“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”
The Book of Job is one of the oldest manuscripts in the Bible. In fact, experts agree, its writing predates the book of Exodus. Job tells the story about a man, who’s name bares the title of this book. It is the story about how Job had all the blessings in life a man could want, then lost everything, and in the end recovered everything that he had lost and then some. It is a great example for us of how to turn our setbacks into comebacks.
During Job’s setback, he had three friends who were trying to convince him how he must have committed some sin, or God wouldn’t have punished him by taking away everything that he had. One of Job’s friends, Zophar, urges him to repent because he thinks Job is a hypocrite. In Job11:11, Zophar tells Job that God knows deceitful men and that He also sees wickedness. It is clear to anyone who reads the story of Job, that his friends were way off base, Job was innocent. The tragedy, test, trial, or whatever label you want to place on it, was just a storm that God had allowed to touch Job’s life.
There are a lot of people who want to compare themselves to Job, but truth be told, they aren’t going through anything close to what Job endured. In the normal course of our lives we will all experience setbacks, storms that will shake us up, but most of us will never be tested to the degree that Job was. Bad things happen to good people, that is simply a fact of life, but we must realize what Job knew and had determined: no matter what I go through, I’m gone trust God! Before the storm even approaches, we must have a “made-up mind.” Job placed an unwavering trust in God during the most difficult setback of his life. He said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” – Job 13:15 KJV
Despite what the learned liberals in our government think, we must learn to cling to God; even when it seems like He is far off and there is no comfort or hope to be found. In the times when it seems as if there is no sun on our horizon, His light shines in our darkness. “God, who first ordered ‘light to shine in darkness’, has flooded our hearts with his light.” – 2 Corinthians 4:6 J.B. Phillips
Without a doubt, stressful situations place demands on us; not just physically, but mentally as well. Psychologists refer to these situations as “stressors”. When you’re “stressed out” you tend to feel lousy, and extended exposure to “stressors” can have long-term negative consequences. But it’s important to understand that stress is in many ways an adaptive reaction.
When you’re in a threatening situation, or when someone is placing demands on you, it’s important that your body become “activated” so you can respond to the threat in the best appropriate way. Stress is supposed to initiate a fight or flight response in you, it’s supposed to bring out the best in you. What Job was going through was preparing him to be able to go on the defensive and bring him out of his setback.
Too many people become exhausted and do not put up an effective resistance to the enemy’s attack because they are not prepared to fight. When faced with the stress of temptation we are to flee, our reaction should be flight, but when we are faced with the stress of an attack – we are supposed to fight! You’re not supposed to run away from what God is allowing you to go through. You’re supposed to be like Job and say, “Though He slay me yet will I trust him”
I think that the most significant experience that we gain from our setbacks are the lessons that we learn from them. So that being said, what are some of lessons that we can gain from our setbacks? One of the most important things that I have gleaned from my setbacks: I possess the ability to recover. Even when I get knocked down, if I get back up, my setback cannot destroy me or rob me of God’s purpose for my life. The enemy may get in my face and temporarily impair my ability to see God’s plan, but if I fix my eyes on Jesus, the hindrance is quickly removed.
“Surrounded then as we are by these serried ranks of witnesses, let us strip off everything that hinders us, as well as the sin which dogs our feet, and let us run the race that we have to run with patience, our eyes fixed on Jesus the source and the goal of our faith.” – Hebrews 12:1,2 J.B. Phillips
Second, my setbacks have taught me that I have persistence: the ability to hold firmly and steadfastly to a purpose, state, or undertaking despite obstacles that are place in my way. I have learned that regardless of the circumstances that I am in, nothing can hinder God’s purpose for my life. The devil has no say, the doubters have no say, “if God be for me, who can be against me.”
“I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” – Philippians 4:12,13 The MSG
Finally, my setbacks have taught me that something is about to break. I ‘m not talking about a breakdown, or a breakup, but I am talking about a breakthrough! My setbacks have showed me to get ready to move, because when I have faith, when I have unwavering trust regardless of the circumstances that surround me: God is about to make a way, when there seems to be no way!
Job proclaimed that regardless what God would allow to happen to him, he would never lose faith. Job had suffered tremendous loss at God’s permissive will for the enemy to take anything and everything, except his life. Job lost the three things which are considered signs of a man’s well-being: He lost his wealth, he lost his children, and he lost his good health.
I find is somewhat absurd that we believe it was the will of God for Jesus to suffer and die on a cross, for the Aposlte Paul to suffer all he did, to be imprisoned, beaten, and eventually beheaded, all of the other Apostles to become martyrs except John who was boiled in oil and exiled; we accept all of this as God's will, but expect our lives to be perfect. Sorry brothers and sisters, it don't work that way. The Word clearly tells us that all who seek to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer.
I have learned something from everything that I have gone through: regardless of my setback, I’ve got to keep trusting God! No matter what the enemy tries to take, Lord, I’m going to trust you! No matter what I suffer right now, it‘s only temporary, I’m keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus! No matter what the doctor’s diagnosis is, I believe that you’re my healer, though you slay me, I will trust in you!
Statements like that that strikes dread into the heart of the enemy. Isaiah 54:17 say’s “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.”
No matter what stuff the enemy tries to form or fashion against you; it won’t advance, it won’t succeed or make progress if you trust in the name of Jesus!