THE GIFT THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE!
”Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and all they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and everyone an earring of gold. So The LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses” (Job 42:11-12).
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The story of the ancient patriarch, Job is an awe inspiring one, and full of very important lessons to help us today. We are told of Job’s exemplary lifestyle from the first chapter and verse of the book of Job in the Bible. Born in the land of Uz, Job was a regular man like anyone else. He had a family and engaged in the dominant trade of his time. He became very wealthy, having been successful at his business. He also had a close knit and very peaceful family. He was successful socially as a very respected figure in his community and was known for upholding the cause of justice for the poor and freely sharing his wealth with the less privileged (Job 29:1-25). He was also exceptional in the practice of his faith. He believed in God and conducted all his activities in accordance with his belief and trust in God. Thus, he was an all round successful man, and we get to discover that God was the source of his successes in life (Job 1:9-10). This is the example that has been replicated over the ages; those that put their trust in God are never losers in life. They that make God their refuge and fortress are well protected from the enemies onslaught on their lives, families and business (Psalm 91:1-16).
We see the delight God had in Job’s life that He made a boast to Satan about Job’s faithfulness and upright life in Job 1:8, 2:3. How great it is to have the commendation of none other but the Almighty God, the creator and sustainer of the universe. Job’s perfection was predicated on his fear of God and shunning of evil. You and me can also have God testify of our lives if we follow the example of Job. Do you fear God and shun all evil way? Satan was so certain that Job’s fear of God was just because God had blessed and made him successful. He called Job’s allegiance to God to question and God granted him leave to afflict Job and proof that Job will remain steadfast and faithful to his God regardless of any situation of life. Satan immediately launched fierce attacks on Job’s family, businesses and his health, but Job remained steadfast and faithful to God throughout the period of these trials.
We see in this story that Satan cannot harm any of God’s beloved children except God allows it as a trial to build up their faith in Him. As we enter into another year, I want you to be assured of God’s protection. Make it your priority to live your life to please God. Accept the salvation from sin God has provided in Jesus Christ and submit yourself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Make a commitment to live by the principles of God’s word; to walk in love, to eschew evil and walk righteously before God all the days of your life. You will have God’s hedge round you, your family, your business and all that concerns you (Job 1:10). You can be sure God will keep you safe through this year 2018.
Job lost all material possessions and his health but never lost his faith in God. Such must be our attitude and determination to worship God regardless of the situation we may encounter in the year. I pray we will remain faithful to God to the very end of our lives. I am glad that Job did not end his life in sorrows but in joy. I share in the sentiments of the great Evangelist, Corrie Ten Boom who said whenever she picks a book to read and sees the trials of the protagonists, she flips to the end of the story to see if it ends with “and they lived happily ever after” before coming back to continue the story. She believed a happy ending makes a good story. It is true that this is how the greatest author of life, God, has ordered the lives of His children. There is a happily ever after awaiting us in heaven when we are done with our journey of life through this world and at the appearing of Jesus Christ to rapture the saints to himself (Revelations 21:3-5). In this world also, God has designed a happily ever after for us when we have gone through the trials of faith as Job experienced. God restored all of Job’s losses; his children, his health, his businesses, his wealth and prominence. Not only did he get back just as much as he had before Satan’s attack, but he had double of what he lost (Job 42:10). Praise the Lord! Have you had losses in the past years? The Lord shall bring your restoration this year in Jesus name. Amen.
I was drawn to one of the ways God used to bring about Job’s restoration in this story. The portion in Job 42:11-12 we quoted at the beginning of this article shows the support God raised through people to bring about a turnaround in Job’s circumstances. People came visiting Job at the end of his trial period and each of them came with a gift for him. They gave him money, gold and a number of gifts that became vital support to kick start Job’s business again. These were gifts that made a difference in Job’s situation. I see it was the work of God for these people to have it in mind to give Job these gifts. It takes the stirring of the hearts of men by God to have them part with their money and substances to help another, otherwise, people are generally so selfish and will not do so. This is not so farfetched when you consider the number of people who have been struggling so much and unable to make progress in business or in academic pursuit despite having financially capable people around them who would have helped them but would not. God used the gifts of Job’s brothers and sisters, close friends and acquaintance to serve as the necessary capital for Job’s financial breakthrough.
We need this kind of divine intervention of God using men and women to help us up on our feet this year. Do you have an idea or project that has remained stalled due to lack of capital or finance to carry it out and through? God shall raise people, and even institutions, with the means who will assist you to realize those dreams and projects. Tell God about those ideas, dreams and projects and trust Him to raise supporters to help you achieve them. Pray until something happens for God shall certainly arise to your help.
God can use a variety of ways to help us out of any situation. He is the same God that put money in the belly of a fish which Peter used to pay the taxes for himself and the other disciples of Jesus Christ (Matthew 17:24-27). God can use any means, whether fish as in the case of Peter or people as in the case of Job, or by a miraculous multiplication as he did for the widow who had only a bottle of oil (2 Kings 4:1-7). He is more than able to help you this year. You just have to trust Him and live in close fellowship with Him.
Moreover, God shall also use you to answer someone’s prayer this year. Do not keep all of what God gives you to yourself. Reach out and find someone struggling, whom your money, resources or even counsel can help. This is how God designed life to be, but Satan has disrupted that order by making men greedy, selfish and covetous, and hence they think only about themselves and cannot help any other. You must not be like one of these, but like Job’s family relations, friends and acquaintance, rise to the occasion and let your gifts make the difference in people’s lives this year. This is the way Job had lived also. He was a giver and helper of the needy and God also ensured he had help when he needed it (Job 29:11-16, Job 42:11).
This year shall be a spectacular year for us. The almighty will bring a great difference for good in our lives this year in Jesus Christ name. Let us resolve to live in holiness and be righteous in all our activities this year. Shun all forms of evil. Do no sinful action. Love God with all your heart and strength, and love people (Mark 12:29-31). Do good to everyone and give your best to have their situations changed and their souls saved. Commit yourself to the cause of Christ; to spreading the gospel of salvation and supporting the work of the church and other Christian organizations. Make a difference this year and God bless you abundantly.
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