God’s Protection in My Life!

       Have you ever stopped to consider how often fear drives our responses, attitudes and decisions? Fear almost always robs us of making the best choices. Our attitudes can also be clouded by anxiety, frustration, worry and even anger. What the follower of Jesus often overlooks is God’s protection in their life!  

     My current Bible reading plan takes me through the book of Job several times a year. This morning I began to walk through a well know portion of Scripture in chapter one. What stood out was God’s control of everything and his ultimate say of what happens in our lives. Let’s review the account before we jump in.

      Job may be the oldest book in the Bible. Many scholars attribute it to the time of Abraham. It is in this account of Job’s hardships we gain a glimpse into how God works in our lives. The account opens with the declaration of Job as an upright, blameless, wealthy and godly man. “There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.” (Job 1:1) .This description sets the stage for a conversation between God and Satan. The Lord suggests to Satan, that he consider Job, who is a godly man! Now, we might respond sarcastically, “Thanks God!” But God is working in several ways, one of which is to help refine Job. But what I really want us to consider is Satan’s response to God’s offer to consider Job. “Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.”” (Job 1:9–11).

      In Satan’s slander of God, he reminds us of God’s protection in our lives. He refers to God’s hedge of protection around Job. Satan was limited in his attack on Job by God’s protection. The Devil’s slander also reveals that the blessings in Job’s life and family came directly from the Lord. Now, it is easy for us to miss this great truth. All too often we focus on the difficult circumstances rather than on the Lord’s working.

      The word for “temptation” in the Bible is a word that can be translated both positively, as testing, or negatively as temptation. It is the passage context that determines the translation. For instance, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

     I think there is a good reason why God does not give Job or us the choice of what He allows in our lives. We would decline the opportunity to grow. But that does not mean that we always embrace what God is doing. Our resistance to the Lord often produces a mental disposition that blinds us from seeing God’s hand in our lives.  

     The account goes on to reveal that Satan does destroy Job’s life, his family and all his earthly wealth. But even then, God limits what Satan is allowed to do! Trials are not enjoyable, but there is hope when we know that God is in control and there is a purpose for what we are going through, even if we do not understand what is happening.

     Job’s response is priceless. “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” (Job 1:20–22).

-Pastor Joe Parkinson

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