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God, I've Lost Everything! Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
November 2, 2022 1:00 am

God, I've Lost Everything! Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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November 2, 2022 1:00 am

In this life, we can experience great sorrow and disappointment. After losing it all, Job moved from understanding to perplexity and from faith to despair. In this message, we imagine interviewing Job in three probing scenes. When bad things happen to good people, where does God fit into accidents?

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. A hurricane destroys a coastal town.

Cancer kills a promising athlete. We can be detoured into great sorrow and disappointment. Bad things happen to good people, and we can't help but ask why. At these times, we must learn, as Job did, that God is still there.

From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, Job's terrible misfortunes beg the question as to why God sent them to a righteous man. And you know, Dave, the remarkable thing is this, that the Bible says expressly that Job was the most righteous man in the land. And that appears to be the very reason why God targeted him for this special trial. We need to rethink our view of suffering. We need to understand that we don't suffer as a result of unfaithfulness, though that can happen. Often times, our suffering is because of faithfulness, and God is testing us. And it also may be a test from God to see whether or not we love him unconditionally and above all else. I've written a book entitled God Why Me? Lessons from the Life of Job, actually based on this sermon series.

For a gift of any amount, it can be yours. And when you go to, click on the endurance partner button. Endurance partners are people who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. In a moment after this message, I'm going to be giving you more contact info, but for now, let us listen to the experience of Job and see how God tests the faith of the righteous. Although life is frequently filled with haphazard, unexplainable events, the book of Job shows us that at the end of the day, God is indeed able. We look at the accidents that take place today. My own nephew who was killed so many years ago, hitting a stretch of ice on pavement, big truck coming and killing him and a young woman and a new mother. And you look at it and you say to yourself, well, obviously, if only the driver had begun five minutes later or five minutes sooner, or if the driver in the truck would have begun later or sooner or traveled at a different speed, the accident would not have happened. Where does God fit into accidents? We see it in illness, sometimes inexplicable illnesses that really have no known sense for purpose.

Acts of crime. Even those become evident in the book of Job because remember it was the Chaldeans and the Sabeans, as we learned last time, that caused some problems for Job and ended up actually with his children dead. Where does God fit into all of this? Well, take your Bible as we turn again to the book of Job and this is the second in a series of messages on the book of Job. The second of what we hope to be a series of eight messages on the book. And I hope that you are taking time to read it, to digest it, to think about it because there is no book in the Bible that will probably so change your conception of God as the book of Job.

It will expand your knowledge of God and make you a better worshiper. What we'd like to do today is to take our video cameras and our recording equipment and interview Job. Three different scenes in which we can interview him to glean what we can from the experience through which he is passing. Scene number one, Job has everything.

He has everything. We noticed it last time, chapter 1 verse 3, his possessions also were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, many servants, he was a great man. Even better than that, it says in verse 2, seven sons and three daughters were born unto him and he was an upright man and he was the kind of person who would be a role model for young people who want to do well in life. So we interview Job and we ask him, Job, what's going on in your life? And he says, I am a righteous man. I fear God. I turn away from evil and look at the way in which God has blessed me because of it. In fact, he might tell us, I've just written a new book, How to Love God and Prosper.

And we say, Job, in light of that, we are going to set you up for a whole series of interviews throughout the country because you are the very kind of person that we as Americans are looking for. Somebody who worships God, who believes that God's children should never be poor. After all, if you are a child of the king, it only stands to reason that you should live like a king's kid. And why shouldn't you be the one that has the wealth and that drives the latest cars?

And why shouldn't you be the person who has the best charts in terms of your business expertise and your business expansion? And so Job is interviewed and he is told all the wonderful blessings that there are in serving God. And if you really live for him, as you walk down the path of life, you will discover that your paths are bordered with beautiful little flowers and everything is tranquil and the sun is shining and you feel great as a child of the Most High. Well, that's the first scene and that's our first interview. Job has everything.

Well, there's a second interview coming up and that is Job has nothing, or at least in an introductory way, almost nothing. We discovered last time that suddenly the fire of God falls, the Sabeans come, the wind blows, and Job loses 10 children. He loses his animals and his servants and it appears as if there is almost nothing left. And we say, Job, how is it going? And he makes a profound speech in verse 20 of chapter 1.

He arises and tears his robes and shaves his head and he fells to the ground and worships and says, naked I came from my mother's womb and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave, the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord. And we say, Job, you have done very, very well.

But the interviewing process is not over yet because you still have your health, Job, and you still have the support of your wife at this point. And so, Job, even though all of the circumstances of life have gone badly for you, after all, you are able to stand up and maybe you have the strength to begin again. And so, Job is now experiencing the second chapter. God and the devil have a little talk again and it is almost the same verbatim as we noticed last week. The Lord brings up the subject of Job. It is God who wants to show his servant off to angels, to demons, and even to Satan. And God says, have you considered my servant, Job, that there is none like him on the earth? And notice what the text says, verse 3 of chapter 2, there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil and he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to ruin him without a cause. I have that phrase underlined in my Bible. I wonder if it is underlined in yours.

Imagine that. Yes, God does love to show us off. In fact, the Bible says that throughout all of eternity, the redeemed are going to be a witness to angels, to demons, and to men of the wonder and the greatness of God's matchless, unfathomable grace. God loves to show us off. But notice what he says to Satan, you have incited me to ruin him without a cause, without a discernible purpose at this point. All of these tragedies come straight out of the blue. There is no way that Job could have been prepared for them. They happen without any preceding hint that this is going to take place. They happen in a single day and Job is beginning to probe the wonder of God's purposes and he's coming up with no discernible answers, without a cause. And oftentimes there are people who have those kinds of experiences where you cannot find the purposes that we would like to seek. Somebody said to Layton Ford when his son Sandy died, well Layton, just think of the number of people who heard about Christ at the funeral. Layton's response was yes, but Sandy was going to become a pastor. Think of all the people who could have received Christ as savior through his ministry if he had lived.

We cannot probe those purposes. We usually cannot get the answers that we desire because sometimes in the lives of some believers tragedy comes without a cause that is discernible. What sense does it make to have a young 15 year old boy die in a car accident who was in the back of the car memorizing verses of scripture because he was on his way to a Bible quiz, which is true of my nephew who was killed. Why such a good boy who loved God, who had a life to live to serve God snuffed out at the age of 15.

Why? And so Satan again says, same line, skin for skin, yes all that a man has he will give for his life. However, put forth thy hand now and touch his bone and his flesh and he will curse thee to thy face. The Lord said to Satan, behold he is in your power only spare his life.

What a statement. And Job suddenly is smitten with boils from the top of his head to the soles of his feet and he takes verse eight a pot shirt to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes. And now suddenly his health is gone and that is very debilitating. That is discouraging. I've been in the hospital at most a week at a time but that week seemed to be an eternity.

I can't even relate to those people who are in the hospital for one week, two week, months and then from a hospital they go perhaps to a convalescent home or someplace where they need physical therapy still for months and weeks. And look at what happens here in the text of scripture. Job suddenly finds himself in the ash heap and Mrs. Job seeing the distress of her husband, loving him undoubtedly and perhaps out of a sense of love wanting him to escape misery says curse God and die. And he says to her in verse 10 you speak as one of the foolish women speaks. He does not call her wicked.

He does call her foolish. Shall we indeed accept adversity from the hand of the Lord? Shall we receive good and not adversity? Job's wife evidently thought that if her husband could just die he'd escape all the misery and throughout time there have been those who have thought that if they could just commit suicide it would end it all. There have been people who have phoned me insisting on an answer to the question if I commit suicide as a Christian will I still go to heaven because I want to commit suicide so badly but I still want to be in heaven too. I want you to know that suicide is never the answer. Don't jump off the boat until it makes it to the other side of the shore.

Suicide is not the answer. God's grace is going to be sufficient. His ability to keep you and to lead you until it is his time to die is what we believe to be scripturally and solidly based. In fact if Job had died here he would have missed what happens in chapter 41 and 42 of his book and he would have missed the bountiful blessing of God and the insights into God's character which would have been totally missed if he'd have simply said where is the escape hatch I am going to die. Well we have our tape recorder with us and Job's friends by the way come verse 11 and we won't say much about them except to say that they come from three different countries. Job is a very famous man and the friends hear about his distress and they come and they do something very wise it says in verse 13 they sat down on the ground with him seven days and seven nights and no one was speaking to him for they saw that his pain was very great and may I say that that's the thing that they did that was absolutely right. If they had just kept sitting there we wouldn't have had so many chapters of speeches for one thing and for another we would have discovered that at the end God would not have been so angry with what they said but we're ahead of the story.

Job has everything oh how wonderful it is to serve God. Job now has nothing and he begins to moan. At first he accepted his adversity with a great deal of tranquility and worship but it begins to get through him with his health now gone he begins to moan and to go through a deep period of depression that's chapter three.

We can't read the entire chapter though you should do that on your own and you will find this to be one of the most moving soliloquies that has ever been written. Job says in verse three let the day perish on which I was to be born and the night which said a boy is conceived. May that day be darkness let not God above care for it nor let the light shine on it. Let darkness and black gloom claim it let a cloud to settle on it let the blackness of the day terrify it. You'll notice that he begins to move from faith to despair and when we pick it up in verse 11 he now goes from understanding to perplexity and he is very perplexed and he begins to ask the question why?

Why did I not die at birth and come forth from the womb and expire? He goes on to say in verse 13 if that would have happened I would have lain down and been quiet and would have slept then would I have been at rest with kings and with counselors of the earth who rebuilt ruins for themselves. What an interesting insight the kings and the counselors thought that they were building huge castles and monuments and what are they now?

They are ruins. He says I would have been able then to be with those who built ruins for themselves or with the princes who had grief. He says in verse 20 why is the light given to him who suffers and life to the bitter of soul? If God knows that Job is going to go through this grief if God knows that he is going to feel so desperate that he would like to die why then live at all what is the purpose of it? What about those who long for death?

They seek for it like hidden treasures. Verse 22 who rejoice greatly they exalt when they find the grave they want to die and they delight when it comes. Verse 23 why is light given to a man whose way is hidden whom God has hedged in for my groaning comes at the sight of my food I've lost my appetite I can't even eat for my cries pour out like water for what I fear has come upon me and what I dread befalls me I am not at ease nor am I quiet I am not at rest and term oil comes. God why? Suddenly Job is up against a god he doesn't know and the job that we would have interviewed at the beginning oh yes you just serve God and he will bless you why he is so loving that he multiplies his blessings upon those who fear him and just look at my lovely family and see my crops and my herds and my 10 children who are the envy of everybody in town and it's because I serve God. Now it's a different story the kids are dead he's lost everything that he owns his own health is gone he's in pain and grief and his wife has not been the support that she should be and now he begins to curse his day. Could I say by the way that Job is in the same position as some people in retirement homes today they say to themselves I can't serve anymore well Job couldn't serve anymore there was nothing that he could give to God now he didn't even have any wealth to give to God. In fact there are people today who can no longer serve but they in turn must be served and there they are day after day wondering why it is that they do not have death come to them when perhaps just across the street there is a child who dies at the age of two or three or an infant and and we look at it and we ask with Job why is light given to him who suffers into the bitter of soul what's the purpose in it all now I want you to know something Job did something very wise here in this chapter he spilled his grief verbally to God and to his friends and you know as a pastor I think it's so helpful when we are going through a time of grief and suffering to share it with others and to tell God exactly what we think want you to know God can handle it David did that in the Old Testament and at the end of those Psalms God always poured grace into his soul let me ask you something are you blessed as a result of the ministry of running to win would you consider becoming an endurance partner that's someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts and of course the amount that you give is entirely your decision it is because of endurance partners that we are able to make available to our constituency and to the whole world free resources blogs and sermons and answers to questions we do this because we want to reach as many people as possible would you help us here is what you do go to now rtwoffer of course is all one word when you're there click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 remember that running to win exists to help you make it successfully all the way to the finish line right now go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337 thanks in advance for helping us it's time again for you to ask pastor lutzer a question you may have about the bible or the christian life are you concerned about how you'll fare at the judgment seat of christ well barbara is and she wrote this to us from washington i have a question about the judgment seat of christ it sounds like the judgment will be pretty awful for those who failed to live right after being saved this is me what can i do anything is it too late my children are not living for jesus and they and their families need salvation i'm very ill i don't know if i'll be here much longer what can i do i have repented and confessed barbara i want you to know that i understand your question perfectly because i actually wrote a book about the judgment seat of jesus christ and i take it very seriously but i'm here to offer you hope and consolation first of all you say that you have repented when we repent the past is wiped out now it's true that at the judgment seat of jesus christ our lives are going to be evaluated and our works are going to be exposed and evaluated but at the end of the day the more we have put the past behind us in the power of god the less we need to be concerned about at the judgment seat of jesus christ because you asked me this question i took the time to look up first corinthians chapter 4 verse 5 this is what it says god is going to come and will bring to light the motives of men's hearts now that's pretty scary isn't it but the rest of the verse says then each man and we could say each woman will receive praise from god just know barbara that god is going to find something good to reward you for regarding your past remember that and second you still have a future you are still living i would encourage you to live each day for the glory of god you know the bible says that all of our lives are really a mixture of wood hay and stubble gold and precious stones and we will be tried in the presence of jesus i believe that in your life as you live for christ in as many days as he still gives you you will find that there is gold that you can offer to the savior thank you pastor lutzer for encouraging barbara and in so doing encouraging all of us if you'd like to hear your question answered go to our website at and click on ask pastor lutzer or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 north la salle boulevard chicago illinois 60614 running to win is all about helping you understand god's road map for your race of life say you lost your job then your savings then your children finally you learn you have terminal cancer how would you handle the loss of everything would you curse god and die as job's wife urged next time on running to win more on how job faced the loss of his family and possessions thanks for listening for dr erwin lutzer this is dave mccallister running to win is sponsored by the moody church
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-09 23:52:31 / 2022-11-10 00:01:47 / 9

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