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The Need for a Strong Shelter - Job 1

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Since it seems that the present pandemic the world is facing will require more time to sort out and more patience on our part, I want to begin a new series called Shelter in Grace. Even the strongest, bravest, and most spiritual among us need God’s sheltering presence in the days ahead. I am praying that as life’s circumstances close in around us, God’s grace will open up for us new ways to grow and new joys to experience. Let’s consider someone in Scripture who discovered the need for a strong shelter in crisis: Job.

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4/19/2020
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The Need for a Strong Shelter
Job 1
Skip Heitzig
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Since it seems that the present pandemic the world is facing will require more time to sort out and more patience on our part, I want to begin a new series called Shelter in Grace. Even the strongest, bravest, and most spiritual among us need God’s sheltering presence in the days ahead. I am praying that as life’s circumstances close in around us, God’s grace will open up for us new ways to grow and new joys to experience. Let’s consider someone in Scripture who discovered the need for a strong shelter in crisis: Job.
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Shelter in Grace

Shelter in Grace

Millions of Americans have been ordered to shelter in place during this global health crisis. It's an aggressive measure to attempt to control the spread of an aggressive virus. When we shelter in place, we commit to confine ourselves to our homes, only leaving for essential errands like medical appointments and getting groceries. What if in our confinement we also commit to shelter in grace? In this series, Skip Heitzig searches Scripture for what it means to move beyond receiving God's grace to taking refuge in it. Learn to survive and thrive when life closes in.

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  1. He Was a Significant Man

  2. He Was a Suffering Man

  3. He Was a Searching Man

Study Guide

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Connect Recap Notes: April 19, 2020
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The Need for a Strong Shelter"
Text: Job 1

Path

Since it seems that the present pandemic the world is facing will require more time to sort out and more patience on our part, I want to begin a new series called Shelter in Grace. Even the strongest, bravest, and most spiritual among us need God's sheltering presence in the days ahead. I am praying that as life's circumstances close in around us, God's grace will open up for us new ways to grow and new joys to experience. In this teaching, Pastor Skip considers someone in Scripture who discovered the need for a strong shelter in crisis: Job.
  1. He Was a Significant Man
  2. He Was a Suffering Man
  3. He Was a Searching Man
Points

He Was a Significant Man
  • The term shelter in place has become familiar over the last weeks; most states have told citizens to stay home, except for essential activities. We must shelter in grace and, as Paul said, learn to be content in every situation (see Philippians 4:11-13).
  • The theme of Job's story is timeless; suffering has always been part of the human condition. In Job we find someone who struggled to understand suffering, but learned patience and perseverance, and how to shelter in God's grace. God is a shelter for His people (see Ruth 2:12, Psalm 27:5, and Psalm 32:7).
  • Job was a real man with real problems, and we can learn how to navigate similar hardships (unemployment, depression, loss, and isolation) through his story. The Bible is full of men and women who faced hard situations head-on; their lives are on display for all of us to learn from and listen to (see Romans 15:4).
  • The Bible is a book of comfort. God "comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (2 Corinthians 1:4).
  • Job was known for his wealth, generosity, and godliness (see Job 1:3-5). Even God thought Job was an exceptional person (v. 8). The prophet Ezekiel put him on the same level as Noah and Daniel in terms of righteousness (see Ezekiel 14:14).
He Was a Suffering Man
  • Job is most known for his suffering (see Job 2:7). None deserved suffering less, and few have suffered more, than Job. Job experienced episodes of testing—"months of futility" (Job 7:3)—after a series of disasters, including the death of his children, the loss and destruction of his property, the loss of his health, conflict with his wife, and insensitivity from his friends. Job's story presents four issues:
    • How much freedom does Satan have?
    • Why do the righteous suffer? How can a good person live with loss and still believe?
    • What happens after death (see Job 14:14)?
    • Why is God invisible? How can we live in the visible world and serve an invisible God (see Job 23)?
He Was a Searching Man
  • Job's suffering prompted his search for answers (see Job 3:11-12; 20). Job did not get a satisfactory answer from his wife; she told him to "curse God and die" (Job 2:9). He got no satisfactory answer from his friends, who gave him bad advice. Job didn't get real answers from God, either. When God responded, He simply asked Job, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?" (Job 38:4). God didn't provide reasons for Job's suffering; He demanded faith and trust.
  • Job rested in response to two irreducible truths (see Job 42:1-6):
    • God can do anything (v. 2a); He is omnipotent (see Psalm 47:2).
    • God controls everything (v. 2b). He's powerful enough to create the universe, and powerful enough to take care of everything in your life.
  • We can learn four lessons from Job:
    • Suffering, disaster, and grief have been part of life since the beginning.
    • Good, godly people suffer as much as anyone else.
    • We may never understand why pain and suffering occur.
    • It is possible to rest in God's power and control—to shelter in His grace.
  • Have you allowed something small to blot out your view of God's grace?
  • Don't let fear or isolation overwhelm you. Seek Christ and His kingdom. Love God and others well. Turn from the problem and turn to Christ.
Practice

Connect Up: How do suffering and evil in the world affect your relationship to God? Do you run from Him or to Him in times of trouble?  How can suffering be one of the greatest gifts, even leading to salvation? If you have a story of a time when suffering brought you to Christ, please share it or journal it.

Connect In: How do you help people—especially the body of Christ—who are suffering? In Pastor Skip's booklet Jesus Loves the Broken, he lists this acronym: REST. How does each help a hurting heart?
  • R—Relationships: Surround yourself with loving, caring Christians.
  • E—Exercise: Healthy activity can help relieve stress. How do you care for your body, and how does that help you mentally?
  • S—Scripture: Turn to the Bible to find comfort and answers to life's problems. How has Scripture helped you through hurt?
  • T—Trust: Place yourself squarely in God's hands. What have you discovered in your walk when you release yourself fully into God's care?
Connect Out: How can hurt turn to help by serving others, particularly those who don't believe? Furthermore, how would you explain to someone why and how God uses pain for His purposes? Consider Romans 8:28.

Transcript

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The Need for a Strong Shelter - Job 1 - Skip Heitzig

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Well, welcome to our new series. Welcome to church. It's been a week since we were together at Easter, and what a celebration we had during that time.

I'm gathered here with just a few friends because we want to maintain social distancing and do what the law requires. But you know, there's a term that everybody has been using. Nobody knew this term until a couple of months ago, and that's the term shelter in place. Shelter in place, a term that is now used a lot by a lot of states. It means stay at home except for essential activities. California was the first state to enact this as a law on March 19. Now the vast majority of states have laws that are similar.

So the idea is we are told to do what Americans would have thought unthinkable months ago. Don't go to work. Don't go to school. Don't leave your house unless absolutely necessary. No one would have thought that we would be living this way.

So I've taken that phrase, and I want to co-opt it. I want to steal it and change it up a little bit, and do a series called Shelter in Grace because we're going to need to be doing that in the weeks ahead as this sort of drags on longer than anybody ever anticipated or certainly wants. We need to learn what it is to tuck ourselves in under the shadow of God's wing and be sheltered in His grace.

You know, I'm used to speaking, usually, to people in person. It's what I prefer. I would rather have hundreds, thousands of people in one place and communicate God's truth to them. I'm not used to just this. But then you're not used to it, either. You would rather be here in person as well and not watch a screen.

But you know what? Something about a screen. I just want to let you in on a little secret. I look out on the audience when I'm speaking in person, and by about the fourth or fifth row, they're already looking at the screen behind me. So we have become a screen culture. So I know it's a little putting us off a bit, but it's OK. We're getting through this.

Over the next several weeks, through this series, what I'm hoping will happen is we will learn that great little phrase in Philippians that we mentioned a couple weeks ago, where Paul said, in whatever state I'm in, I'm learning to be content. It is a learned process. It's not easy. It's not a light switch. We need to learn it.

I'm turning to the Book of Job because Job is a timeless book. And here's why it's timeless. The theme of the book, as you all know, is the theme of suffering. And I've discovered suffering is always a timeless, relevant theme. Someone, at all times, somewhere, is suffering. It's something that we always go through.

So what we don't like about the Book of Job, however, isn't suffering per se. But the book opens up the possibility of extreme suffering. And that unnerves us a bit. That unhinges us a bit. But I want you to think of Job for a moment because I have a hunch that a lot of you already know about Job and his story. Job had similar circumstances to what the world is facing right now.

First of all, Job was affected by a loathsome disease that he feared and everybody else feared, as many people are today with this coronavirus. Also, Job experienced massive economic instability. He went from somebody who was very wealthy to somebody who lost everything. Also, while he was sheltering in place with his wife, there was some relational tension going on between them. They didn't always see eye to eye. It got a little rough.

Then, also, here's another similarity. Job had four friends that show up in the book. So we have a party of five in the Book of Job, so we could say that Job met all the state requirements for having a group no larger than five.

Here's another similarity. No one completely understood why Job was suffering so much. They grappled with it. They struggled with it. They wrestled with it. They talked about it. They argued about it. But they didn't understand. Is this from God? Is this from Satan? Is this from personal sin? So throughout the Book of Job, Job himself, primarily, but also his buddies, they're struggling to understand the reason.

And something else. Let's throw this in as a similarity. Job's suffering was not over immediately. It was not a drive-through lesson. It was not like you can add water and mix and it's over. It lasted a long period of time. It drug on and on, as I'm going to show you in this study.

And part of suffering is a thing called patience. And if you've ever prayed for patience, then right now stop and say, thank you, God, for answering my prayer right now because it's happening. Patience, perseverance, endurance. And we're going to need that as we learn to shelter in grace.

But I want you to think of shelter for just a moment. It's a beautiful term, and it is used quite frequently in the Bible as a metaphor. For example, you know the story of Ruth and Boaz and how they met. And Ruth was a Moabitis, and Boaz lived in Bethlehem. And so Ruth comes with her mother-in-law over to Bethlehem, and she's working out in the fields, and she and Boaz fall in love.

When Boaz sees her, Boaz says to Ruth, the Lord repay your work and a full reward be given to you by the Lord God of Israel under whose wings you have come for shelter or refuge. So God is pictured like a mother bird sheltering her young, keeping her young close to her by her wings.

Psalm 27. David said, in the day of trouble, He will keep me safe in his dwelling. He will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. And then one of my favorite psalms of all, Psalm 32, you are my hiding place. You shall preserve me from trouble. You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.

There is a theme that runs through all of these Scriptures, and that's this. In a strong crisis, you need a strong shelter. And that's why I've called this message "The Need for a Strong Shelter". And as I mentioned, we're in the Book of Job. And we're going to notice a few things in Chapter 1 about Job.

First of all, Job was a significant man. Job is probably one of the most famous people who have ever lived. You could ask anybody on the street, and I would even say if they don't know much of the Bible, they've heard, at least, of Job. Just say to somebody, who can you think of in the Bible who suffered a lot? Job will be their first answer. He's a famous guy.

Now in Job Chapter 1, Verse 1 it begins this way. There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. And that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. Also, his possessions were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.

Notice the beginning of Verse 1. There was a man. Stop right there. There was a man. What we're dealing with here is a real story about a real man. This is not an allegory. This is not a parable. This is not some type. This is a real man with real problems, and very, very significant problems.

Lord Byron, who was a 18th century British politician, said truth is always strange, and truth is stranger than fiction. That's where that phrase comes from, Lord Byron. Truth is stranger than fiction. The Book of Job is a strange truth, but it's a real truth. It's a real man because Ezekiel, the prophet, mentions him in Chapter 14. James in the New Testament Chapter 5 also mentions him. And that would be unlikely if this were a fictitious story because he is referred to elsewhere as being historical.

Something else. In the Book of Job, there are names of people, like Eliphaz the Temanite and several of his friends that you'll meet. And there's names of places, real places. Uz is mentioned here. And that would be unlikely if this were an allegory. Ancient allegory never contained real people in real places.

Now you go, what do you mean, real places? Uz. I've never been to Uz. I've never heard of a place called Uz. That's an old name for Edem, the Edemites came from. And you say, well, Edem, where's Edem? Because Edem is an old name. So Uz is the first name, Edem is the second name. The modern name of the area today is Jordan, the country of Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. So Uz was the southern part of Jordan, the northern part of Saudi Arabia formed that Kingdom of Uz, a literal place, an actual place.

Now because it's a real story, the Book of Job is therefore more meaningful. It helps us navigate through similar stuff. You see, the Bible is filled with stories of real men, real women going through real problem, real life situations. They are, in effect, on display for us. This is what Paul meant in Romans 15 when he said, such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us, to give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises.

So you see, the Bible isn't just a book of theology. That wouldn't satisfy us. It's not just a book filled with rules and regulations and things like that. That wouldn't satisfy us. That wouldn't help us. We want to know how real people dealt with similar things that we're going through in real time, how they acted and how they reacted.

And by the way, one of the reasons we suffer is for the very same reasons real people are mentioned in the Scripture. Just like they were on display, we, too, are on display. Here's one of the reasons you suffer. It's so that other people can see how people should suffer. You really are there on display.

The book of 2 Corinthians says that God is the one who comforts us in all our tribulations so that we can comfort those who are in any trouble with the comfort we have received of Christ. So just like they were on display so we can see how they live, we and our suffering are on display so that others can say, this is how godly people ought to suffer.

So Job was a man. He was a significant man. He wasn't just an ordinary man. He wasn't even an ordinarily good man. He was an exceptional man. God brags on him, as we will see later on. Down in Verse 3-- and we read it-- the end of Verse 3, says, so this man was the greatest of all of the people of the east.

Matt, that would be like saying, Matt is the greatest of all the people in Albuquerque or in New Mexico. Is that true? Oh. OK, well, it was true of Job. Not of Albuquerque, but in that area. He was the greatest of all the people in the east. Now that term, greatest, is the Hebrew word godol. And some of you who know Hebrew know that godol means big, or large, or the largest, or the heaviest. That doesn't mean he was physically large, that he was a fat man. The idea is that he had a weighty reputation. He was significant. He was reputable. He would be like a modern day Sheikh in Arab cultures.

In Ezekiel Chapter 14, Job is compared to the patriarch Noah and the prophet Daniel. All three of them were placed in similar circumstances. In James Chapter 5, Job is used as the quintessential example of persevering through a trial, enduring a trial. You have heard, he said, of the perseverance of Job. So he is significantly powerful, significantly influential, significantly spiritual, and significantly in pain as we make our way through this book.

Something else that I think is important. The Book of Job is one of the very first books in the Bible, even though in a literary sense, it's not placed that way. But chronologically, it probably is one of the earliest books. And the setting of the Book of Job would be somewhere in the Book of Genesis, the patriarchal period. In fact, some scholars believe he was a contemporary with Jacob, that he would have known Jacob. So you have Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and right around that period, Job.

Now there are reasons for this. In the Book of Job, there is no reference at all to the mosaic law, the rules and regulations as set down on Mount Sinai. There is no mention of the Exodus in the Book of Job. That was the significant event. Virtually every book in the Old Testament mentions it. It's not mentioned in the Book of Job.

The nation of Israel is not mentioned in the Book of Job. Job himself has a long lifespan like that of the patriarchs. And the book opens up with Job acting the role of a priest for his family. So he played a role that they did in ancient times.

I'm underscoring this because the problem of pain is nothing new. It goes back to the very earliest pages of history. You are not the first to experience problems. You are not the first to be put out. You're not even the first to be quarantined or put in place, stuck in place. There were people before you. And you need to know that pain, suffering, trials, despair, all of that goes back from time immemorial. He was a significant man.

Second-- and I've sort of already touched on this, but we'll dive in a little deeper-- he was not just a suffering man or a significant man. He was a suffering man. That's really the theme of the book. That is what Job is most famous for. He's not most famous for being wealthy, though he was. He's not the most famous for somebody who struggled with theological issues, though he did. He is most famous for being a guy who suffered a lot.

In fact, probably the section of the book that underscores this is in Chapter 2, Verse 7, where we are told, Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes. That's the picture most of us have of Job, from that chapter and that verse.

No one deserved suffering less than Job, and few people in history have ever suffered more than Job. That's why the book bothers us because he was so good, so righteous, so holy, so blameless, so much so that God bragged on him. But he suffered so much.

Now I know, and you probably know, that the book presents two basic episodes in which Job was tested in the first couple of chapters. But I want to draw your attention to Chapter 7 for a moment because it tells us a little bit about length here. Chapter 7, Verse 2, Job said, like a servant who earnestly desires the shade, like a hired man who eagerly looks for his wages, so I have been allotted months of futility.

This is only in Chapter 7. There are 40 some chapters in this book. This lasted a long period of time. I have been allotted months of futility, and wearisome nights have been appointed to me. When I lie down, I say when shall I arise and the night be ended, for I have had my fill of tossing till dawn. My flesh is caked with worms and dust. My skin is cracked and breaks afresh.

Now there's a series of disasters that this man faces. Here's a list. His children are killed, all of them. His livestock is seized. His property is destroyed. And if that's not enough, he gets another round of it where he loses his health. He is afflicted with painful sores from head to foot.

And then, after the loss of all that, there's these lengthy discussions by armchair philosophers that surround him and try to figure out the reason for his suffering. They sort of go on a rant philosophically. Why, Job, are you suffering all of these issues? I can't figure it out. Must be because you've done this or you did that, or maybe God is wanting this. And they're trying to figure it out. And Job is right there among them.

It's like what Socrates once said. By all means, get married. If you find a good wife, you'll be very happy. If you find a bad wife, you'll become a philosopher. And that is good for any man, said Socrates. Maybe these guys didn't have good marriages and they became philosophers. But even Job's marriage was tested with his own wife.

Now the book is sort of outlined with three cycles of these arguments, or speeches, between these five people, Job and these four people that are mentioned. As I studied the book of Job, I discovered that Job struggles with questions, wrestles with, argues over in his mind, eight separate issues, eight separate, deep issues in life. And that's one of the reasons the book is so helpful, because it shows us how a servant of God who is blameless wrestles through, struggles through real issues in life, eight of them.

But let me give you four of them that I think are most notable. Number one, it's the issue of Satan. How much freedom does Satan have? Now I think we all agree, and we all know, Satan is limited. He's chained. He's under God's control. But here's the question. Why is that chain so long? I know that Satan is under the control of God, but boy, it seems like God lets him get away with a lot, and have a long latitude with which to torment people.

And we discover in the first couple chapters this invisible battle that takes place, this conversation between Satan and God. And the collateral damage is Job and his wife and children and possessions. The thing is, Job is completely on aware of this conversation, not only at the beginning, but all the way to the end of the book

So that's the first issue he deals with, the issue of Satan and why God allows Satan so much leeway. And so what do you do if everything you knew about life now doesn't make sense, and you don't know what's going on backstage? What do you do then?

Here's the second issue. Suffering. Why do righteous people suffer? Why do God's people suffer? And how does a good and righteous person live life when there's great loss involved and still hold on to faith, still believe, still speak positively and say God is good all the time, all the time God is good. How do you do that?

There was once an ad in a newspaper that said lost dog with three legs. Blind in left eye, missing right ear, tail is broken, recently injured, and answers to the name Lucky. Dog didn't sound very lucky to me. Sounds like you ought to rename that dog.

So those are the issues that most people associate the Book of Job with, Satan and suffering. But there are more than that. I mentioned eight. Let me give you two more. What happens after death? After this life, a life of good things that happen or a life of suffering, when it's all said and done, then what? Job 14, Job asks God, if a man dies, will he live again?

Now here's a guy who's suffering facing his own death and wondering what happens in the afterlife. By the way, I've discovered that when people suffer like this, they often question more about the afterlife. I've had people in hospital rooms say, tell me about heaven. Well, why do you want to know? Because I think I'm going to be going there soon. I want to know what it's going to be like. And Job was there. What about the afterlife?

And fourth and finally, the Book of Job deals with a problem we sometimes overlook, and that is, why is God so invisible? I don't see him. Here he is, suffering. He's isolated. He's been crying out, and he wants God to show himself. Job Chapter 23, he cries out, oh, that I knew where I might find God. When I go forward, he's not there. When I go backwards, I can't perceive him.

So how do I live in a visible world that capitalizes on visual stimuli and believe in a God I've never seen? And how do I communicate that God to other people? Oscar Wilde said suffering is a revelation. One discovers things one never discovered before. Job will go on a several-month discovery about all of these issues. But here's the thing. I'll warn you in advance. He doesn't like everything he discovers.

So Job was a significant man. Job was a suffering man. Third, Job was a searching man. Now you can understand why. When you suffer, you want to find out, why am I suffering, right? That's just natural. You go on a search. So his suffering prompts his searching. In Job Chapter 3, Verse 11, Job says, why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb?

Verse 12. Why did the knees receive me, or why did the breast that I should nurse? Down in Verse 20 of that chapter, why is light given to him who is in misery, and life to the bitter of soul? In three verses, he asks the question five times. Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? He's trying to figure out the reason for suffering in this world, the reason for misery. And here's why I say he doesn't like what he discovers, because that question is never fully answered for him.

So Job gets no good answers from his wife. Her solution is, curse God and die. That's her counsel. Job doesn't really get satisfying answers from his three so-called friends, and then a fourth who comes later on. They're trying to figure it out, but they're all wrong in their assessments. God says so at the end.

And Job doesn't even get real answers from God because when he has a frank conversation at the end of the book, when God speaks to him audibly, God just questions him and says, Job, where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? If you know so much, how did I do that? How did I pull that off?

So he didn't really get the question of why do I suffer answered fully. But--and Christian, please hang on to this next sentence. But Job does eventually learn to rest in faith. He comes to a place of sheltering in grace. He comes to a place of rest and saying, I can't figure it out, but that's OK. And he does survive. And he does thrive eventually.

I'll take you to the very end of the book, toward the very end of the book, Chapter 42, in Verse 1. Then Job answered the Lord and said-- this is after all the guys spoke. This is after they argued. This is after God even speaks to Job. Now Job says to God, I know that you can do everything and that no purpose of yours can be withheld from you. You asked, who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?

Therefore, I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak. You said, I will question you, and you will answer me. I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you. Therefore, I abhor myself and I repent in dust and ashes.

This is where Job rests. This is where he comes to stop after all of the argument, struggle, wrestling, questioning, hurting, lashing out at God, this is now where he rests. He comes to irreducible truths. And I want you to look at that again. We're in Chapter 42, and I've sort of given you an outline or an outlay of the whole book. But he comes to two irreducible, minimum truths-- you might say theology in a nutshell, nutshell statements.

Number one, God can do anything. And number two, God controls everything. God can do anything and God controls everything. He rests there. He rests knowing God can do anything and God controls everything. I want you to hear it from his own lips. In Verse 2, he says, I know that you can do everything.

Theologians have a term for this, omnipotent. Omnipotent. God is omnipotent. God is all powerful. The word omnipotent comes from two words-- omni, all. Potent, potent, powerful. God is all potent, all powerful. Or God can do anything. God can do everything.

In Psalm 47, the Psalmist declares, the Lord most high is awesome. You know, I typically don't like the word awesome anymore because everybody has used it for so long. Dude, that's awesome. And it might be, like, a glass of Coke. That's awesome Coke. No, it's just Coke. Everything's awesome.

But here's a descriptor that really does fit God. God is awesome. So he says, the Lord most high is awesome, Great King, the Great King over all the earth. Listen to how AW Tozer describes this attribute of God. He says, all his acts are done without effort. God didn't go, oh, man, hold on. Oh, it's hard to lift that. He does all of his acts without effort.

He expends no energy that must be replenished. His self-sufficiency makes it unnecessary for him to look outside of himself for a renewal of strength. God doesn't have to sleep. All the power required to do, all that he wills to do lies in undiminished fullness in his own infinite being. That's the best description I've ever read of what it means for God to be omnipotent.

So Job rests there. Don't have all my issues answered, all my struggles, all the questions I've had. I don't have all the answers, but I rest in this. God can do anything.

Second, God controls everything. Same verse, Verse 2. Chapter 42, Verse 2. I know that you can do everything. That's one. And here's the second, that no purpose of yours can be withheld from you. That's sovereignty. The first is God is omnipotent. The second, God is sovereign. Now some people struggle with God's sovereignty. I understand that. But let me just say you'll be a happier person when you come to rest in God's sovereignty, and just say, you know what, I don't get at all. But I believe it and I'm going to rest in it.

When you accept that God is sovereign, you're a happier person. How powerful is God? He is powerful enough to make everything in your universe. He is powerful enough to take care of anything in your life, including your health, including your heartbeat and respiration, including your finances in this difficult time. God is able. God has power. Any of you raised on Star Trek? Do you like Star Trek? You're not a Star Trek fan, are you?

You know, it's divided. You're for me or against me. It's kind of like, you know-- yeah, right. So you either love it or hate it. But one of the prime characters in Star Trek was the chief engineer named Mr. Scott, Scotty. You remember Scotty? OK, I'm speaking to Millennials here tonight.

So Scotty, the engineer, would always talk about not having enough power. He was from Scotland. So he goes, "Captain, we can't get through. We don't have enough power." And he was always worried that there wasn't enough power aboard the ship to make the next journey or voyage or move.

God never has a power deficit. God never runs out of power. It's not like your iPhone. Do you have a plug I can plug this into? So we never have to worry about that. Job has come to rest in that, though he doesn't have the question fully answered as to why. He says, I know that God can do anything and God controls everything.

So let's sort of take the whole lesson and boil it down to a few lessons we can walk away with. Number one, suffering, disasters, heartache, grief has been a part of humanity from the very beginning. Job's one of the oldest people ever. He experienced it. So it's been around a long time, with every generation. Job says in this book, as surely as the sparks fly upward, man is born to trouble. So all the way back. It's always been with us.

Number two, good people, godly people, honorable people suffer as much as anyone else. And God allows, even prescribes pain for his own people.

Number three. When you look for reasons as to why there is evil in the world or suffering in the world, you won't get a satisfying answer now. Notice that I said now. You will one day later on, it will be revealed. You're in a process. You'll get glimmers. I have an understanding as to why evil exists. I've talked about in the last few weeks. But I still haven't completely gotten it or understood it.

And here's the fourth. It's possible to rest in God's power and control even if you don't have all the answers. It is possible to shelter in grace. Randy Elkhorn said, if you base your faith on the lack of affliction, then your faith lives on the brink of extinction. Once again. If you base your faith on the lack of affliction, then your faith lives on the brink of extinction because what that means is, it's going to fall apart when you get that phone call that somebody died in an accident or the doctor says it's terminal cancer. You'll lose it all. You'll walk away from it.

So if your faith is based on the lack of affliction, it's on the brink of extinction. And you say, well, this coronavirus has caused me to lose my faith. If I just described the kind of faith you have, it's good that you lose it. Lose that kind of faith. Get a real kind of faith, something that's anchored deeper than something superficial.

So Job was a significant man, a suffering man, and a searching man. But though he didn't completely understand it, he did learn to rest in God.

Now did you know that a single glass of water, between six to eight ounces, can produce-- just that much water alone-- can produce a dense fog through which you cannot see, 100 feet thick and seven city blocks around? Just a little bit of water. But it's because the droplets of water are dispersed into 60 billion droplets. That's what creates the fog. So just a little bit of water blinds your vision, blots out everything.

I have a question for you. Have you allowed something very small, even invisible, like a virus, blind the reality of your God? Your view of God, perhaps, has been challenged and even lessened because of this? Yes, there is fear these days. Yes, there is isolation. Yes, there is hoarding of toilet paper.

But in Italy, people are singing from the balcony to one another across those vacant vistas and squares. Around the world, churches are preparing gift packages and care packages like we are, and several others around the country, for people who are most vulnerable, the elderly. People are slowing down and waking up to how little control we really do have. Those are good things.

And the best part, as we've seen just in our Good Friday and Easter numbers online, people are waking up to the gospel and opening up their hearts to Jesus Christ like never before. Yeah, they're at home. But because of that, they're curious. And they go to the computer, and they go to the television, and they're looking and they're listening. And it's an opportunity to get the gospel out.

I want you to listen to a part of a letter I received, an email I received this week, just a couple days ago, from a man in Pakistan whose whole family has been on lockdown. He said, Dear Pastor Skip, my name is Jabiz. I'm not going to give you his full name. I am from Pakistan. I've been listening to your sermons since December, and I'm absolutely hooked. God has increased my knowledge of his word through you exponentially.

But this isn't why I am writing you. Ever since my country has gone into lockdown, and I have, I've lost my job. I've been listening to your Heart and Soul series in the Book of Romans. Every night me and my family sit together, and I convey what I learn through your sermons to them in our own language of Urdu. So he listens in English, translates it in Urdu.

I have introduced-- I have introduced-- or I should say, you have introduced-- the gospel of Christ to my mother, my sister, my wife, and they're really enjoying it.

It's going across the world. God is opening up hearts across the world. People are on lockdown, but they're not locked down from God's voice. God's getting through to them. He's opening up the door, and he's invading lives and changing them.

So where are you in this coronavirus chaos? Are you sheltering in God's grace or are you just sheltering in place? If you're just sheltering in place, lose-lose. If you're sheltering in God's grace, win-win. Don't let fear, don't let isolation overwhelm you. Don't let it blind you. You can still see God in the midst of this.

And maybe you're struggling, like probably a majority of people are. How could God allow this? And you're searching for answers. I'm going to encourage you to do something that's sort of counterintuitive. Maybe you're not a believer yet. You could even be a religious person, a good person, somebody who's morally upright. But you haven't really surrendered to Jesus. You see Christians. You think they're a little odd. And you're sort of intrigued with Christianity, but you have a few more questions you want to get answered before you're going to really fully commit.

I'm going to ask you to do something counterintuitive. Receive Christ now before you get all the questions answered. Get the questions answered. But if you know you need Christ, don't wait another day. If you know you need to be forgiven, don't wait another day. Do it now. Ask the questions later.

By the way, on more than one occasion, on a few occasions, I've talked to people who had so many deep, intellectual questions about the faith. And I said, tell you what. I'd love to answer those questions or attempt to. But would you pray with me first and receive Christ? As an act of your will, open up your heart first. And then after you do that, we'll discuss those.

They said, sure, that's fair enough. And in sincerity, in faith, they open up their heart, pray to receive Christ. And I've had several people afterwards say, I don't have those questions right now. Somehow I don't need to know the answers to those things. Or I feel deep in my heart they've been answered. Christ can do that. No one else can. A church can't do that, an organization can't do that. Jesus Christ, who's alive today, can do that for you. And you can shelter in His grace.

I'm going to lead you in a prayer. And right where you are this weekend-- if you're watching Saturday or Sunday, doesn't matter-- you can, right where you're at, at this service, give your life to Christ, and God will change you. Right where you're at. He'll come into your home, that convalescent home, that hospital room.

If you're watching in your car, I hope you're not driving, but you can come to you right on your phone. But say this prayer, and mean it from your heart as you give your life to Him. Say, Lord, first of all, I'm a sinner. I admit it. I don't deserve your love. I admit that I'm a sinner, and I'm sorry for my sin. I believe in Jesus. I believe he died on a cross. I believe he shed his blood for me. And I believe he rose from the dead and he's alive right now.

But I turn from my sin. Not only am I sorry for it, I repent of it. I turn from my sin, and I turn to Jesus as my Savior and my Lord. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Empower me, help me to live a life that's pleasing to you, today and every day in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen,

Now friend, if you did that, if you said yes to Jesus, if you just prayed a simple prayer, whether you did it out loud or just in your heart, I want you to text the word saved, S-A-V-E-D, to this phone number. 505-509-5433. Text SAVED to 505-509-5433. We're going to send you instructions what to do next.

Or if you're watching online, visit calvarynm.church, and click on the little section that says Know God, K-N-O-W, Know God. Click on that, and we'll be there on the other end to give you instructions and walk you through what to do next.

I pray that this season will be a time where you not only shelter in place with your family or friends, or even alone, but you're never alone with him. You shelter in God's grace. God bless you.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Additional Messages in this Series

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Date Title   Watch Listen Notes Share Save Buy
4/26/2020
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Down but Not Out!
Job 1-2
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Ouch! We all learn to say that word pretty early on in life, and we say it all the way through until the very end. Life hurts. Our life span is marked by life sorrows. But our response is what is central to the outcome. When life delivers a knockdown punch, it doesn’t need to become a knockout! Let’s see how Job got back up to shelter in grace.
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5/3/2020
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When Sheltering Is a Problem
Job 9
Skip Heitzig
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Staying cooped up in our homes has uncovered lots of underlying problems. Some are dealing with depression and their own identity, while others are struggling in their marriage relationships, having so much time with each other. As Job’s losses turned into prolonged suffering, he too struggled with deep issues, two of which we deal with today.
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5/17/2020
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The Ultimate Shelter
Job 19:23-27
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Job was impressive at the beginning of his trials. He immediately sheltered in grace by worshiping God and trusting His wisdom (see Job 1:20-22). But the sheer physical pain, emotional turmoil, and outside criticism wore him down, moving him out of his shelter. Now there is a sudden change in Job’s tone and outlook as he looks to the future to his ultimate shelter.
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5/24/2020
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Discovering God; Discovering Myself
Job 42:1-6
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
It’s appropriate that we conclude our series Shelter in Grace as our world is beginning to open up again from the effects of the coronavirus. Today we come to the conclusion of the book of Job where he finally meets up with his God and makes three powerful discoveries followed by one essential decision. His armchair-philosopher friends are silenced as God reveals Himself to Job. What he discovers about God and himself is humbling and insightful. Likewise, let’s also determine to be different after this lockdown.
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There are 4 additional messages in this series.
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