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount uo with wings like eagles … ” (Isaiah 40:31).
Lord, we read Job’s question: “Would He contend with me in the greatness of His power?” We also read his answer: “No; He would give heed to me” (Job 23:6). We thank You that You are not only the God of great power. You are also the God of great love. If You, Lord, were nothing but power, we would have good reason to be terrified of You. At the Cross of Jesus, we see how much You love us. In Jesus’ resurrection, we see Your power. It’s not just the power to do strange and mysterious miracles. It’s the power of Your love – the love that lifts us when we’re down, the love that leads us on to a life, in which there will be “no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4).
Lord, life can be so confusing. We see Job, trusting in You – “he knows the way that I take … ” (Job 23:10). we also hear him saying, ” … the Almighty has terrified me … ” (Job 23:16-17). where, Lord, do these negative thoughts come from? Do they come from You? No! They come from Satan! This is not “the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7). This is the fear that comes from Satan What are we to do when fear threatens to overwhelm us? What are we to do when fear threatens to destroy our trust in You? We look to You, Lord. You “have not given us a spirit of fear.” You’ve given us Your “Spirit of power and love.” You give us “a sound mind.” Help us, Lord, to keep on looking to You. May Your “perfect love cast out our fear” (2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18).
Lord, we hear biting sarcasm in Job’s response to his ‘comforters': “How you have helped him who has no power! How you have saved the arm that has no strength!” (Job 26:2). We hear Job’s searching question: “With whose help have you uttered words, and whose spirit has me forth from you?” (Job 26:4), and we pray, “Lord, help us to listen for the voice of Your love – and not to be deceived, discouraged, and distressed by words that come to us from Satan.”
“The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding” (Job 28:28). Give to us, Lord, the wisdom that is centred on Christ, the wisdom that receives “salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”, the wisdom that leads us to become “mature in Christ”, the wisdom that is Christlike, the wisdom that gives glory to Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30-31; 2 Timothy 3:15; Colossians 1:28; James 3:17).
When, Lord, we start wondering, ‘Why are these bad things happening to us?’, help us to start thin king something else: “Why have You blessed us with so many good things?” (Job 30:27,31; Job 29:4-5). Help us, Lord, to thank You for Your good days, and to trust You in our bad days.
“Job … was blameless and upright, one who feared God, and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1). Again and again, Lord, we fall far short of this ideal (Romans 3:23). How can our sins be forgiven? How can our guilt be removed? We thank You that “the blood of Jesus, Your Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). This is more than having our sins forgiven. You, Lord, are leading us n the paths of righteousness. Create in us a deeper longing to become more like Jesus, our Saviour – and help us to give all the glory to You (Psalm 23:3; Psalm 51:10).
“Understanding” comes from “the breath of the Almighty” (Job 32:8). “God does speak – now, one way, now another – though man may not perceive it” (Job 33:14). We thank You, Lord, that You have spoken to us through Your Word. You still speak to us through Your Word. It’s Your Spirit who brings Your Word to us. We do not always understand what You are saying to us. There is always more than we can take in. When, Lord, we feel that we’re out of our depth, help us to keep on listening, to keep on believing – and to pray for “understanding” that will lead to new life; q life that is grounded in the Scriptures, a life that is centred on the Saviour, a life that is filled with the Spirit, a life that brings glory to You.
When things are going well, help us to remember to say, “Thank You, Lord.” When things start going badly, help us to remember that You are still with us – and You haven’t stopped loving us. You haven’t left us on our own. You’re there beside us, every step of the way. In all of life – our times of suffering as well as our times of blessing, draw us, Lord, closer to Yourself and give us this powerful testimony; “He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I shall love to enjoy the light” (Job 33:28-30).
“If you have sinned” (Job 35:6). Help us, Lord, to think about Job, about Jesus, and about ourselves. “Job feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1). Job wasn’t being singled out for special punishment, because he was much more sinful than anyone else – but this doesn’t mean that he had never sinned (Job 7:21; Job 13:26). Help us, Lord, to look beyond Job to Jesus. He did not sin (Hebrews 4:14-16) – but He did suffer: “He suffered for us … He bore our sins … He died for us … He died for our sins” (1 Peter 2:21-24; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus, our Saviour. When we sin, help us to come to Jesus. He is our “Redeemer” (Job 19:25). He gives us “quietness” and “songs in the night” (Job 34:29; Job 35:10). Help us, Lord, to “be still and know that You are our God.” Help us to “shout for joy to You” (Psalm 46:10; Psalm 98:4).
“God is mighty, and does not despise any” (Job 36:5). Lord, You are great in power. You are great in love. How sad it would be if You had great love for us, but did not have the power to save us. How terrifying it would be if You had great power, but had no love, in Your hear, for us. What a joy it is to know that You are both the God of great power and the God of great love. You are “abundant in power.” You “heal the broken-hearted and … lift up the downtrodden.” We think, Lord, about Your great power and Your great love, and we say, “Praise the Lord!” We “sing to You with thanksgiving.” We “make melody to You.” We “sing praises to You” (Psalm 147:1-7).
“The Almighty is great in power and … He does not oppress” (Job 37:23). Lord, Your power is loving power. Your love is powerful love. We see Your power in Jesus – “He is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God through Him” (Hebrews 7:25). We see Your love in Jesus – “I will never turn away any one who comes to Me” (John 6:37). In the world, we see the love of power. It’s a very destructive thing. In Jesus, we see the power of love. Hew uses His power to show us His love. He shows us His love when, through His mighty power, He saves us. Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. What a great Saviour He is!
Lord, we do an awful lot of talking about ourselves, and not very much listening to You. When it seems to us that our problems are bigger than Your power, help us to start listening to what Your Word is saying to us. There are many questions for which we have no answers – Why has this happened to us? Why did it turn out this way? Why this? Why that? When, Lord, it seems to be all questions and no answers, help us to remember this: “I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2).
“I am unworthy – how can I reply to You? I put my hand over my mouth … I have no answer … I will say no more” (Job 40:3-5). When, Lord, You speak to us about sin – “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, we have nothing to say in our own defence: “every mouth is silenced” (Romans 3:23,19). We thank You, Lord, that, when You speak to us about our sin, You also speak to us of Your love, the death of Christ for our sins, the forgiveness of our sins and the cleansing of our hearts and lives (Romans 5:8; 1 John 1:7-10).
“Who can stand before Me?” (Job 41:10). Lord, You put this question to every one of us. There are two answers to this question. The first speaks to us of our sin. The second speaks to us of our Saviour. When, Lord, You speak to us of our sin, it’s bad news: “There is no-one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). When You speak to us of our Saviour, it’s Good News. Jesus is “without sin.” He is “Your beloved Son with whom You are well pleased.” He has “died for our sins” (Hebrews 4:14-16; Matthew 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:3). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus – Your beloved Son, our wonderful Saviour.
We read, Lord, about Job being brought close to You, his ‘friends’ being forgiven by You and everyone being happy about the way things turned out for Job (Job 42:5-11). We wonder, “Is there always a happy ending?” In this earthly life, we will never reach a stage where there will be no more problems, and everything will be just fine. Help us, Lord, to look beyond this earthly life. Help us to catch a glimpse of the “salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Our suffering will be for “a little while.” We thank You, Lord, that Your salvation will be forever (1 Peter 1:5-7).