God says we have to surrender everything, but my parent/spouse/child is not a Christian! My health is so bad I can’t even get out of bed! My son/daughter has died! My grandchild is very ill! I lost my job and have been trying to get a new one now for 3 years! I have lost everything! All I have ever dreamed of is having a family and God won’t even give me a spouse!
These are really hard things to go through and for the record, I am not writing this study because I have it all figured out and respond perfectly when struggles come my way! Actually at this time being surrendered is my struggle and I need this study!
I have children that have chosen not to be Christians. I almost died in 1994, due to complications in surgery and have had health issues ever since, at times not able to get out of bed. Currently I am doing well. I have lost jobs and had financial struggles for years. I have lost homes, cars, and stuff. I do have a great husband, but that has not always been the case. Thank you God, I have not had to experience losing a child or grandchild! However, as this is being written I have a grandchild that is going through some major health issues.
I say all of this not to get pity or attention, but to say I know what it is like to go through things and struggle with my heart and attitude. It’s not easy! It’s never easy! Jesus even struggled with this and it’s through reading about His struggles and others that I am able to persevere, so that is what I would like to share with you today. Ultimately Jesus is the greatest example of surrender and there are many times that I go back to the cross to get through the day.
However, in this study I want to look at Job. I have recently learned that for some people Job is very depressing, so this study might not be for you. For me, Job is very challenging and inspiring. To find out why, keep reading.
Surrender means-to yield (something) to the possession or power of another; to give (oneself) up to some influence, course, emotion, etc.
I). Do you surrender to the power of God or act as if you are more powerful?
A). Job 1:1-5
1). Job was blameless and upright.
2). He feared God and shunned evil.
3). He made sacrifices for his children just in case they had sinned.
* I think it is safe to say that Job had a very healthy understanding of the power of God. Do you realize that this is God saying these things about Job, not Job speaking of himself? In verse 3 the Bible says that Job was the greatest man among the East. Yes, it is possible for wealthy people to be humble and fully depend on God. As you will see, if you choose to read all of Job, he understood that everything he had (he had a lot) came from God and if God choose, He could take it all away.
B). Job 1:6-12
1). Satan approaches God.
2). God ask Satan if he had considered His servant Job?
3). God gives Satan permission to test Job.
*Wow! This is so intense! Picture this, God is hanging out doing whatever He wants and some angels show up, which I am sure is the normal thing around God, but Satan shows up with them. Maybe this is a normal thing as well. It appears as if God and Satan have a conversation like you and I might have.
Translation (mine of course)-
God: So Satan what have you been up to?
Satan: Oh just going back and forth looking for someone to attack.
God: I see. Well have you considered my servant Job, he is blameless and upright?
Wait just a minute! God just said that Job was blameless and upright, so doesn’t that mean that life should go smooth and easy? Why would God purposely subject Job to heartache and trials if he was blameless and upright?
C). James 1:2-4
1). The testing of my faith produces perseverance.
2). Perseverance is necessary so that I can be made complete and lack nothing.
D). Hebrews 5:7-10
1). Jesus cried out to God with shouting and tears.
2). He was heard because of His reverent submission.
3). Jesus learned obedience through His sufferings.
4). Through this He was made perfect.
*These Scriptures are a whole study by themselves. Go for it!
In Job 1:9-11, Satan basically says to God that Job is blameless and pure because God has allowed everything to go his way. There are so many things to be said here, but keeping in mind that this study is meant to be an appetizer I will try to limit myself, so that you can go develop your own convictions.
Jesus, himself had to go through trials and suffering in order to learn how to be obedient. What? I thought He was just born obedient and perfect. This is not what my Bible says. The testing of Jesus’ faith produced in Him perseverance and that was necessary for Him to lack nothing and become perfect in order to be the ultimate sacrifice for you and me! I truly believe that if we can get this in our brains and hearts, we would look at our trials and sufferings in a different light.
On August 3, 1994 I went in for a routine hysterectomy. Twelve hours later I was having my third major surgery and a vascular surgeon was saving my life. The original doctor cut a major artery or vein in the first surgery and didn’t know it. I had to have 11-13 units of blood (I don’t remember exactly, my mom probably does). I was in ICU for two weeks. I literally could not turn myself over in bed for days. I learned to appreciate the simplest of things.
I was twenty-nine years old and had four kids from age twelve to one and half years old. It took me over a year to be able to function normally and through all of that I developed fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. I remember waking up after the third surgery and the first thought in my head was; Wow! God has this much faith in me to allow Satan to attack me in this way and He believes that I will stay faithful through it. Trust me, I don’t always respond this way, but this my goal.
It is such an incredible honor to have the Creator of the universe have faith in me! Please let this sink in! I personally believe that there are many reasons that we go through trials and I do not claim to know all of them, only God does! Maybe one of them is to get us to turn to God and seek a relationship with Him. Maybe it is to test our faith. Maybe it’s to make us perfect. More great studies! Maybe it’s because God is super proud of us and knows that we can handle it and through our righteous response He helps someone else become a Christian. You see, we don’t see. God does! He has the Big Picture and we have to get to a point where we are surrendered to His power and His plan!
II). The attitude in which we should surrender.
A). Job 1:13-22
1). Job loses everything.
2). Job has a righteous response.
*Before we even get to chapter 2, Job loses his oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels, servants, sons, and daughters. What does Job do? Feel sorry for himself and have a pity party, no he falls to the ground and worships God……. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21 NIV) What would your response have been? I think I am safe in saying that this would not have been my initial response. Even the thought of these types of things happening to me do not bring about that kind of response, much less actually going through it all.
One of the most convicting Scriptures ever, verse 22; In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. (Job 1:22 NIV) My natural response, anger that God would allow this to happen to me! Having said that, as I described above, I have had a couple of victories where my heart has responded righteously. God deserves a righteous response every time, all of the time no matter what the trial is! I have to fight for this and I am calling you to fight with me.
B). Luke 23:34
1). Jesus is being crucified.
2). He asks God to forgive them.
*Another verse that is a very challenging scripture. (There are a lot of them) Jesus has been beaten beyond recognition and now hung on a cross to die. His response, God please forgive them. Okay think about this for a few minutes. Here you are, you have been beaten more than you can even imagine, spit on, made fun of, mocked, and now you’re being murdered by being hung on a cross. You look at the people that are killing you and you say, God please forgive them for they don’t understand what they’re doing. I have heard of disciples actually doing this while being raped or attacked. If you are one of those people, you rock and you call me higher!
For those of us who have made Jesus Lord of our life, this is the standard! No excuses, no watering it down, no ifs, ands, or buts about it! We were called to follow Jesus in everything! Please don’t misunderstand this; I am extremely challenged right now. I am not even close to arriving. I feel like I have fallen so far from having this mindset and attitude during my current trials. So in all honesty, I am writing this study for me and simply sharing it with you.
C). Job 2:1-8
1). Satan has another conversation about Job with God.
2). God gives Satan permission to cause physical pain to Job as long as he spares his life.
3). Satan afflicts Job with painful sores all over his entire body.
*This is really hard teaching and it’s not mine, it’s God’s. It is very hard to accept and understand! I think one of the first things that we have to accept is that, we will never fully understand, because we are not God! Remember He sees the Big Picture! His goal is to have a relationship with us and to spend eternity with us!
D). Job 2:9-10
1). Job’s wife offers no support.
2). Job’s wife tempts him to curse God.
3). Job responds righteously.
* Are emotions leading you or is God? It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, we all have different levels of emotions and some of us tend to be led by them more than others. However, it doesn’t matter because allowing our emotions to lead us the wrong way even one time, does not glorify God.
Here are two examples of what I am talking about. Remember Job’s wife had just lost everything as well. The children that she had given birth to were all dead, not to mention all of their possessions and wealth were taken away. Then her husband is struck with boils all over his body. It is so painful that he is scraping his skin with rocks and she is watching this. She wants it all to stop and responds through her emotions. His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9 NIV) I believe that she understands God’s power, because she knows that God could stop it. What she is lacking is trust in God that He knows what He is doing and total surrender to God’s plan. She doesn’t have a clear picture of who God is.
Then we have Job’s response; He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. (Job 2:10 NIV) Enough said!
III). How do I surrender?
A). Job 38-41
1). God speaks!
*Please! Please! Take a few minutes and read these chapters and then read them again! This is our Father!
B). Romans 8:1-39
No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39 NLT)
*I cannot even begin to put into words what I am thinking and feeling right now and do God justice! God is absolutely amazing! If you read the chapters in Job where God is speaking and do not feel total awe and amazement toward God you might need to check your pulse to see if you are alive or go read them a third time and then a fourth and fifth time. Then read Romans 8 that talks about how much God loves you!
The Creator of the universe loves you so much that He has not held anything back in an effort to show you how much! Do you realize that the world could have been black and white with no colors or beauty? We would not have known any difference, but our daddy wants to please us and give us amazing things to see. He wants us to feel and know how much He loves us everyday! Have you ever stopped to count how many shades of green there are? How many different species of animals? Thought about the fact that the ocean is like a whole other world under the water? He created the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, Niagara Falls, and on and on the list goes! God is so powerful that even the Leviathan answers to Him, whatever that is.
I hope you get my weak attempt to paint a picture here. Your Creator not only created you and everything around you, but loves you so much that He held nothing back!
How big is your god? Mine………Can handle anything!
*I am not a Bible scholar. Actually I do not claim to be much of a scholar of anything. The only degree I have is from the school of hard knocks!
*This is in no way an exhaustive study on surrender or on the book of Job, it is meant to only be an appetizer.
*The purpose of this study is to challenge us to get into the Word and deepen our convictions about being surrendered. If only one of you does this, mission accomplished.
May we always give glory to God for everything!