This is from my son’s wife, Abigail. She leads intercessors in her church and knows a lot about how to deal with suffering.
In the past few months I have seen, heard, and experienced some really tough times.
People have lost jobs and there has been financial struggles. I have seen hearts broken from divorce and broken relationships. People have died. People are sick. There are those with agonizing chronic illnesses. I met someone who was homeless and was pleading with the Lord for a safe place to call home. There is anger and strife; depression and anxiety. There is despair, heartache, pain, and loss. There are many disappointments and many tears shed. And then the Lord reminded me of Job.
According to God, Job was the finest man in all the earth. A man of integrity and prosperity. A man that feared the Lord and stayed away from evil. Do you know anyone like that? God loved Job so much that even Satan couldn’t get to him because of the wall of protection around him, his home, and his property.
Job was a wealthy man owning thousands of animals and many servants. He was a family man. He loved his children so much and held God in such high reverence that he would purify his children by offering burnt sacrifices to the Lord. He was a well known man. So well known, that Satan himself had his eye on him. Now, I know we know how the story goes. Satan petitions the Lord to test him. God agrees.
In his first test, there were four big blows and all at the same time. Animals were stolen, farmhands killed, fire burned his sheep and all his shepherds, camels were stolen and more servants killed, and last but not least, all his children died. Can you imagine? And that was just the first test. All of this news coming to you at one time, one messenger after another delivering heart wrenching news.
Do you know what Job did? He worshiped! He fell to the ground and worshiped. He lost everything he owned and everything he cherished. In his deep pain, grief, and disappointment he fell to the ground and worshiped his God. Job 1:21, “…The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” His response to all that news was “Praise the name of Lord.”
Let us be encouraged this month to worship and praise our precious Lord in all the heartache, suffering, and grief. Job’s response was not at all what the Accuser, Satan, was expecting or anticipating. Job’s act of worship and praise was a threat to the enemy. Graham Cooke in his book, “Qualities of a Spiritual Warrior”, states, “Praise is not an option. It is an absolute necessity, like air and water. Your revelation of God must result in a praise proclamation against the enemy.”
Attention Intercessors: You are warriors! We must worship and praise even in all the tragedies. It only takes a few to set the example for others. It may not bring the dead back to life, heal you instantly, or put money in your bank account. But it will change the atmosphere. It will glorify God, advance His purposes for his kingdom, and it will kill the enemy. It takes practice. Will you join me as God teaches us how to praise and worship in the midst of a dying and corrupt world? We must first learn it for ourselves so that we may demonstrate it to others.
The next time you receive some devastating news, as Job’s friends put it, “his suffering was too great for words” kind of news. And whether it affects you directly or someone you are praying with, let us fall to the ground in holy worship and praise the name of the Lord.
It’s not going to be easy, but as God encourages us and teaches us we can say as Job did in 23:10, “But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.”
You are oh so treasured and like Job, some of the finest men and women I know.