Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bring 'em Back

Bring ‘em Back
James 5:19-20

            Tonight we are finishing up our series on the Book of James. If you remember from last week we discussed the prayer of faith for those who are going through persecution, trials and tribulations. James asked three questions in 5:13-18—“Is anyone among you suffering? Is anyone among you cheerful? Is anyone among you sick?” Today James begins with another “anyone” statement which connects this passage to the previous passage. Open your Bibles and follow along with me in James 5:19-20, “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
            I found it interesting, perhaps you will, too, the Greek work for “wanders,” or “strays” depending on what translation you are reading from is planetes, which is where we get the word planets from. Planets were originally considered to be wandering stars. They didn’t stay in one spot like most of the other stars, and certainly not as much as the North star. Because these celestial beings were not consistently placed, they were useless for navigational purposes. Similarly, if someone who claims to be a Christian, begins to wander from the truth, they are useless for others to navigate their way to God, and in fact become very hurtful. People may follow them thinking they’re on the path to God, but really are not. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 7:13, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.”
            If this passage was a big, fat, juicy steak, would we rather nibble on the gristle on the outside, or dig right into it? Alright, so let’s cut it up a bit and start chewing. The first word, “Brethren.” What does he mean? My literal, familial brothers? My brothers from another mother? Brothers and sisters in Christ? Brothers from the larger Jewish family? The book of James was written by a Jew to Jews, so we can assume that he could have at least meant the members of the larger Jewish family, but also he is writing to fellow believers in Christ. There is a catch though—If James is writing to the fellow believers in Christ, he is acknowledging that some among them who call themselves believers do not really believe at all, which is why they need to be brought back. In Matthew 7, Jesus said, “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Some translations say they will cast out demons in His name, which is a pretty big deal, but they still missed it.
            Today’s passage is all about the lost inside the church: those who have professed to be a Christian and have wandered off, and those who have professed to be a Christian but do things their own way. James says we need to reach them, and there is good reason to do so. Hebrews 10:29 says that the punishment will be worse for those who sit in church, who have heard the message, and still disregard it, than for those who have never had the same opportunity.
            If you recall, two weeks ago we watched a video of Adrian Despres giving a talk entitled, “The Four Chairs.” Let’s recap the four chairs. Chair number 1 represents sold out followers of Christ. “Passion” is a word that describes them. They passionately read their bibles, passionately pray, passionately evangelize, and passionately worship. Chair number 2 represents people who have given their lives to Christ, perhaps grew up in the church, but have grown used to God. They don’t read their Bibles, pray, or get excited about worshiping God. They are just going through the motions. Chair number three represents people who look, and act exactly like those in chair number two, think they are going to heaven, but will actually end up in hell.. And lastly chair number 4 represents people who do not have a relationship with God. They know it and everyone else knows it. The passage today is written to chair number 1’s about chair number 3’s primarily and subsequently chair number 2’s. This is only because chair number 3’s exist only because chair number 2’s do. Chair number 3’s are in church mirroring what they see others doing. If they see 2’s who have grown used to God, don’t read their Bibles, pray, tithe, or worship regularly, what do you think they will do? They think they are Christians just like everyone else, except when they die, they will go to hell. Chair number 2 will go to heaven and receive very few rewards. Chair 3 will go to hell and receive many beatings. And unfortunately, the average person couldn’t tell a 2 from a 3.
            Before we get much farther we need to figure out what chair you’re in. The safe answer is, “I’m in chair number 1.” The difficult answer is the one that requires you to be honest with yourself. I’m not the one who is going to be judging you when you die, God is. If you don’t read your Bible consistently and persistently, not out of a sense of obligation, but because you deeply desire to know the Word that God has for you; if you don’t pray on a regular basis; if you don’t have a passionate desire to worship God, not just on Sunday mornings when the music is good, but at all times; if you don’t have a burning to share the gospel with others; if you don’t financially support ministries dear to you with whatever amount of money you have, then you are not in chair number 1.
            If you know that you don’t have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ; if you know that you will go to hell if you died right now, you are in chair number 4.
            Now the difficult ones—chairs 2 and 3. Both go through the motions when it comes to churchy stuff. Both have grown used to God. Both feel uncomfortable around chairs 1 and 4. Both claim to be Christians and are confident that if they died they would go to heaven, except one is going to heaven and the other is going to hell.
            If you’re in chair 1 James is talking to you and letting you know, “Hey there are sinners in the congregations that have wandered from the truth, and have sought out their own way of doing stuff—ways that dishonor God. If you bring them back from their sin, and lead them to Christ, you will save their soul from hell, covering a multitude of sins in the process.” People in chair number 1: James has given you your marching orders. We all know people who used to go to church, but don’t anymore. Perhaps they have given up on God altogether. Perhaps they have joined a cult. Maybe they decided they were going to do things their own way for a while. True Christians don’t wander off like this, and if they died, most likely, they will die apart from God and will go to hell.
            If you’re in chair number 2, James isn’t talking to you, but I am so listen up. Do you know what you are doing? How can you get used to the God that created the universe like you get used to a song that gets overplayed on the radio? How do you not care that your apathy and lack of a passionate pursuit of God is leading so many people to follow a version of Christianity that makes God want to throw up? (Revelation 3:16) I don’t understand how you can know what Christ did for you, accept that gift, and then push him further and further down your list of priorities behind friends, Facebook, school, work, bf’s/gf’s. I just don’t understand. It’s like bringing a book to the Super Bowl. An enormous price has been paid for you to be there, and you could not care less.
            If you’re in chair number three, you look and act exactly like chair number 2 except when you die, you get the surprise of going to hell. I wouldn’t take another step until I was absolutely certain I was going to heaven when I died, and there is a way to know. I don’t know how you can function in life believing you have a coin flips chance of going to heaven, or believe in some other lie like if you’ve done more good things than bad, so you’ll get in. It’s not true.
            Finally, chair number 4. At least you don’t make God want to throw up, but God’s wrath is still upon you. According to John 3:18, you are already condemned and the only reason you are not dead and getting punished for your sins, is because God is merciful, long-suffering and wants you to turn from your sins.
            So we come to the end of James’ epistle and we find an evangelistic note to it, but it is not a call to evangelism of those outside the church—it is a call to evangelize those inside the church. People call chair 1 Christians radicals and fanatics. Do you know what the Bible calls chair 1 Christians? Normal. And ironically enough, it is not chair 1 Christians who are turning chair 4’s away. Many chair 4’s will say they respect chair 1’s convictions and passion. They are turned away by chair 2 and 3’s. People who say they are Christians, but look and act like everyone else. Brennan Manning, Catholic Priest and author of one of the best books I’ve ever read, The Ragamuffin Gospel, said, “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." If you’re cool with being the reason other people are going to hell, then more power to you, but I could not live with myself if I believed I played a critical part in someone going to hell.       

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


James 5:13-18
Today we are going to be discussing one of the most controversial, and misinterpreted passage in all of scripture. So let’s just jump right into it. Today’s passage is James 5:13-18, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
            The Catholic Church uses this passage to support their sacrament of “Extreme Unction,” which is praying over someone who is extremely sick, and even forgiving their sins for them, something only God is capable of doing. This is also the passage many use to justify their practice of anointing objects, and sick people in order for them to get better. And finally, it’s also the passage that people who practice and believe in “faith healing” use to justify their beliefs and actions. I am in no way saying that God cannot heal people who pray fervently. I am saying that this passage does not justify this practice and that just because God did not heal someone who was sick that that person did not have enough faith.
            Lately, I have found myself asking more and more questions when I am debating someone. Rather than trying to win someone over to my side through witty points and declarations, I have been asking them questions that force them to see the error in their point of view. Most people when they read this passage believe it is about healing, or being made well through prayer and faith in God, but we need to read this passage in the context of the surrounding scripture. Scripture, like anything else can only be understood within its context. For instance, if you walked by and over heard me say, “I shot an eagle today.” You wouldn’t know if I had shot an eagle with a gun, a camera, or in a golf match. You wouldn’t know if you should call the cops, ask to see the picture, or give me a high five.
            My questions to determine how to correctly interpret this passage would be: 1) What is this passage about? Most people would say it is about the healing power of faith and prayers. I then would check the surrounding passages to see how that interpretation would fit in the surrounding context. How about 5:1-6? No, that is about how the rich were persecuting the poor. How about the immediate preceding section, 5:7-12? No, that is about being patient and persevering through persecution. How about the passage immediately following this one, 5:19-20? No, that is about helping a brother who has fallen into sin back out. In fact, the entire book was written to people who were suffering severe persecution. Look at James 1:1, “James, a bondservant of the Lord Jesus Christ: To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad….” Why were they scattered abroad? After Stephen was martyred in Acts 7, a heavy persecution broke out across the church and everyone except the apostles fled town. Why? Because they feared for their lives. Acts 8 says that Saul was dragging off men and women to prison. These believers lost their lives, loved ones, families, friends, jobs, sources of income. They lost everything and they were hurting.
My second question would be: 2) Why in a book devoted to giving hope and encouragement to the persecuted believers, would there be an out of place passage concerning faith healing? My third question would be 3) If the passage was about faith healing, why would James use as an illustration a story of Elijah praying that it would not rain? Why not a passage where Elijah healed someone, or raised someone from the dead through faith? If this passage is about healing, the illustration is strangely out of place. If this passage is about having hope while enduring suffering, then it is a perfect illustration. Think about it. When Elijah prayed, it did not rain on the entire earth for 3 ½ years. Think about how dry that would be. Food would be extremely scarce. Your water supply would dry up. Your livestock would die off. You would be feeling very weak, tired, hopeless, and wondering if God had a plan for your life. It is the same feelings you have when you are enduring persecution, trials, and tribulations. 
John MacArthur is a biblical scholar, preacher, and a teacher who I have great admiration for. Dr. MacArthur has actually made it into two Lecrae songs. There’s a song by L’il Wayne where he brags about how much money he has saying “I got a backpack full of stacks.” Lecrae responds with, “I got a backpack full of tracts, plus I keep a Johnny Mac,” a reference to his greater interest in leading others to Christ rather than being rich, and his John MacArthur Study Bible. MacArthur was preparing to preach on this passage and used 16 different sources in his preparation. After reading 16 different people’s interpretation of the passage, he found that he disagreed with all 16. So he did some deeper studying, and dived into the Greek—the original language of the New Testament. What he discovered, was in my opinion, groundbreaking because no one else was thinking like he was. Without getting over our heads with strange Greek words, let’s look at what he found.
Verse 13, “Is anyone among you suffering?” “Uh, hello? We’re all suffering here.” “Is anyone cheerful?” This was probably written in a more lighthearted sarcastic manner. Most of his intended audience were probably not too cheerful. Here’s where we get to the meat of it, verse 14, “Is anyone among you sick?” The word translated “sick” is astheneo, and could also be translated into “weak” or “impotent” which means without any power or strength. And if we skip down a little further we get to the word “anoint.” This makes us think of Jesus the Christ, or Jesus the Anointed One. The Greek language has five different words for the verb “anoint.” The one James used, aleipho is a common form which means to oil anything, or put oil on anything--from oiling your car to oiling some antique wooden desk. Another word is Chrio which is confined to only sacred and symbolic anointings. Question 4) Why would James use the common oiling when he meant the sacred oiling? He wouldn’t have.
How many of you have ever worked out really hard and needed to rub in to your muscles Ben-Gay, Icy Hot, or some other analgesic? In the culture that James was writing to, they had their own version of Ben-Gay. It was an oily, ointment like substance that they would rub in to sore muscles and wounds. It would help sore muscles as well as stave off infection.
So let’s go back and re-read this passage with our minds focused on James writing to a group of people beaten and broken down through persecution. I’m going to read it with a few of my thoughts thrown in there as well. This will be the King Jimmy Version. “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone among you cheerful? Probably not likely, but let him sing praise songs. Is anyone among you so weak and broken down that you can’t even pray for yourself anymore?”
[Has anyone here ever been broken? You won’t have to think about it. You would have instantly thought of the circumstances of how you were broken when I said that. If you didn’t, you haven’t been broken. I was broken. I was praying and reading my Bible constantly. I remember walking through my house minding my own business and then just dropping to my knees bawling, praying that God would heal me, and then literally like 5 seconds later I would be on my feet as if nothing had happened, thinking, “That was odd.”]
Back to the scripture: “If someone doesn’t have the strength to pray for themselves, call the leaders of the church, and let them pray over him, rubbing his shoulders, and helping to heal their wounds. And the prayer of faith will save the weak, and powerless, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, because sometimes weariness, pain, and weakness comes from our own sinful choices, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
[When are you most likely to sin? At church camp when you are feeling really close to God? Or when God is seemingly distant and you have been suffering through all kinds of trials, tribulations, and persecutions? What kind of sins are you likely to commit? Grumbling, complaining, questioning God, not praising God….]    
Back to the scripture: “Because the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes a lot. Elijah was a man just like we are and he prayed that it would not rain, and it did not rain for 3 ½ years symbolizing the pain of enduring persecution. And then he prayed again and everything was restored and made whole again just like you could be.”
You know it’s interesting that through this entire book dealing with persecution and brokenness, in fact throughout the entire Bible it never says that brokenness is bad or wrong. Psalm 34:18, “The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” Again in Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.” Also Jesus told this parable in Luke 18:10-14, “10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
(Break Cup) Sometimes we have to be broken before God can use us. Why? Because we start thinking about how much God can use us and our ability to hold water. We don’t even need help. But when you become broken and smashed to bits, apart from God, there is no way you will ever be useful. Listen to the words of Paul in 2nd Corinthians 12:8-10, “Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Are you broken? Are you like the Pharisee? Or are you like the Tax Collector? Are you like this mug? Do you want to be? Or would you still rather do things on your own abilities?          

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How to Get Through Difficult Times

How to Get Through Difficult Times
James 5:7-12

What do you do when you are going through a difficult time? Is there certain music you listen to? Certain foods you eat? Certain people you talk to? Certain movies you watch? It seems like at our house when we’re going through a difficult time with sickness, we will eventually break out the movie Elf with Will Farrell. It doesn’t matter if it is in the middle of June, there’s something about that movie that is therapeutic. Perhaps it is the raccoon that buddy tries to hug, or maybe the impromptu singing telegram. Is there a way the world will tell you how to deal with difficult situations?
In this life there is always two ways of doing something—the worldly way, and the godly way. We’ve discussed before how the ruler of this world is Satan and he is diabolically opposed to God in every area. So it seems reasonable that we should discuss ways to get through a difficult time in our lives and see if it is how God would want us to get through it, or if it is just another one of Satan’s ploys to destroy us.
How many of you have ever seen the process of a caterpillar making a cocoon, and then becoming a butterfly? How many of you have ever seen a butterfly emerge from a cocoon live, and in person? That butterfly really struggles to get out of that cocoon. Remember the cocoon was built to fit snugly around a chubby little worm. A butterfly is much larger and has tremendously delicate wings. Our natural instinct while watching a butterfly emerge is to try and help it by pulling the cocoon off with our fingers, or cutting it back with some scissors. Do you know what would happen if we did that? The butterfly struggling, and squeezing its way out of the cocoon is actually forcing fluids out of one area of the wings and spreading it throughout the rest of the wings. If the struggling process didn’t occur the wings would be too heavy for the butterfly to lift, and it would walk around dragging its wings until it eventually died.
When we are going through a difficult time in our lives and we try to shorten it, or numb the pain with drugs, sex, alcohol, or whatever solution the world offers us, we are really doing ourselves more damage than good. Just like the butterfly, God has a reason for our struggles, and He has a plan for us to get through it.
Last week I discovered I had skipped a section so I had to go back and cover it. So if you remember from two weeks ago we talked about how James condemned those who oppressed the poor. Today’s section piggy backs that last section and comforts those who are being oppressed by giving them a plan to get through persecution. We have to remember that the book of James was written to Jews who had accepted Christ as their savior and because of that would have been disowned by their unbelieving family, kicked out of their synagogues (which would be like getting kicked out of your church), fired from their jobs, and lost all of their friends. They were feeling the heat of persecution.
Today’s passage is James 5:7-12, “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned.[a] Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! 10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. 11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. 12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.”
One of the reasons I like the book of James so much is because it is very practical. Here in this passage we have James offering six different ways to deal with the persecution in just five verses (7-11).
1)      Be Patient—until the coming of the Lord.
Many times we fall into the trap of believing that how it is right now is how it will always be. It doesn’t really matter what the circumstances are, they’re pretty much interchangeable. New parents believe they will be changing diapers forever. Frustrated parents dealing with toddlers cannot foresee a day when they don’t have to force feed their children and clean up food all over the place after each meal. Someone working in a dead end job cannot foresee ever having a satisfying job. Students have been in school almost their entire lives, and feel like they will be in school the rest of their lives, too. Cleveland Browns fans cannot imagine a day when their team will be relevant again. There are a million different examples we could use, but the fact remains the same, there will be a day when Jesus will return to earth and right every wrong. He promised to do so, and we know He keeps His word. BTW, one out of every thirteen verses in the New Testament refers to the second coming of Christ. If it is mentioned that often, I would assume that He means to keep His promise.
So if we are going through a rough time we should remember that Jesus is coming back, and we just have to wait patiently for that to happen. It could be anytime now. Do you know what has to happen for Christ to return? Nothing. The next item on God’s to do list is to return.
It’s also interesting to note that a persecuted church waits with greater expectancy and anticipation for the second coming than does the affluent church. It’s not hard to figure out why. Let’s imagine you are in a secret church in China. For the last six months there has been a mole in your little home church, and now the Chinese government is systematically tracking down your leaders and executing them. If one of them breaks and tells them your name, or if the mole knows about you, you will be killed next. Now picture yourself in a very wealthy suburb in America. Your church doesn’t meet secretly in someone’s home, you meet in a multi-million dollar building with 100’s of thousands of dollars worth of cars parked in the parking lot, and then go home to 100’s of millions of dollars worth of houses. You have a high paying job, live in a fancy house with a heated pool, and you’re a member of a fitness club. Which of these two scenarios would you imagine is praying for Christ’s return to be extremely imminent?
James then gives an example of waiting patiently. He uses the illustration of a farmer. A farmer in Israel would plant his crops in the late fall—October or November. At this time there would be a rainy season that James calls the early rains, then there would be a period of normal off and on rain, and finally what James calls the latter rain which would have been around March or April. Now imagine you were a small farmer. You planted your crops having faith that they would grow. You worked the soil, and waited patiently. As the months wore on, you began eating the last of your food and may have had a few nights of prayer and fasting as you waited for the crops to be harvested. James’ point—you also be patient as the farmer was patient.
2)      The judgment is coming 
When Christ returns we anticipate that He will make all things right, but verse 9 says that judgment is coming, too. We want to make sure that as we’re going through persecution that we keep a proper perspective, otherwise we will fall into a period of frustration and anger. Have you ever been frustrated and mad about one thing and took it out on everyone and everything else? You have a bad day at school and you are short with your friends, your parents, and anyone else you come into contact with. You don’t even have to say anything—it’s your general disposition that makes everyone else miserable. The Bible calls this murmuring, and it’s one of the reasons the Israelites took a forty year walk in the wilderness.
Back when I was a kid, it was not against the rules for a teacher to leave their classroom. In fact it was quite common, because they may have had to go to the office to get copies made. When that happened we knew we had a few minutes to do things we wouldn’t be allowed to do when she was there. Occasionally, the teacher came back when we weren’t expecting her and I would get in trouble. We don’t know when Jesus will return, so we should behave as if his return was imminent. This will keep our hopes up, and our butts out of trouble.
3)      Follow the Servants
James was speaking to people living in the New Testament times and used Old Testament saints and prophets as an example of people who endured persecution. Today we have the advantage of using OT, NT, and saints throughout history as our examples. Jesus said in John 13:15, “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” He endured persecution. Who else endured persecution in the OT? David endured the harsh treatment by King Saul. Moses endured the rebellion and complaining of the entire Israel nation. Elijah was hounded by Ahab and the evil queen Jezebel, and eventually was sawed in half with a wooden saw. God told the prophet Ezekiel that he was going to use his wife as an illustration. The illustration was that God suffered the loss of his loved one, Israel. Ezekiel would suffer the loss of his loved one as his wife died on the spot. The prophet Jeremiah suffered wrongs repeatedly and yet said, “Why should any living mortal or any man offer complaint in view of his sins?" He suffered. He endured.
4)      Blessed are the Persecuted
Verse 11 says “we count them blessed who endure.” It does not say, “we count them blessed who inherit a fortune.” Or “we count them blessed who spill coffee on their crotch and sue for millions.” Or “we count them blessed who win the lottery.” Today we confuse what a real blessing is. If you want to blessed you will have to endure. And if you’re already enduring, you might as well endure to the end and get a blessing for it. I remember a pastor told me when I was going through a difficult time in my life, “Take the high road in everything you do and you will be blessed.” I did and I am.
5)      The Ends Justifies the Means  
Just like the butterfly squeezing out of the cocoon, the struggle was hard but the end result justified what had to happen to get there. Verse 11 says, “You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord, that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” If you were Job, you would have gone from very wealthy, healthy, and had a large family in the morning to being very poor, almost all of your servants were dead, all of your children were dead, you were disease ridden, all of your friends piled on and insulted you, and your wife suggested that you curse God and die by afternoon. Compassionate and merciful probably wouldn’t be the two words you would use at the time. BUT, Job saw the end that God had in mind and did not forsake God through the entire ordeal. In the end, Job had ten more children, and all of his property was doubled from what it was before. The truth is you never see God as clearly during the good times as you do during the bad times.
6)      God’s Character
It’s always a good idea before you come to a conclusion about anything to take in the whole scope of the situation. Maybe your best friend was rude to you. Does one rude act wipe out 10 years of faithful friendship? Or do you consider every good thing about that person before you come to a conclusion? God might be putting you through a trial but does that mean that He doesn’t care about you anymore? Does that mean you’ve lost your salvation? Does that mean that He is no longer trustworthy or faithful? No, Romans 8:28 says that God works out all things for those who love Him and are called to His purpose. God is still merciful and compassionate. He has eternity past of history of Him never letting anyone down. We can trust Him.
Can you trust him with your soul?