Misty Johnsons Sermon on Job
at Northgate United Methodist Church

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My Sermon on Job
Misty Johnson

A few months back I delivered my first sermon at my church. People are still talking about it! I will say when God gives you a message there is a reason for it!! Anyhow here is a copy of the sermon- all God given or God lead me to it :)

Good Morning!! It is a great day that the Lord has made! For those who don’t know who I am, my name is Misty Johnson and I have been a member of Northgate for almost 4 years. When I was asked if I would deliver a message on Laity Sunday, I thought she asked the wrong person, but what an awesome blessing it is to be asked to share God’s message.

I have a question for everyone this morning. By a show of hands, who has enough patience? Not so many of you. I know I don’t. A few years ago, I was praying for patience almost daily, until I saw the movie Evan Almighty. In the movie, Morgan Freeman, who played God, offered some advice to Evan’s wife. “When you pray for patience, God doesn’t make more patient, He gives you an opportunity to be patient.” And I already have enough opportunities to be patient. I am a wife, a mother to 3 girls and a child care teacher.

So, what can we do when we need more patience? Just when things couldn’t possibly get worse, they do. Just when we set our expectations in life, the unexpected happens. When you get laid off your job and you go to your car and it will not start and then you find out your bank account is in the red? I have been there. I would get Why Me- it is. What is why me –it is? When you throw your hand up to the Lord, fall on your knees and say “WHY ME LORD? WHY ME?”

Job had Why me It is. For 37 chapters Job and his friends grappled with the question of suffering. He had lost his wealth, his family and his own health. In Job chapter 38, God spoke to Job when out of desperation, Job started to question God. God didn’t deign to tell Job the reason for Job’s suffering, but he did remind Job that he is the mighty God who marked the dimensions of the earth, fixed the limits of the sea and blanketed the sky with clouds. This is the God whom Job and his friends dared to question. The audacity of trying to bring God down to their level! But when God spoke, he showed them how much bigger and more magnificent were his ways then their ways. Absolutely everything that can happen to us- good, bad or indifferent- God knows about and cares about. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake.

So what can you do when you don’t have enough patience to get through the trail that God has set before you and have started to lose your faith?

Whether storms in life come out of nowhere, or we saw them coming all along, we struggle to hold on to our faith and patience. When we have no strength to carry on, when disappointment and discouragement take hold of us, we find that our only way through it all depends upon our faith. We find our faith being tested as we endure suffering that may be physical, mental, social, financial, or all of them combined.

“If we cannot believe God when circumstances seem to be against us,
we do not believe Him at all.”
–Charles H. Spurgeon

So what are we to do when our faith is tested? Will your faith pass the test? The testing of your faith is an opportunity, not an obstacle. God’s purpose for allowing the trials in your life is to strengthen you, not destroy you.

He has promised that His plans for you are for good; He has promised to complete the work He has begun in you; He has promised to never leave you nor forsake you; He has promised to be a ready help in times of trouble….believe what He has promised, God is not a liar.

“Be assured and understand
that the trial and proving of your faith
bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.”

James 1:3 (AMP)

So, how do we pass the test? How can we stand strong in our faith when our world is falling out from under us? When there’s nothing we can do, when it all lies in God’s hands, we can remain steadfast in our faith by focusing on three things:

*Focus Forward. When we become discouraged by the struggles we face, we tend to spiral into despair and lose our patience by focusing upon the past. We walk down memory lane with the enemy and revisit all the times that we have failed in the past or times when we feel God let us down. We find ourselves facing greater distress when we begin doubting that God cares; it seems questionable when we’re in the midst of great suffering. God has given you forgiveness for the past, grace for the present moment, and His Promises for your future. There is no past in your future! But, don’t get overwhelmed by the future either; God has only put this day in front of you. Remain focused on the moment you are in. Live each moment for Him; remain focused upon Him and He’ll give you all the strength and grace you need.

*Focus on God’s Promises. If there’s one thing we must grasp about the Word of God, it’s that It is filled with supernatural power. It is a power to do immeasurably more than we can hope for! (Ephesians 3:20) Whatever you’re going through in life, God has something to say about it. AND He has made promises to you in order to give you the hope and strength you need to see you through to victory. Along the way, He’s drawing you nearer, He’s increasing your faith, and He’s creating a steadfast spirit within you, so that you will be complete, lacking in nothing! (James 1:2-4)

*Focus on God’s Presence. Not only is God sovereign, but He is with you at all times. With each step you take, He is there beside you. At times, He’s leading you, at others He’s walking with you, and often He’s carrying you. You must have a confident assurance that God is in control and is overseeing every area of your life. You must trust that if He has allowed a trial in your life, He has found purpose in it and it is for good. Although you might not be able to understand it all, although by your human reasoning you cannot make sense of it, everything looks different from God’s perspective… that He knows what He’s doing.

When you don’t know what to do, keep your eyes upon Him; when you’re suffering, take your complaints to God. Don’t be afraid of hurting his feelings. If you’re mad at Him, tell him so. Job did. But hang on to your past experiences with God, letting them remind you that he’s with you- and that even if he is all you have, he’s enough. Confidently trust Him to take care of you and all that concerns you. Draw your strength from Him and remain in His presence through it all; when you do, you’ll find yourself walking forward in life with enough patience and a faith that will never fail.

Prayer: Lord God, I come humbly to Your throne of grace and I come seeking Your strength to help me through this fight of faith. Father, help me to consider it all joy, whenever I face trials of many kinds, knowing that the testing of my faith develops perseverance. Help me to see that it is my perseverance that must finish its work so that I can be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

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The Story of a Man Named Job