JOB 14:22 – He feels only the pain of his own body, and he mourns only for himself.”
THEME OF THE DAY: THE MISERABLE CHRISTIAN. Today’s scripture is the heart cry from Job. It occurs toward the middle of the Old Testament book bearing his name. Job is hurting. Job is complaining. Job is lamenting. By now in the story of Job, it is all about him. Gone is the testimony of chapter one – Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong (Job 1:20-22). But let’s not be too hard on him. How would we react after losing everything we owned and all our children? Then add the unbearable physical suffering inflicted upon him. So, we cannot look down upon this godly man with a self-righteous critical attitude. However . . . and this “however” moves us into the substance of today’s nugget.
In today’s scripture Job is responding to the third of his friends – Zophar. As one reads Job, it is important we go slowly and follow the flow of who is talking to whom and when. In chapter fourteen, Job addresses Zophar, but then suddenly shifts to crying out to the Lord in verse thirteen and this conversation upward continues to the end of the chapter. And how does it end? Job is describing the person, and now himself, who feels abandoned, is suffering, and exhausted. In this condition, life now is all about this person or Job.
Isn’t that how life often goes for us, too? It becomes all about us and our circumstances. We may know how mature a believer is by his or her response in trying times. Immature Christians will talk all about themselves; what they are experiencing, the pain they are in, and the language is borderline complaining. They are consumed with themselves. And they are miserable, not just because of the suffering and circumstances, but due to the focus on themselves. The miserable Christian is the one who makes life about them, not just in suffering times, but in most of times. Why are they miserable? They are living in direct opposition to the key principles for all of Christian living put forth by our Lord.
Jesus told us what are the three conditions for being His disciple – “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Any Christian not embracing and living these out will not know the joy of the Lord. Miserable Christian will define us because one cannot be living contrary to God’s Word. I know it may sound harsh, but it’s true. Nothing in life is about us and the quicker we learn and live that out, the title “miserable Christian” will be one we won’t bear.
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me for the times I think way too much about myself and not others.”
QUOTE: “To be a miserable Christian all one needs to do is make life all about yourself.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,