From: Overcoming the Hurt:
In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.
Where is your focus when life is peaceful?
In just a few short verses, we learn much about Job. He lived in the land of Uz, part of modern-day Saudi Arabia. And, in short, he had it all: family, material goods, and prestige. He was father of ten, a landowner, and an employer. His fields were teeming with thousands and thousands of livestock, from sheep and camels to oxen and donkeys. Job, in fact, was the wealthiest man in his region. Such bounty often comes with a heavy dose of temptation, and Job likely faced his share. Perhaps he was tempted to amass more wealth. Overlooking his vast land and flocks, Job could have congratulated himself on his success. He could have fixed his thoughts and energies on how to grow his riches even more.
Perhaps the siren song of pride rang in his ears. As the richest man in town, he must have received much flattery and many compliments from his friends and neighbors. These words brought the temptation to believe that he alone had created his peaceful and rich life. Yet Job remained a devout man of faith, with his eyes fixed firmly on his Lord. He lived with integrity, dealing honestly in all his affairs. He deliberately avoided evil. Job feared God, and this awe and reverence for his Creator fueled a life of obedience.
Jesus cautioned that it is very difficult for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:23). So then, are wealth and the peaceful life it brings inherently evil? Not necessarily. Rather, Jesus is cautioning us about how a comfortable life can lull us spiritually. We may become so focused on enjoying our family, home, and material things that our eyes stray from our Creator. We can, in essence, lose our bearings and compass. Keeping our focus on God also helps us maintain an eternal perspective and hold the things we have with open hands. Surrounded by his family and his wealth, Job may have been tempted to believe that his life would always be that way. He could have thought that he had “achieved” this good life and thus it was his forever. As a man of faith, though, he knew that his earthly life was only a small sliver compared to eternity. Similarly, I (Pam) sometimes catch myself clinging to the good times in my life, hoping that the seas will remain smooth. Yet in my heart I know better. Inevitably, a medical test comes back positive, a job ends, or some other storm enters our lives. I’ve learned that keeping the Lord as the center of my life in peaceful times is critical to weathering these storms.
Through consistent nurturing of our relationship with our Lord, we come to know who He is. We develop a deep understanding of His character, that He is eternal, faithful, and loving. Daily encounters remind us that He is with us always (Matthew 28:20). Walking closely with God during the peaceful times of life provides an anchor for our soul, an anchor that is sorely needed because a storm could be just over the horizon.
· The peaceful times in life are a blessing to enjoy with the understanding that things will not always be so.
· Staying focused on our relationship with the Lord during the peaceful times of life prepares us to face the coming storms.
· PRAY: “Lord, help me focus on You during the peaceful times.” Thank God for the many blessings in your life. Ask Him for the strength and perseverance to avoid the temptations that come with a peaceful life. Seek His strength to walk in obedience and remain focused on Him in all seasons.
Notes for Growth
A Key Point I Learned Today:
How I Want to Grow:
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