Job: Healing Our Wounds – Sunday Sermon Summary
This week’s sermon was on the book of Job. For the most part we think of Job as the model Christian. He takes a spiritual beating and yet remains faithful to God under deplorable circumstances. No normal person would be able to withstand what Job was going through. Even his wife turned against him and God. The usual route for a sermon on Job takes this kind of approach. However, this week’s sermon was a little different. It used the book of Job in order to focus on healing our wounds.
Lewis on Pain
Near the beginning of Pastor’s sermon he brought up a C.S. Lewis quote. I like to call Lewis a theologian for the common folk. He writes at a down to earth level that most people can easily understand. At least, he is a lot easier to read than say Augustine or someone like that. This is the quote:
God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
-C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (1940)
Do you see what Lewis is saying there? He is saying that we might be able to hear God a little bit when things are going well for us. However, we are able to hear God even better when we are going through a painful time. He says that this is how God “rouses a deaf world.”
My Revelation on Job and Suffering
This quote mixed with the book of Job reminds me a message I received from God some time ago. It has to do with the question of why God allows people to suffer. God does not inflict evil on us; he is incapable of doing so. This does not mean that evil cannot get to us. At times God allows evil to infiltrate our lives for his purposes; even when we have never done anything wrong. You have probably heard or said “why do bad things happen to good people?”
God allows bad things to happen to people because without them we would not have a need for God on this earth. When things happen that are beyond our control, we have no choice but to turn to God. If we have everything figured out in our lives, then we are able to live in our own strength. This is not what God wants. There are plenty of things that we are capable of doing as human beings on this earth. If this were not true, half the planet would not be able to do anything successful. However, when we are fully relying on God we are able to do so much more.
5 Steps to Healing Our Wounds
Let’s get back to the topic of the sermon. Pastor provided five things that we can do to heal our wounds. These are found throughout the book of Job, but also throughout the rest of the Bible as well.
Grieving is an essential part of the healing process. It is when we allow ourselves to break down and accept that something bad has happened in our lives. This could be something that happens to us, happens to our family, or happens in the world. Grieving is the first step to recovery.
I recently heard something interesting about grieving, or more specifically crying. There is a chemical reaction that happens when we allow ourselves to cry – when we are broken down so much that we are weeping and grieving. At this point, our body starts to create other chemical reactions to this. It is a kind of antibody. After we begin to cry, our bodies send calming signals to handle the grieving. This is why sometimes people feel a lot better after crying something out.
Job provides some important aspects of grieving. First, during his grieving period he fell down and worshiped (Job 1:20). Second, he does not sin when he is grieving (Job 2:10). These are two important steps if you want to have spiritual healing for your wounds. Third, he complains to God (Job 7:11, 13:3). Pastor talked about how it is not a sin to let God know how you are feeling. God understands all emotions (he created them and exhibits them) and wants us to come to him with all of them.
This second step was already mentioned in the grieving process. Naturally, after we are done grieving and we begin to feel better the next best step would be to praise God. We can praise him for what we still have, or what he is still doing for us. Either way he is still God even in the hardest of times. As a result, He deserves and demands our praise.
For Job, this meant praising God when he had much and praising God when he had nothing left to give. Job 1:21 says “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” These are some words of praise! After seeing how Job reacted to such hardships, it makes me realize exactly how much work I need to do with my relationship with God. There is no way I would be able to make a statement like that if I were in Job’s shoes.
3.) Ask God for Wisdom and Strength
This should go without saying. When bad things happen to us it is natural to start asking questions. Consequently, we might have doubts and anxiety about God. Job recognized that all wisdom and power belonged to God (Job 12:13). Pastor provided three more verses (James 1:5, Psalm 18:32, and Philippians 4:13) for referencing more places that Scripture tells us to go to God for wisdom and strength. If these heroes of the faith needed to constantly seek God, surely we do as well.
4.) Gather with others for support.
Interestingly, this is where the Job part stops working. Job’s friends and wife do not provide him very good counsel at all. His wife tells him to curse God and die, and then most of his friends are not very useful at all. Only his last friend and the youngest was able to provide him with anything useful. As such, Job is not the best example of building a support group.
Nevertheless, studies (and scripture does suppose this notion as well see Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) show that it is better to have a support group when trying to heal from something. Think about all the anonymous groups. Things like Alcoholics Anonymous, and Celebrate Recovery. These are different types of group therapy.
Another type of support that can be gained from others is that of accountability partners. This is a one on one meeting with another person that focuses on spiritual growth. Really, everyone should have someone like this, especially if someone is not already a part of group support. Accountability partners can focus on anything they would like. Sometimes you just need help staying focused on prayer and scripture reading.
5.) Keep on going.
This is something that Job excelled at; he kept going for as long as he could. He says “Though he slay me, yet I will hope in him” (Job 13:15). We have to be able to celebrate the small victories. Every day is a small victory. Even when something trips us up we have to keep on keeping on. Job 19:25 says “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.” Job did not even know who Jesus was. At this point in history there was no such thing as Jesus. Some people peg the story of Job as being before Moses even (Click Here).
In the beginning, Pastor started the sermon with a C. S. Lewis quote. Therefore, in conclusion, I can think of a good one to end it with. This has to do with trying to keep on going. It is also one of my favorite quotes from Lewis and I cannot quote it enough in my blogs. Here it is below, and have a blessed day.
He wants them to learn to walk and therefore must take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles.
C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters