Sunday, December 15, 2013

Kaya on Job

Recently my granddaughter Kaya was presented with the task of completing a written essay test for her freshman Theology class at Southwest Christian High School.  The following is what she wrote.  Keep in mind that this was a classroom test, not a homework assignment.  I am very proud of her!

A little over four years ago I published the first  ever "guest post" on my blog.  It was a short piece by one of my daughters called "Our Medicated Society".  As it happens, this "second ever" guest post was written by her daughter.  It would appear that she is following in her mother's footsteps in writing prowess.

Job is a book of The Bible about a man who is righteous in the eyes of God. God wants to prove Job's faith to Satan, so He allows Satan to test Job. Job loses everything he has and all of his children die. His first instinct is to praise God. It takes great faith to be able to worship right after something terrible happens to you, but that's the kind faith Job had. We should have this kind of faith too. We need to be able to stand firm in our faith when everyone and everything is going wrong around us, and that is the theme of my essay.

Standing firm in our faith is one of the most important things about our lives as Christians. If someone around us is doing something wrong we need to be able to hold ourselves accountable, and not fall into the sin ourselves. Satan will try to tempt us, and he knows exactly how to get every one of us to sin. He knows what our weaknesses are. But the difference between God testing Job, or us, and Satan tempting us is that God longs for us to pass His test. Satan desires for us to fail. Standing firm in your faith in every situation means that you don't let Satan tempt you enough that you fall. You don't give in to the sin. The definition of 'standing firm' according to is, "1. stand up or offer resistance to somebody or something, 2. refuse to abandon one's opinion or belief." This is what we need to do. We need to resist Satan and the human urge to sin, and we must refuse to abandon our beliefs no matter who is trying to get us to give up on them.

For Job, his friends and his wife all urged him to give up on God. Job 2:9 says, "9 Then his wife said, "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die." Job's wife was the first one who tried to get him to abandon his beliefs in God. For us it may not be a wife, since we aren't married yet, but it could be a best friend, a boyfriend, or maybe even another family member. These are some of the people that have the most influence on us, and they are the ones who may cause us to stumble in our hope of 'standing firm'. When it's someone we are close with who is tempting us, it's a lot harder to say no to them. But Job did, and I think this was a moment when his faith really shone through him. He tells his wife that what she said was not okay and she should be ashamed because of how foolish it was. Where this response is found is in Job 2:10. It says,"10 But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips." Job said these things because he was NOT going to falter in his faith, not even because that's what his wife wanted. By telling her that, and saying those things, he didn't stumble at all. He stood firm, didn't give in, and did not sin.

This theme reveals much about God's character, His eternal sovereignty, and human suffering. What it shows about God's character is that, he will test us, but since he wants us to pass the test he won't push us past what we can handle. He knows what we can handle because he is omniscient. He knows all. He knows exactly what would cause us to sin, and what our limits are, and he would never cause us to fall into sin because he loves us way too much to see us fall. What it shows of His eternal sovereignty is that, He is bigger than everything Job went through, and he ultimately has the say in what goes and what doesn't. Satan couldn't have done all this to Job without God's permission. What it shows about human suffering is that above it all, God has full control over the situation. If you stay faithful and 'stand firm' throughout the suffering He WILL reward you greatly. Job didn't ever sin by cursing God, he didn't waver in faith when his wife wanted him to or when he was with his friends. He stayed true to who he was in The Lord, and he was rewarded in the end. God restored him and rewarded him with twice as much riches, animals, and wealth as he had had before. He and his wife bore the same amount of children as they had had before. Job was fully renewed. All thanks to God's love, power, and grace in suffering.

In closing, I just want to remind everyone that this is how we should react during time of great need or suffering. We need to stand firm in our faith like Job did, no matter what is going on around us, and no matter who we are with at the moment. If we can't stay strong and true to our faith when we're with a certain friend or we're going through a tough time or situation, then our faith simply is not strong enough. We need it to be as strong as possible because we will be tempted and tested at some point if we haven't been already. God needs to be our strong foundation which will make our faith so much stronger. If you don't have a strong enough foundation on God you need to get to know Him, because standing firm and not giving in for God's glory is even greater than you can imagine.


Anonymous said...

This is a great post. I struggled with Job and read it many times but never came up with such an eloquent on point explanation. I asked several pastors for suggestions, who never replied.

The post has great application in today's world as we find many paths to failure with plenty of encouragement to follow them. Steadfastness in the face of constant temptation, derision and theological weakness from our churches is a value, not often in our minds, but much in need.

Thanks very much. Kaya's post has helped me a great deal.

St. Lee said...

Thanks for the comment. I will pass it on to Kaya; I am sure she will find it encouraging.