It was July 1967. Two men, scarred and disheveled, drove into a small Midwestern town. They stopped and asked where they could get a meal. Due to their appearance, the townspeople shied away but directed the men to Reverend Blake’s home. The middle-aged minister and his wife cautiously welcomed the pair in for a meal. The visitors told their hosts they had been in some altercations during race riots in Detroit. The couple kindly fed the strangers a meal and afterwards the men left the house and drove away.
“But no stranger had to spend the night in the street, for my door was always open to the traveler” (Job 31:32).
Although people need to be alert and cautious when extending compassion to strangers, God does send people into our lives to give us opportunities to serve and show compassion. Hebrews 13:2 reminds us: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
Challenge for Today: Be open to the unexpected people God brings into your life. They may need Christ.
Quicklook: Job 31:29–34
When faced with a dilemma, many people do a desperate search for counselors. If a person is willing to pay for it, there seems to be a coach to match every problem that arises, from career choices to physical conditioning to finances. While seeking out those experienced in a specific area is a wise endeavor, remembering that humans have limitations is also sensible.
Job ended his speeches with thoughts about wisdom. In his life, Job certainly had experience to match his words. But he still looked heavenward for wisdom.
God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens (Job 28:23–24).
When people are at an impasse, there is a God who loves them and has the answer to their woes. But some take Him for granted. Even though God has given certain people knowledge and wisdom to help others in difficult times, God available to His people through the Holy Spirit and through His Word. And His advice is never wrong.
Prayer Suggestion: Lord, help me to seek and receive Your counsel when I face problems.
Quicklook: Job 28:23–28
When Robin was a teenager, she made a decision one evening to go out with her boyfriend and his friends. They all talked about what fun they had together, and Robin wanted to see what it was all about. She just wanted have a great time. She hadn’t considered that the choice might have serious consequences. She also didn’t plan on one of the boys drinking too much and driving too fast. The car hit a concrete embankment. Robin was critically injured, forcing her to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
“There are those who rebel against the light, who do not know its ways or stay in its paths” (Job 24:13).
God gives parameters for His people. He also gives commands and instruction in His Word about what kinds of companions they should have. Some may look at these things as ways to keep them from enjoying life, but God’s guidelines are for their benefit. God deeply loves people and wants them to have a long and happy life. Christians should choose friends based on God’s Word not what is popular in the world.
Prayer Suggestion: Help me, Lord, to choose friends who will inspire me to a deeper fellowship with You.
Quicklook: Job 24:13–17
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25).
Job listened to the second speech by Bildad. He then replied to his friends, asking them how long he would be tormented him by their words. He presented a long list of what had happened to him, including being berated by his friends and losing his family and fortune. But after this discourse, he said he still held true to the belief in the Almighty God. Not only did Job believe in God’s existence, but Job believed that he would stand in God’s presence someday.
Regardless of the situations you encounter and the consequences you experience, you should still believe in the sovereignty of God. When you are in the middle of a difficult time and you don’t see an easy way out of your struggle, do you ask where God is instead of trusting Him in faith?
When Christians have questions, they have to cry out to God and, with sheer faith, believe that whatever the outcome He will walk with them and see them through their valley.
Prayer Suggestion: Father, help me remember that You are there, no matter the circumstances.Quicklook: Job 19:23–27
As Louise looked through old photos of her late grandfather, she noticed she had forgotten how handsome he had been in his younger days. She also realized that the pictures depicted the energetic go-getter he was, always poised for an adventure. He was a man who seemed to almost thrive on the anticipation of any task, which was usually participation in some type of ministry. This was such a contrast to the frail man who spent most of his last days in his rocker by the picture window.
“They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure” (Job 14:2).
Life is short and people sometimes take it for granted. Days and months fly by, and before you know it years have passed. You may fill your life with activities involving things that matter very little when compared to the whole picture of your life.
It may be time to step back and conduct an inventory of daily routines. It is important that the things with which you fill our time make a positive impact in God’s kingdom.
Challenge for Today: Take time to evaluate your commitments and be willing to say “no” to some things.
Quicklook: Job 14:1–6
Millions of people have watched on television as high-wire artist Nik Wallenda has crossed chasms sometimes with a safety harness, sometimes without. Praying to and praising Jesus during his high-wire walks Wallenda has overcome dusty wire, wet wire, poor visibility and wind.
Reading the Book of Job is like watching one Wallenda’s death-defying crossings.
Job walked the tightrope between pleading his innocence before God and asking Him for an explanation:
“I say to God: Do not declare me guilty, but tell me what charges you have against me. Does it please you to oppress me?” (Job 10:2–3).
What do you do when something terrible happens to you, threatening to send your faith plummeting? If you are like Job, you will struggle, wavering between confidence in God and questioning Him. But if you keep praying to and praising Jesus, you can make it.
Challenge for Today: Whenever your faith wavers, steady yourself by kneeling down to pray.
Quicklook: Job 10:1–12