“LESSONS FOR DAYS OF HARDSHIP”
“In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” (Job 1:22)
   Job is the classic illustration of a man who had everything in his world turned upside down.  He lost his health, wealth, children, servants, animals and his wife’s loving support.  Job really experienced hardships that you and I are not acquainted with and probably never will be.  One thing is certain, trouble comes to every one (Job 5:7; 14:1).  There are certain things to consider when hardships come your way.
   1. Do not charge God foolishly. (Job 1:22; 2:10) “Foolishly” here means, “without   thinking.”  In adversity, we are tempted to think or speak vainly of our  God.  Many fall prey to this temptation (Jeremiah 15:18).  The devil would have us believe that God is just waiting as a mean tyrant to inflict pain, suffering, and misery.   
   2. Hold fast your integrity.  (Job 2:3)  When suffering and hardships come, keep on doing right; do not let your faith waver.  Problems are only increased and intensified with improper response.  Integrity reveals the “real” you.
   3. Understand that you lack full understanding. (Job 1:8; 2:3)  Because Job was not in Heaven during God’s conversation with Satan, he was without understanding.  He did not know that God was bragging to Satan about him, His committed servant.  We need to understand that we do not have full information regarding our trials which are fashioned by God with our good in mind.  Our question should not be “Why? ” but “What?”  What does God desire to teach us from these difficult hardships?  Because God knew Job’s heart, He once again proved to Satan His total omniscience.  What would have happened had Job been consumed with all the hardships he was experiencing?  Satan would have laughed and continually questioned the authority of God.  Thank God that He is the only One who knows our heart.
   4. Do not lose hope of a better day. (Job 6:11; 17:13-16; 19:10)  Be encouraged!  In the end, Job had twice as much as he lost (42:10); he had more children (42:13); he lived another 140 years (42:16).  Even though Job lost hope, God, in His faithfulness blessed him and his life got better and better.
  Perhaps the hardship you are now experiencing is God’s way of preparing you for better days ahead.                    
                                                                                                                                                         Pastor H. Preston Parker