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Your suffering isn't evidence that you have sinned. Instead, this is what's happening behind the scenes.
Your suffering isn't evidence that you have sinned. Instead, this is what's happening behind the scenes. (Pexels)

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God made a declaration about Job that every child of God should hope He will make about them.

God said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and an upright man, who fears God, and avoids evil" (Job 1:8, 2:3).

What an amazing description of a man of God by the Almighty.

What about you? What does God say about you?

If you are a born-again child of God, redeemed through the blood of the Lamb, He has made a divine fiat declaring you to be justified (just-as-if-you-had-never-sinned). "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).

He has proclaimed that you are "just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before Him in love; He predestined us to adoption as sons to Himself through Jesus Christ according to the good pleasure of His will" (Eph. 1:4-5). "God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21).

Because that is who you are, there are four principles found in the Book of Job that are significant to your life.

They are especially significant when facing a crisis or when going through a season of pain and suffering.

1. Your enemy is finite.  An important principle about Satan if found in the first two chapters of Job. Yes, it is the same fallen angel who led a rebellion in heaven against God, before mankind was created.

We discover he spends his time walking back and forth across the earth looking for people he can attack. This tells us something very important about our enemy.

He is finite. He cannot be everywhere at one time. He is not all powerful and he doesn't know everything. He can only know those facts he has learned. The Lord Jesus Christ said about our enemy, "I saw Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Look, I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. And nothing shall by any means hurt you."(Luke 10:18-19).

As great as your enemy may be and though he continually makes accusations against you, he does not have the power to conquer you. Jesus Christ has defeated him and you hold authority over him.

2. God knows who you are. We learn an important principle about God in these same two chapters of Job. He is intimately acquainted with every human being.

Just as Lucifer is walking back and forth across the earth to attack and torment the human race; God, who is infinite, everywhere at one time, all knowing and all powerful, is watching over the people of the earth, especially the righteous ones who are His children.

2 Chronicles 16:9a says, "For the eyes of the Lord move about on all the earth to strengthen the heart that is completely toward Him."

4. You are protected. We also learn an important principle about those who are the children of God. Lucifer complains to God in Job 1:10, "Has Job feared God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land."

Not only are the eyes of God fixed upon the righteous one, He has surrounded them with His divine protection.

"He who dwells in the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust" (Ps. 91:1-2).

A child of God is never at the mercy of their enemy. We are seated with Christ in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6) under the care and protection of Almighty God.

4. Suffering doesn't mean you've sinned. The fourth principle we learn is about going through a crisis and about suffering.

Job was a righteous man of God, and he came under the attack of the enemy. The Apostle Paul assured us, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; and always carrying around in the body the death of the Lord Jesus, that also the life of Jesus might be expressed in our bodies." (2 Cor. 4:8-10).

The righteous experience crisis and suffering just as do the unrighteous only with a different purpose and a different outcome.

In the same way, the unrighteous will experience the goodness of God and prosperity, Jesus said heavenly Father makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and make the rain to fall on the just and the unjust (Matt. 5:45), only with a very different outcome.

Proverbs 13:22, "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just (righteous)."

When the righteous are suffering and going through a crisis, that does not mean they are rebellious or have secret sin in their life.

When a child of God chooses to disobey God and sin, of course they will experience the consequences of their actions. But it should not be automatically assumed that is the case when a child of God is in crisis.

More than likely, they are suffering for righteousness' sake. The Lord Jesus said, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be very glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in this manner they persecuted the prophets who were before you'" (Matt. 5:10-12). 

The child of God should not assume that He is punishing them.

The enemy will fill their mind and emotions with condemnation. They must forcefully renounce those thoughts and emotions and replace them with the truth of who they are "in Christ Jesus;" boldly proclaiming they are the righteousness of God, holy and without blame.

Even after Lucifer made a severe attack upon Job and his family, God declared, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and an upright man, who fears God and avoids evil? He still holds fast his integrity" (Job 2:3b).

Job is a blameless and righteous man, yet he is in crisis and suffering. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, his son in the ministry, "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12).

Be assured, in all of these things, the Lord God, Jesus Christ, is not against you.

He has not put these things on you. He is your refuge, your fortress, your shelter in the time of storm. In all of these things, you are more than a conquer.

Choose to not allow pain, suffering and crisis to determine your day, your future or your identity.

You are the redeemed child of God.

You are a king and priest unto your God.

You know who you are in Jesus Christ.

Make that your identity and your declaration.

Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others, and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. You can find him at F. Dean Hackett - Foundational, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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