Welcome back to our online Inductive Bible Study on the book of Job, “Trusting God in Times of Adversity” by Kay Arthur. We just completed Week Two of our study, “Holding Fast Your Integrity.” How easy it would be to throw in the towel and give up when tragedy strikes. But Job did not give up. Oh what truths we can learn from the life of Job on how to remain faithful to God when life becomes unbearable. I can hardly wait to chat with you this week in our small groups.
In our observation of Job Chapter 2, we saw Job stand firm in his faith when God allowed Satan to afflict Job with painful sores all over his body (Job 2:7).
Pain! No one wants to feel pain. Have you ever been in so much pain that you just wanted to die? I recall a time when I had a severe stomach bug. I was doubled over with cramps, and everything else that goes along with a stomach bug, and I just wanted to die. I will save you the gory details, but you know what I mean. I couldn’t see beyond that moment. It didn’t last forever, just a few days; however, at the time I thought it would never end, and I would never recover. Some of you may be experiencing something even worse at this very moment.
So why does God allow pain and suffering? We may never know the answer to this question, and we will always have unanswered questions. But what we do know is that God is ultimately in control. What seems unfair in this life will be made right in eternity. Our problems will be resolved and many of our questions will be answered. Meanwhile, when painful circumstances of life strike, it’s more important how we respond. We can view these trying times as God-given opportunities to cooperate with God to fulfill His purpose and plan by serving Him with a whole heart. We can honor Almighty God by the way we live and die. Job did just that when his wife tried to convince him to curse God and die (Job 2:9). But Job held fast his integrity. His response:
“Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” Job 2:10
A footnote in my Life Application Bible states:
“The message of Job is that you should not give up on God because He allows you to have bad experiences. Faith in God does not guarantee personal prosperity, and lack of faith does not guarantee troubles in this life. God is certainly capable of rescuing us from suffering, but He may also allow suffering to come for reasons we cannot understand. It is Satan’s strategy to get us to doubt God at exactly this moment.”
God has a plan, and likewise Satan has a plan. Job accepted his fate, he did not doubt God, and although his body was physically scarred, his character was flawless. So when times of suffering come, will you accept your fate and trust God? He has a plan for our lives, and our suffering will not be in vain.
Kay Arthur writes in the Thought for the Week…
“In this life, we will have tribulation as the “ruler of the world” seeks whom he may devour, but his judgment and defeat have already been accomplished by the cross of Christ.”
Take comfort that God is in control of your life and your circumstances.
BIBLE STUDY TIP: Are you constantly missing your Bible study time? Use your smart phone to set an alarm for your appointment with God and never miss again.
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Join a small group and fellowship with your fellow Bible students. https://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCInductiveStudies/
- Complete your study of Week Three, “I Wish I Had Never Been Born!”
- Pray before you begin your study. Ask your resident Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to open your heart to wisdom and understanding to learn His truths.
- Do an online word study on “Adversity” (Job 2:9) at www.blueletterbible.org. Instructions for doing a word study are located in “Files” in the Inductive Studies chat room.
- Store in your heart Job 2:10 (Week Two, Day Seven). A “Store in Your Heart” form is located in “Files” in the Inductive Studies chat room.
- Fill out the “Job at a Glance” chart on Page 97. As you complete your chapter study for the week, decide what the main theme of the chapter is and record the theme for Job 2. There is no right or wrong way to write a chapter theme. This is your study and it will help you to remember what the chapter was all about.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK (answer in small groups or post a comment here)
- It’s easy to praise and follow God in the good times. How can you remember to remain faithful to God in the bad times as well?
- Job’s wife asked, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9) Have you ever had a time in your life when a well-meaning friend or loved one has encouraged you to walk away from God? How did you respond?
- How would you answer Job’s question, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10)
- Job had three friends who came to encourage and comfort him during his time of adversity (Job 2:11). What lessons can you draw from Job about comforting friends? What changes do you need to make in how you comfort friends? How has someone comforted you during your time of adversity?
- Do you fully trust God although you may not understand why something is happening to you or someone close to you? Why or why not?