Job 1, Jeremiah 23, Psalm 66:19, Psalm 145:9, Psalm 121: 3, 1 Peter 1:6-7, Romans 8:37-39
Victory. What a sweet and desirous word. Victory isn’t just something we want to hear about, it is something we want to see, to experience, and to know intimately. Yet, in order to have victory there must be some sort of trial, fight, or strife. We simply cannot have victory if there is nothing to be victorious over. Sometimes when we are in the midst of trials, victory seems so unattainable, so far away. However, during this Thanksgiving season it is most important that we stand in the victory that we already have in the power and presence of God.
When thinking about Thanksgiving, the book of Job is not usually at the top of the list. However, in this book we find so much about both victory and thanksgiving. The book of Job tells us about Job’s experiences, hardships, trails, outcries, questions, and answers from God. In this book we find so many truths about God and His presence with us in all of our trials.
First, we see that all things are from God and for God. Job had it all—prestige, wisdom, a great family, friends, an abundance of possession, and health. Then, he lost it all. Upon the news of the loss of his children, servants, and livestock, this was his response in chapter 1:20, “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.” Woah! He had just lost his kids, property, and livelihood. Yet, Job mourned, grieved, and then he worshiped.
Job allowed his view of God and God’s greatness to supersede his situation and emotions.
Then he picks back up in verse 1:21, “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.” Job gave thanks and blessing to God in the midst of his despair as he knew that all things come from the Lord. How do you view God in your mourning? How does remembering the gifts of God stir up the desire to worship in your life?
Then, we see that God is present in all of our situations. Jeremiah 23:23-24 says, “Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth?”
There is no place or situation that we go through where God is not present. Job cried out to God over and over as God seemed so distant, even absent, from his situation. However, God was right there the entire time, with full sovereignty over all of his situations. God heard every word of Job and his friends, and eventually, God answered Job. Psalm 66:19 reinforces this, “But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.” Thanks be to God for being in our trials with us and for hearing all of our prayers.
Next, we learn that God is good even in the trials and sufferings. Psalm 145:9 declares, “The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.” We also see that in all things and at all times, God can be trusted. Psalm 121:3 states, “He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.” God is good and He alone firmly keeps us in place. He never slumbers. Knowing God’s goodness and being able to trust Him teaches us how to rejoice in our sufferings. First Peter 1:6-7 says, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” When we go through the fire we are able to rejoice when we remember God’s goodness and trustworthiness. As Christians living in the victory of Jesus, our trials result in praise, glory, and honor because we experience more of Jesus’ strength in our trials.
Finally, we learn that trials allow us to experience God in ways that we would not have known Him if we did not struggle. Therefore, the fiery trials are worth it.
In chapter 42 verse 5 Job declares to the Lord, “I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.” Job knew God. He had heard of God. But, through his trials, He was able to experience God in the most real way he ever had. Nothing in his situation had changed, but he finally saw the God he had once only heard of. That is the truest victory— knowing God more intimately. His eyes of faith were opened through his trials.
As Christians, our eyes of faith are opened when we trust in Jesus and His work on the Cross. When we look at the cross we see victory. In the Cross, we have victory over our health. We have victory over our temptations. We have victory over losses. We have victory over our emotional state. We have victory over our relationship troubles. We have victory over every single situation that we cannot control. We are first and foremost victorious!
Romans 8:37-39 says, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We are more than victoriously conquering all areas of our lives because Jesus already conquered them for us. Let us give thanks for the fact that we can victoriously live as more than conquerors in His victory! Let us give thanks in our trials as we remember that God is with us, God hears us, and God works on our behalf. Finally, praise be to God in our trials as He opens our eyes to see Him more clearly!
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