Type and press Enter.

New here? See how to Get Started

THOUGH STILL OUR ANCIENT FOE

WE MUST NOT FORGET

WE MUST BE SOBER-MINDED

WE WRESTLE NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD


OUR ANCIENT FOE

STILL ROAMS

STILL LOOKS FOR THE WOUNDED

STILL HUNTS EASY PREY


Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

(I PETER 5:18)

 

The great hymn of Christendom, “A Mighty Fortress,” became the theme song for our personal battle. God gave it to us right away, though we misunderstood what we were fighting. We thought we were fighting cancer.

It was the week after Steve’s diagnosis. We had come rushing home from the Indiana retreat, despondent. He told us that the Lord had told him “to fight.” We were heartened. If the Lord told him “to fight” then the Lord is going to give him this battle. Steve will not die. John and Julie and their kids had also rushed home — this picture was taken that week — all smiles — we were going to face this battle and God was going to give us victory over this terrible cancer! We would not lose our husband and father and grandfather.

READY FOR THE FIGHT -- GOD WOULD GIVE US VICTORY!

That week Steve was so tired, resting on the living room sofa. Sally sat at the piano, singing hymns to him, asking him to choose one for the solo she was going to sing in church on Sunday. When she sang “A Mighty Fortress,” he said:

“That’s it. That’s exactly it.”

I recorded this in my prayer journal, and in The God of All Comfort:

Sally sang “A  Mighty Fortress” in church this morning. Annie and Beth on one side of Steve, pressed into him, me on the other. John and family in the pew behind with John’s hand on Steve’s shoulder. Sally sang it as a fighting song — I’d never heard it sung that way — I don’t think I’d ever really understood it before. I’ve heard it sung majestically, but never with righteous anger. Yet, it seemed so right. It is a call to battle against Satan and all the spiritual workers of darkness. Sally kept shaking her fist at Satan, at “the prince of darkness grim,” at the one “armed with cruel hate,” at the one who must not “this battle win.” each verse grew stronger, and our hearts found courage for the fight ahead. But when Sally got to the phrase “let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also,” she looked at Steve and faltered. It was too much for her, and she stopped, paralyzed with grief. Suddenly — and I will never in all of my life forget this — Judy [the pianist] began to sing, then the congregation rose — standing in the gap for us, finishing Sally’s song for her.

Thankful for the support of our congregation, still, it was the shadow of the cross. A foreboding. Were we to let kindred go?

No. My denial kicked in. Sally just was overcome by fear momentarily. We will win this battle.

It wasn’t until ten months later, in the same church, after a strong message on 1 Corinthians 10:12 (Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall) that Steve leaned over to me and said:

“I’m seeing the fight differently.”

I looked at him, confused.

“It isn’t a fight for my life.”

I was still. Finally, “Then, what?”

“Satan wants me to deny God.”

We both thought of the message. How a man who said he would never deny God did, to avoid martyrdom — and how the man who asked for prayer glorified God as flames burned up his body. I was silent. Then weeping. Steve put his arm around me.

The photo below is one that was in an emergency room where our own Chris S. brought her son who died — she drew strength from it and tells about it in the last post. Though the waters rage, the LORD is our MIGHTY FORTRESS. When Steve told me the fight was different, again, I was overcome with fear. This meant the waters might actually take my husband.  Overwhelming. Sense of drowning. And he, simply wanting to glorify God. But his pain was becoming overwhelming and his sadness at the thought of leaving us. Where could we go? Only to Him, our Mighty Fortress in the storm.

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Jean Guichard

Did we in our own strength confide

Our striving would be losing

Were not the right Man on our side

The Man of God’s own choosing

Doth ask who that may be?

Christ Jesus, it is He;

Lord Sabbaoth, His name,

From age to age the same

And He must win the battle

 

 

The LORD strengthened Steve to glorify Him to the end. He spent a week in the Milwaukee hospital just two weeks before he died at home. He made such a strong impression on the doctors and nurses that there were about twenty who came into his room as the helicopter was coming to get him to say good-bye. When one young doctor said to me, “I’ve never met anyone like him,” I was able to tell her it was Jesus in him. The Lord is strengthening us in our grief, and we do better know His heart, His love.

Sally sang “A Mighty Fortress” without faltering at his funeral. All the children shared how their Dad loved God — to the end. You can see a video of Anne sharing and also a memory film she played at her wedding at this link: http://deebrestin.wpengine.com/about/steve-brestin/

A few years later, Sally and I went to see a production of Screwtape Letters in Chicago, the C. S. Lewis book inspired by the story of Job, and his fight against Satan, his fight to glorify God no matter how bad it got.

Screwtape Letters

Max McClean played Satan, but he also had a helper. A gymnast costumed as an ugly little demon. She would climb a ladder up from the pit of hell to send mail in a “bank tube” like machine to  Screwtape’s helper, “Wormwood” on earth.

She would read the mail when it came back.

If the news was good — if Wormwood’s “prey” was backing away from God during sufferng, she would leap to the ground in joy, cartwheeling across the stage.

But if the news was bad, if Wormwood’s “prey” was actually pressing into God during suffering, she would fall, somehow not breaking her back, screeching and clawing the air as she fell back to the pit of hell.

When we left the theatre, I asked Sally, what have you learned in these five hard years?

She said, “If God gives me the desire of my heart, I will praise Him. But if He does not, I will press into Him, and the enemy will fall, screeching, in defeat!”

 

Screwtape's Helper Demon

And though this world with devils filled,

Should threaten to undo us,

We will not fear, For God hath willed

His truth to triump through us.

The prince of darkness grim,

We tremble not for him;

His rage we can endure,

For lo, his doom is sure.

One little world shall fell him.

 

 

This week I watched Soul Surfer with my teenage grandchildren and thought it was definitely one of the better Christian movies I’ve seen.

Because it is a true story, it showed that real suffering comes into the life of the Christian — and that the “happy ending” may not be health, wealth, or winning — but maturing of character. As Joni Eareckson Tada says: “God’s purpose is not so much to make us healthy, wealthy — or even happy, though it pleases Him to do so — but to make us holy.” There were some key moments in this film worthy of comment — and I’d love your comments — on how though Satan won the skirmish, the Lord won the battle. Satan only got enough rope to hang himself!

 

Satan comes whispering lies, but this young girl, because of her faith, was able to overcome those lies.

 

What is the lie that threatens to undo us? It’s always been, from Eden on, about God’s love.

The liar, and the father of lies

The lie that Luther battled during The Reformation was “You have to earn God’s love.”

 

The lie that we battle during suffering is

“You have lost God’s love.”

 

What is the truth, O my soul?

 

 

 

 

 

ICEBREAKER:

What stood out to you from the above and why?

Part I. Bible Study

1. Read Job 1:6-12

A. In verse 7, what was God’s question and Satan’s reply?

B. What do you know about Job from the opening of Job, and why might he be of special interest to Satan?

C. Who brings up Job’s name according to verse 8? Why, do you think?

D. Why does Satan believe that Job follows God? What is Satan’s challenge?

E. Who has the upper hand here? Support your answer scripturally.

2. Read or sing the 2nd verse of A Mighty Fortress (see above). Lord Sabboath means Lord of all the good angels and all the evil angels. What stands out to you? (My favorite rendition is Steve Green — can hear on U-tube.)

Gerald Seghers "Job"
Gerald Seghers "Job"

Michael Card said Job was trying to lament — but his “friends” keep interrupting his dialogue with God. Yet God breaks through — two very famous times — but we are going to look at the first time — a time many have missed — but a wonderful way that combats our ancient foe’s old whisper: God doesn’t love you.

It occurs in Job 14. It is important to remember Old Testament saints did not have the understanding of heaven that post-resurrection believers have. They saw it as a shadowy world. Keller says that Job is lamenting, wishing he could die, but then he isn’t sure he wants to die — because what will death be like?

3. Read Job 14:7-10

A. Why does Job think there might be more hope for a tree than a man?

B. What question do you see in verse 10?

4. Read Job 14:11-13 and describe Job’s lament, fears, and wish.

5. Suddenly the Spirit arrests Job, and a question comes to mind. Find it in the beginning of verse 14.

6. Read Job 14:14-17

A. Job has been given an assurance — how does he respond in the 2nd part of verse 14?

B. According to verse 15, what will God do after Job is laid in the grave, and why?

This thrills me. One day God will call my name, Steve’s name, your name — and we will rise, like Lazarus! He will call for us because he misses the one his hands made.

C. How does this combat Satan’s lie? How could you speak this truth to your soul? Write it here:

7. Meditate on the last verse of A Mighty Fortress (above) and share your thoughts.

 

Psalm 91 Under His Wings Joy Magee

 

 

PART II. If you can possibly do it, buy Keller’s MP3 on this passage, listen, and give us your thoughts:

Click here: http://sermons.redeemer.com/store/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_ID=18749&ParentCat=6

PART III. UPDATE: Here is the link to the “God of All Comfort, Part 7” on Moody Radio: Link


8. Did anyone see “Soul Surfer” or “Luther?” (Both movies relevant to this week.) Comments?

 

9. What is your take-a-way from the week and why?


Leave a Comment

Comment * If this is your first time here, please comment then fill out your name and email as stated at the bottom. Dee will approve you within 24 hours.

217 comments

  1. Dee,
    What a blessing this morning to come here and see the beautiful picture above of you and Steve and your family. I think that is Sally right next to Steve? The love in that picture is seen on every face, and between Steve and Sally – she is the apple of her father’s eye and she adores him; I can see it!

  2. Home from vacation now, and was on last week’s blog reading everyone’s final posts.
    Each and every post from every woman was amazing.
    I loved Karen’s reflections as she was at her cottage at the lake, and I agree with her that Dee’s book is helpful for someone in fresh grief. I read the book just a few months after my nephew died, in fact, it was just a few months after he died that Dee began this online study with going through The God of All Comfort. It did minister to me in a time of being in fresh grief. I could feel Dee’s pain, loss and lament and sadness through the pages of her book and I felt like “someone is walking through this with me”, someone understands. The book doesn’t leave you there in the wilderness, however; it points you in the direction of hoping in God, and Dee writes about how she moved toward God and I remember the word picture from the book about how the ice will thaw and spring will come.

    Angela, thank you for reminding us that there are people grieving all around us – not just grieving death, but “silent grief” of divorce, or a wayward child, or a chronic illness. We need to keep our eyes and ears open.

    I think one of my take-aways from last week is the exhortation by Martin Luther that when our world is shaking and giving-way, “Let’s sing!”, and that’s hard because it’s usually not my first thought, but there is power in it. I can’t remember now which of you posted this, but someone said she likes to make her own list of remembering God’s faithfulness and how He has worked in the past in her life. That is a good thing to do, too.

  3. ICEBREAKER:
    What stood out to you from the above and why?
    Okay, I really started the day with tears, with today’s introduction.

    First of all, the roaring lion video reminded me of something I heard years ago–I was told that when lions are hunting, they put the oldest lion, who is weak, unable to fight and has no teeth left,out front, to scare the prey. When the prey retreats, it retreats, where the rest of the lions are waiting to devour them. So when the Scripture says, your enemy walks around like a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour” satan actually doesn’t have any teeth yet, all he has is roar. so instead of retreating, run towards the roar, because that lion (satan) is powerless. I don’t know if this illustration is actually true, but it has always made me think before running away from things that I fear or challenges that have been before me. And it does square with other scripture, in that satan doesn’t have the teeth he needs to devour us– God has given us the victory.

    The way the congregation stood in the gap and took over where Anne broke. what a beautiful illustration of what was to come in the way they supported you and your family.

    I loved the clips of Anne’s— They were such a blessing to me. You have such a wonderful family, what a blessing they must be to you.

    I also love the C.S Lewis illustration. Back in the 70’s I read a book about praise, and I have to say, I thought what it espoused seemed like manipulation– to praise God for and in everything and then God will……(fill in the blank). However, at one of the lowest times in my life(up to that point) God gave me the grace that when satan came at me with fear and panic, I spoke truth to my soul with words and songs of praise.
    Months later, I realized the power of the word and the music, in the same way, how defeating it was for satan, that when he thought he would defeat me with the fear and panic, it had the opposite effect–It made me press into Jesus more and when we do that, satan loses the battle.

    We can frustrate/defeat the devil’s schemes by the word and the power of our testimony.

    1. I love this, “Satan doesn’t have any teeth yet, all he has is roar. So instead of retreating, run towards the roar, because that lion (satan) is powerless.”
      I like to think that Jesus has already gone on ahead of us; He is standing there between Satan and us.

  4. What stood out to you from the above and why? I liked the 2 pictures, one of the lion and one of the snake. Its a good reminder to me that Satan is vicious and seeks someone to devour! .

    1. Read Job 1:6-12

    A. In verse 7, what was God’s question and Satan’s reply? where have you come from?; from roaming throughout the earth going back and forth on it.

    B. What do you know about Job from the opening of Job, and why might he be of special interest to Satan? becasue he had lost all of his family memebers so satan could really use him to think that God isnt Good and ask why questions

    C. Who brings up Job’s name according to verse 8? Why, do you think?

    D. Why does Satan believe that Job follows God? What is Satan’s challenge?

    E. Who has the upper hand here? Support your answer scripturally. The Lord; 12 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

      1. Yes Dee, Its great to see those pictures and i have to keep reminding myself of these pictures.

  5. ICEBREAKER What stood out to you from the above and why?

    I, too, was moved this morning, to tears, reading the account of Sally singing A Mighty Fortress in church on Sunday, shaking her fist at Satan, singing it as a battle cry. Yet, when she came to the line “let goods and kindred go…” she faltered, looking at her dad. It was too much for her. What a beautiful picture Dee describes as the pianist and then the congregation began to sing, “standing in the gap for us”. That is what we need when we falter, other believers to surround us and stand in the gap with us.
    Then, how Steve, after listening to a sermon at church, felt God speaking to him and beginning to see the fight differently. The fight was not for his life, but for him to glorify God through his suffering. And how painful it was for you, Dee, and fearful, to realize this truth. Feeling the sense, again, of the waters, of drowning. Then to see the picture of the lighthouse and the figure in the doorway of it. Those ocean waters surrounding that lighthouse look really terrifying, yet is stands unmoved. I’m thinking that if we only watch the furious waves, we will be scared to death. If we retreat into the safety of our Strong Tower, our Refuge, and speak truth to our frightened soul, and put our hope in Him, we can take heart.
    I also loved Anne’s memory film of Steve, playing with his family, kind and gentle.

  6. I just was on the site http://www.jean-guichard.com and you can see other images of this lighthouse as well as enlarged picture of it. It looks like this lighthouse is out in the middle of the sea, erected on a stone.

    1. Thanks Susan! Great.

  7. 2. Read or sing the 2nd verse of A Mighty Fortress (see above). Lord Sabboath means Lord of all the good angels and all the evil angels. What stands out to you? that even though we live in a world that is devil filled, we have a God that is bigger and he will triumph through us.

  8. 3. Read Job 14:7-10

    A. Why does Job think there might be more hope for a tree than a man? becasue a tree will sprout again.

    B. What question do you see in verse 10? I dont see a question in this verse can i get some help?

    10 But a man dies and is laid low;
    he breathes his last and is no more.

    1. Meg, I think Job is asking if there is something more after he “…breathes his last…”

  9. 4. Read Job 14:11-13 and describe Job’s lament, fears, and wish.

    11 As the water of a lake dries up
    or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,
    12 so he lies down and does not rise;
    till the heavens are no more, people will not awake
    or be roused from their sleep.

    13 “If only you would hide me in the grave
    and conceal me till your anger has passed!
    If only you would set me a time
    and then remember me! .

    5. Suddenly the Spirit arrests Job, and a question comes to mind. Find it in the beginning of verse 14. If someone dies will they live again?

  10. 6. Read Job 14:14-17

    A. Job has been given an assurance — how does he respond in the 2nd part of verse 14? I will wait for the renewal to come.

    B. According to verse 15, what will God do after Job is laid in the grave, and why? he will answer him, you will long for the creature your hands have made

    C. How does this combat Satan’s lie? How could you speak this truth to your soul? Write it here:this speaks truth to my soul cause it brings me comfort to know that he longs for us, he made us and cant wait to see us again.

  11. 8. Did anyone see “Soul Surfer” or “Luther?” (Both movies relevant to this week.) Comments? I saw soul surfer this week and i agree with you Dee it was one of the best Christian movies i have seen in awile. Its interesting to me that when the shark took her arm she didnt scream or make noise or anything. Also I really liked her strong faith. SHe said that she could do all things through Christ who strengthens her and she showed that by going out and surfing with one arm, Also when they were doing try outs i think it was she backed out cause she said that she could do it anymore! But then went on a missions trip with her church which i think blessed her tremendensly. Also in the end when she found out that she didnt win after all, she said yes i did she believed it in her heart,and she did her best out there which is what counted to her, not winning some trophy.

  12. Dee

    I also watched those vidoes to the link you posted.. so precious thanks for sharing

  13. 7. Meditate on the last verse of A Mighty Fortress (above) and share your thoughts.

    God’s truth abideth still;
    his kingdom is forever

    I really like this last verse its gave me such comfort.

  14. 1A. God asks Satan if he has considered Job. It seems that God is rejoicing over Job as we would a beloved child of our own. He says that there is not another like him in the whole earth and then says what is so good about him. Satan seeks to destroy the joy and Job with the accusation that he is self serving in his devotion.

    B. He was a man of perfect integrity fearing God and turning away from evil. Satan would want to prove that this was not true. He wanted to accuse.

    C. God brings up Job’s name perhaps to prove him true.

    D. Satan’s accusation is that Job is self serving in his devotion to God. He says that if God removes His gifts Job will curse Him.

    E. God has the upper hand and we can see it in the text here in verse 12 in that Satan only has the power over Job that is given to him by God. In Genesis 3:15 God puts the serpent in subjection to the woman’s seed which I think refers to Christ and says that He will strike his head which is the gospel. It also says that the serpent will strike His heel which I think is all the stuff he does to us.

    2. What stands out to me is that even if we could win the battle in our own strength, this is not God’s will. As it says in the last line, He must win the battle. This is how His truth and power are put on display.

    3A. Why does Job think there might be more hope for a tree than a man?
    Because a tree still lives in its roots and even if cut down can sprout again. When a man dies there is no part of his physical body still alive.

    B. Job knows that there is more to man than his physical body. He wants to know where man goes after death.

    c. His fear is that he will never see God again. Job knows that God has reason for anger with him. His wish is for God’s protection until his debt is paid and that God would then remember him.

    5. Job wonders if there is a chance for life after death.

    6A. He says that his struggle is worth that and he is willing to endure as long as necessary. That pretty much blows the lid off of Satan’s accusation.

    B. God will call for him because He loves him and even longs for him.

    c. The lie is that God does not love me and that He will hold me accountable for all of my sin, that He is even waiting for the chance to punish me. The truth is that He loves me and longs for me. He rejoices over me as He does over Job. He created me and is preparing me for the day that we can be together.

    7. What stands out to me is that we will not fear, not because he cannot touch us but because that may not be God’s will. His plan may be that he touch us but that through our trial, His truth would be displayed. Here is a great video of this song by Steve Green http://youtu.be/NRJHKzU_t1M

  15. ICEBREAKER:What stood out to you from the above and why?

    What stands out to me, honestly, is how drawn to Steve I am—the example he is of a godly, tender man who loves his family so deeply, gently. Playful even in his suit attire. I loved hearing his voice in the clip about Annie. He was a Tender Warrior—fighting the battle. When I read this week’s study to my husband, he just said “He won. I wish I could have known him.” Steve fought and won the battle, the only battle that matters for any of us.

    I am amazed how in his sickness, in the most physically weak time of his life, he was still leading his family. He chose A Mighty Fortress—he was listening to the Spirit leading him to what his family needed to learn—the true battle at hand was not cancer. The story of how the congregation stepped in to finish breaks me every time I read it. Here’s why it breaks me—the story of God of All Comfort, Dee & Steve’s story, is filled with proof of Job 14:15, proof of God’s pursuing, personal, real and present love for us. Proof that He does care, about our every thought and need.

    I’ve been staring at the picture of the family—just beautiful. I focus on Steve’s eyes—there is this knowing peace there, He knows truth, He knows the One who holds him in His arms. He rests in him.

    I heard both of these quotes at church today and they reminded me of Steve:
    “A true Christian is one who receives the love of God and rests in it. Like an infant lying in their mother’s arms. A true Christian utterly abandons self.” Francois Fenelon
    “The kingdom of God is a kingdom of paradox, where through the ugly defeat of the cross, a holy God is utterly glorified. Victory comes through defeat; healing through brokenness; finding through losing self.” – Charles Colson

    Luther is one of my favorite movies, but I’ve never seen Soul Surfer–going to try to rent that tonight!

  16. ICEBREAKER:What stood out to you from the above and why?
    Wow such an emotional time. These videos got me big time. With deep deep love I think loss runs deeper. Steve was a man who knew how to really love his family well and with that deep love comes great loss. It was hard to hear his voice on the video. It made me think of you all and how dear that on tape must be for you. Annie is so precious too sharing. You can tell how she loved her Daddy. You know how there are just some families that really shine the light of the gospel. They make you want Jesus because of how you interact? You are one of those families. And even so after the death of Steve because you still stand strong because in your weakness Christ is your strength. You continue to look to Him. Press in. And that is defeat to the enemy as in the Screwtape play. I bet it is much like that.

    Oh how too I am pained that the battle was misunderstood at first. How hard that must have been. I too have misunderstood in this way before. But how you all used it as an opportunity to press in to Christ even deeper.

    Loved this quote by Joni, “God’s purpose is not so much to make us healthy, wealthy — or even happy, though it pleases Him to do so — but to make us holy.”

    Saw Soul Surfer as well. Since we were dealing so much with idols of the heart I noticed in the beginning before the accident the main character had an idol of surfing. She eat, breathed, and lived surfing. Even making her late for church, taking her away from the mission trip she said she would go on, distracting her from all other things. It was an idol. Then after the incident you can see how she changed. She did not give up but God changed her heart and she did it this time for the right reasons. It was no longer an idol it was something that brought other people hope and glory to God. I like seeing that progression through the movie. It was a great teaching opportunity.

      1. Yes I was concerned about the bikinis as well but we had that modesty talk again. 🙂 But really I think because the girls were not seductive at all I think looking past the bikinis was easy for us to do. Again, explaining personal choices people make and this is our belief for you…Etc. 🙂 Kinda like watching a tribal show on National Geographic, that is just how that tribe lives…

        My 9 year old (almost 10) was okay watching it and wants to see it again. I did like how the shark scene was not too graphic. My 7 almost 8 year old asperger girl watched too but did not watch the shark scene. Pictures stick in her mind so I was not sure how she would be with it. She did enjoy the rest of the movie though and the faith story. We also watched the behind the scenes stuff too seeing how they made her arm look that way and the real girl in it etc. Maybe if a younger one like 7 watches that part first it would help. But I would guess maybe 9 or 10 would be okay and up. Guess it depends on the individual child’s maturity too. My oldest girl’s favorite movie is Faith Like Potatoes. Have you seen it? She is enthralled with faith stories. She loves Luther too. I guess that is a long and not direct answer to your question. 🙂

        1. I like your way of explaining “Kinda like watching a tribal show on National Geographic, that is just how that tribe lives…” Very good! I will be using that.

    1. Angela

      I also like the idol insight didnt think of it that way. thanks!

  17. A. In verse 7, what was God’s question and Satan’s reply?
    God: “Where have you come from?”
    Satan: “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”

    This gave me such a vivid, creepy image of Satan—just lurking around, looking for his next victim, slithering in wherever he can get a foothold.

    B. What do you know about Job from the opening of Job, and why might he be of special interest to Satan?
    He was blameless, loved and feared God, shunned evil.

    C. Who brings up Job’s name according to verse 8? Why, do you think?
    God says “have you considered my servant Job?”

    First I noticed how endearing it is—“my servant”—there is so much love from the Lord towards Job. I’m not sure why God suggests Job except maybe because He knows Job’s heart—Job trust in Him. God doesn’t offer one of weaker faith—He offers Job, one who will truly show His glory in a true battle, and one who will be refined by the fire, coming through loving God even more. Job has lived a life worthy of the calling he has received—servant—and this battle will be his ultimate service unto the Lord.

    D. Why does Satan believe that Job follows God? What is Satan’s challenge?
    Satan says Job loves God because of what God has done for Him—that God has protected Him from harm, and blessed him. Satan assumes Job loves God for His stuff, not for Who God is.

    E. Who has the upper hand here? Support your answer scripturally.
    God has the upper hand. In this passage, vs 10, we see even Satan recognizes God’s ultimate power when Satan says how God has protected and blessed Job, despite what Satan would have wanted. Then when Satan tells God to strike everything Job has—again, he acknowledges God is the only One in ultimate power.

  18. 1. Read Job 1:6-12
    A. In verse 7, what was God’s question and Satan’s reply?

    Where do you come from
    “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”

    B. What do you know about Job from the opening of Job, and why might he be of special interest to Satan?

    He was a righteous man, he followed God and turned away from evil, he had become a wealthy man, but continued to fear God.

    C. Who brings up Job’s name according to verse 8? Why, do you think?
    God asked Satan if he had considered His servant Job.
    Because God knew Job’s heart and knew that if satan put a test before Job, Job would not deny God.

    D. Why does Satan believe that Job follows God? Satan thinks that Job follows God because of God’s blessings in his life.
    What is Satan’s challenge?

    If God would take away his blessings, Job would surely curse God.

    E. Who has the upper hand here? Support your answer scripturally.

    It is very clear that God has the upper hand. In verse 12, God gives satan permission to take everything away from Job, but says he cannot touch Job himself. This is reassurance to me that nothing that happens to me does not first go through a God who loves me dearly. He is never caught off guard by anything that happens.

    2. Read or sing the 2nd verse of A Mighty Fortress (see above). Lord Sabboath means Lord of all the good angels and all the evil angels. What stands out to you? (My favorite rendition is Steve Green — can hear on U-tube.)
    Yes, I love Steve Green singing the hymns– this is a great one. We don’t have to rely on our own strength– (if we did –and when we do, we lose. But when we rely on his strength, because he is victorious HE MUST win the battle.

  19. OH DEE how my heart breaks as i watch the video of Steve. one year ago today we welcomed our Lily home so watching your gotcha day video has left me a puddle on the floor:) I will wait till I can see the screen before I add any more. but wow, what an amazing family he built with his prayers…

  20. What stood out to you from the above and why?
    Thank you for sharing the videos. I don’t know how anyone could watch them without crying. Made me miss my own sweet dad. Dad missed the wedding of his firstborn grandson, our oldest, by just four months.
    Dr. Brestin simply exudes the sweetness of Christ and a deep inner strength.
    “Screwtape Letters” is a favorite of mine. Sally’s answer is so good, “If God gives me the desire of my heart, I will praise Him. But if He does not, I will press into Him, and the enemy will fall, screeching, in defeat!” Oh that we would send the enemy screeching in defeat. Last week the devil seemed to be after me. I went to bed and told God I was going to pray until I felt relief. I awoke the next morning to such peace. The worries melted away.

  21. What stood out to you from the above and why?

    It is brave of you Dee to share so deeply your grief with us all, I was so stuck by all of it that I felt quite undone for most of the day yesterday. I have not had the time until yesterday to allow myself to really think about and remember the unending swirling nightmare we were stuck in. Your sweet remembrances of your husband led me to have my own and I cried most of the afternoon. I can’t sleep now. I went back to the Get Well facebook page for Daniel, I had not read any of it at the time, I am so sad. The hole in me feels wide open again.

    The message at church yesterday was from John 11 1-16
    The verses that stood out to me were;

    John 11:5 &6 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. SO, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

    He loved them SO he stayed, He wanted them to know something from this that they would not have know if he had come sooner.

    As I have said before in this study, I like to think that when Jesus wept, it was not just for Mary and Martha’s pain but for all of ours, he knew the weight of all of our groaning.

    I confess that I also felt the disappointment of not having a family more like yours. We are something of a mess sometimes.. It is all relative I know, there are those who admire our family. But I had those old thoughts of if we had done a better job with our lives this might not have happened to us.

    I am continuing to pray for a greater sense that God loves me, for it to really be real to me. I guess that is asking for something he has promised to give. I feel so very weak.

    1. Chris, I find myself praying the same thing, wondering sometimes why I don’t have to ask for the rejected empty feelings they are just there, but I have to fight and beg for the feeling that God really loves me. I know it in my head, but something is keeping it from my heart. I pray for you everytime you come to my mind, which is often!

      1. Thank you Dawn for your prayers, and thanks too for sharing that feeling loved by God is hard for you too. I feel like something is keeping it from my heart too. It is easy for me to believe God loves everyone else, something in me freezes or stiffens at the thought of Him really loving me, I want so much to get past it.

  22. A. In verse 7, what was God’s question and Satan’s reply?

    The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”

    B. What do you know about Job from the opening of Job, and why might he be of special interest to Satan?

    He honored & feared God, he was blessed and influential, he was concerned about the spiritual welfare of his children

    C. Who brings up Job’s name according to verse 8?
    God brings up Job

    Why, do you think?
    I thought it interesting that the Message refers to Satan as “Satan, who was the Designated Accuser”.
    God already knew what Satan would do and what Job would do in response, perhaps it was in order that Jobs response to his trials might be recorded, we would be encouraged and God would be glorified?

    D. Why does Satan believe that Job follows God?

    Satan believes Job follows God because of the blessings and protection God gives to Job

    What is Satan’s challenge?

    Job 1:11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.
    It is interesting to me that Satan says stretch out YOUR hand, not allow me to stretch out MY hand

    E. Who has the upper hand here?
    God does

    Support your answer scripturally.

    Job 1:12 And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.”

    Job 2:3-7 And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”
    J Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life.
    But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.”
    And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.”
    So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.

    Satan could not do anything to Job that God did not allow

    2. Read or sing the 2nd verse of A Mighty Fortress (see above). Lord Sabboath means Lord of all the good angels and all the evil angels. What stands out to you?
    That God is Lord of ALL, of EVERYTHING, He is sovereign
    That Jesus is my Lord Sabboath, and he has already won the battle for me, I must find my confidence in his strength, not my own.

  23. I want to add that Annie’s story about the Christmas gift, and her determination to be thankful stood out to me. She did so well to be able to read that at the funeral.

    When the grief seems ready to crush the life out of me, I try to remember that I only feel such pain because I was so blessed to have him.

    1. Dear Chris,
      My heart is aching for you, too. I have no words for the deep, deep pain you are in, but want you to know I care and am praying for you.

    2. Chris I too am praying.

    3. I loved this too, Chris, and praying for you.

      1. Thank you ladies

    4. Chris, I remember being a lonely sad 13 year old girl when my dad died. I also remember the amazing church family that came to my house and surrounded my mom and our family with their love. We were very fortunate to have them there, kind of like the lighthouse in the painting. Whether you church is like that or not, I feel like this group is that way. We all come from different walks but we surround each other on this blog. I prayed for you and your family on the anniversary and I am still praying. I thank God for my friend who showed me the way to this Bible study and the people here who have prayed for me. Thank you Lord Jesus.

  24. ICEBREAKER:

    What stood out to you from the above and why?

    Several things as usual. 🙂 I loved the realization Steve came to in regard to what God was really telling him about the fight. How joyful for him to see it yet how hard at the same time. Makes me really hate Satan even more that he would try to take advantage of such a tender, precious brother while in the midst of suffering. Yet, am deeply rejoicing with you all how God won this battle.

    Also, again I am growing to love Sally’s honest heart. To hear that she sang the words to that song and how she faltered while looking at Steve. I am sure her honest heart is precious to God.

    We watched Soul Surfer Friday night. GREAT movie, I agree. There are many things to note in that movie, but one thing was when she went to her friend, Carrie Underwood, and cried out, “Is this God’s best for me? Is this God’s plan for me?” as she showed Carrie where here arm used to be. (I am not good at remembering movie lines word for word). It was a passionate scene. Carrie answered so right. She didn’t know why God allows it, but that she knew somehow it would glorify him and he has a purpose and a plan in it. And we find he did.

    I also loved the way she handled the other girl who was highly competitive against her. It changed over time.

    My favorite scene, however, was the encounter she had with the little boy in Thailand. How God used her talent to bring him glory among the people there.

  25. Oh, and I have to give a report on God moving in this.

    I have found, as many of you have found, in staying here and doing Dee’s studies how so often God weaves her studies into life situations and into bible studies, sermons etc..to let me know He is here, He is mighty and He loves and cares for me and He is coming to me like the Spring rain. OH and not just in MY life but in others as well. It is sweet to see Him moving.

    At my church we are now going through James and yesterday morning was on suffering. So, Dee’s study, Soul Surfer, a summer women’s bible study that just ended last week-it ended with suffering and that verse in James-consider it all joy when you encounter various trials..and yesterday I thought, WOW! now our sermon at church. They had a video of a pastor from another church who just found out he has a horrible form of cancer in his brain and he gave a testimony.

    Since yesterday I have been asking God to show me the common thread-Lord, what are you trying to say? It seems this suffering theme is all around me lately. He is putting it together. Suffering is part of the growing process and Satan would like for us to back away from God. THEY SAID THAT AT MY CHURCH YESTERDAY.

    When the pastor with cancer on the video said this, “I count it a blessing that God found me worthy to allow this in my life.” My heart melted. He wasn’t saying God wanted him to have it in his life, rather he didn’t know why God allowed it, but that usually in the darkest of suffering and in trials is where God’s glory shines the brightest. Where we press into him and He grows us in the process-He strengthens us and it is evident to those who see us that it is Him, not us. He becomes larger and we become smaller. That really was hard to hear, yet gloriously true!

    I think God’s purposes are many fold. I don’t think it is just for one time rather it is a piece in His big puzzle of growing us and making us a beautiful, fragrance.

    Oh and I heard something the other day on the radio..Funny..Like I said He has put the topic of suffering all around me-it was a radio show on Christian radio and a caller called in and was talking about grieving the loss of a loved one. He said what struck him was when his wife said they all prayed for healing while their loved one was alive, yet came to realize God did heal him even though he passed away. He is in heaven now and he is healed. I don’t know, seems simple I know, but encouraging to hear.

    1. This was good Rebecca. I’ve been doing the same as you–the theme of suffering all around, and my logic-loving mind wants to figure out “why? Does this mean….?” But I love how you said it “Suffering is part of the growing process and Satan would like for us to back away from God”.

      And even as I am learning these truths Satan tries to slip his wormy way in and say ‘oooh…I’d be afraid if I were you…this probably means another storm is coming..’ But I say back to him in response–the storms will come, and my God is my Refuge. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ” Romans 8;38-39

    2. Nicely put…you remind me of last year when I decided I would memorize a book of the Bible. My memory used to be so good but lately I struggle. The book I decided to memorize was James because it was fairly short, but it also spoke to me through my struggles. It gave me a new perspective. I wrote each verse on an index card daily and tried to remember it each day. I got pretty far, verse 14 or so of the first chapter, but then struggled and gave up. I love that I recognize the verse you typed, and that I knew it! I suppose my work was not in vain after all 🙂

  26. Sorry, I forgot to mention what happened in our bible study class yesterday morning. A gal was crying who was sitting next to me. (God’s timing is so sweet!) Her husband lost his job and they have been struggling. They have two children. God had another gal and I sit next to her and comfort her-I asked her why she was crying and she said they have no money to buy school clothes for their children and school starts next week. Oh my did God come to us and her in a mighty way. That day we collected around $300.00 for her and her husband to buy clothes for their children this week. My point here is that I think God is showing me that there are many benefits of suffering, and that we are to take part in it with one another-bearing each other’s burdens. But the main thing is that He is glorified-but yesterday that family wasn’t saying, What nice and generous people..They were saying, “Praise God! Look how the Lord has provided!”

    I am looking at Steve’s story which is Dee’s Story, Anne’s story, Beth, John and Julie, Sally and J.R.’s story too. I am seeing Him being glorified in their stories. His fragrance is all around. The end of this story is beautiful all the way around-God is glorified and Satan lost.

  27. 3. Read Job 14:7-10

    A. Why does Job think there might be more hope for a tree than a man?
    Because as long as the tree roots are still in the ground, there is hope that with the right conditions, it will bring forth life again.
    B. What question do you see in verse 10?
    When a man dies, where is he?

    I am short on time today, I leave for vacation Wednesday early morning. (I will be gone for 2 weeks) I am going to Minnesota to see my parent’s ( age 81 and 85) and my mother in law, ( 92) and several siblings who all live nearby. Everytime I go see my parents and MIL, I think “this could be the last time I see them alive”. I cherish the time we can be together.
    I’m bringing my laptop, but I am not sure how much internet I will have. I did copy all the questions onto a word document,so hopefully I can do the lessons and then post them when I get to internet.

  28. We watched Soul Surfer last night, and I was impressed by how well done it was. I liked the transition from surfing being her life, to surfing being a gift to use for His glory. She went from skipping a Missions trip in order to compete, to letting God use her talent to speak to the heart of a lost child in Thailand.

    And I liked the message about perspective–that so often in the trial, we are too close to see anything that makes any sense. It takes stepping back, looking back often, before we can gain any insight.

    I also appreciated how both Carrie Underwood, and the Dad admitted to not having the answers, but at the same time, pointing her back to Scripture and waiting on God.

  29. Dee

    Just wanted to let you know that the song A mighty fortress is our God has been playing in my head all morning its such a blessing to me. I hope that when satan comes and attacks me in his sneaky way that i will be able to remember the words!

  30. This morning I watched Annie’s video for her wedding. It was precious. I can’t imagine how seeing the pictures and remembering her feelings at the time must touch her heart. The thing that struck me the most this time is the lament in the song. How do we make it last? And I think she answered it when she spoke at Steve’s funeral. Thanksgiving. We can’t make it last but we can savor it if we know how to be thankful.

    That gets me thinking about heaven again. I wonder if these gifts will somehow be in our possession again to hold and to savor.

    1. Anne,
      What you wrote really touches my heart. “How do we make it last (the lament)?”
      The anser, “Thanksgiving. We can’t make it last but we can savor it if we know how to be thankful.”
      Last summer around the time it had been one year since my nephew died, I went to a prayer group with my friend, Linda, and prayed and talked with her and a man from her church, Wade. I was still agonizing over the details of Thomas’ death, going over and over it in my mind, blaming myself for what I failed to do, going over and over the “if onlys” and “what ifs”. As we talked and prayed, I realized that something in me felt the need to do this as a way to keep him alive in my mind, to not forget about him, in a way, I felt like I was still fighting some kind of battle for him. In prayer, I released Thomas into God’s care, acknowledging that God loved him more than I ever could and would take care of him. Letting go of the battle was not forgetting about him. Thank you for the reminder to give thanks for his life.

  31. 1. Read Job 1:6-12.

    A. In verse 7, what was God’s question and Satan’s reply?

    God asked Satan “where did you come from?” Satan answers that he has been roaming about the earth and walking around on it.

    B. What do you know about Job from the opening of Job, and why might he be of special interest to Satan?

    Job stood out from other men; he was “a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” I’ve heard it said that Satan doesn’t have to bother with people who are lost and blinded and living sinful lives; he already has them in his power. But he will go after those who move closer and closer to God, those who are living a holy life.
    To bring Job down would have been a great victory for Satan and a way for him to strike back at God.

    C. Who brings up Job’s name according to verse 8? Why, do you think?

    The Lord brings up Job’s name to Satan when He says, “Have you considered my servant Job?” In the sidebar, the literal translation for “considered” is “have you set your heart to my servant Job?”
    I am wondering if God who knows all thoughts saw that Satan, who had been roaming around the earth, already had set his sights set on Job. I am seeing this as if God is simply stating out loud what was already in Satan’s mind. I don’t know if this is the correct way to interpret this or not.

    D. Why does Satan believe that Job follows God? What is Satan’s challenge?

    Satan believes that Job loves God for the things He gives him, not for God Himself. Satan challenges God to take all Job’s blessings away and then, Satan is sure, Job will curse God.

    E. Who has the upper hand here? Support your answer scripturally.

    God is in control. In verse 12, God tells Satan, in effect, “okay, everything Job has is now in your power, to do with what you will, but you may not have Job.”
    God put the “stuff” in Satan’s hands, but Job’s life is still in God’s hands.
    God puts a limit on what Satan may do.

  32. 1. Read Job 1:6-12

    A. In verse 7, what was God’s question and Satan’s reply?From where have you come from?

    B. What do you know about Job from the opening of Job, and why might he be of special interest to Satan? He was blameless in all the land. He loved God.

    C. Who brings up Job’s name according to verse 8? Why, do you think? God. No clue really. Maybe to purify him even more because he knows satan will want to go after a man like this. Also to bring God glory and crush satan’s belief. I guess to it is like a Christ example. Christ fixed his eyes on the cross. His love kept him going forward no matter what. Job in the same way worshiped God after he was crushed. He kept his eyes on Him. (til his miserable comforters showed up) 🙂

    D. Why does Satan believe that Job follows God? What is Satan’s challenge? Job has it easy. Job would not still be the same if he was not padded by God.

    E. Who has the upper hand here? Support your answer scripturally. God. v. 11-12. God has control of all things here. Satan has to have permission to do anything or touch anything. God has to allow him permission.

    One thing I have always wondered is why do all the angels come before God. Even Satan and his fallen angels? He was banished from Heaven so how does that all work?

  33. I put the song in my own words
    no matter how hard we try, with out Jesus we lose.
    He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow,
    he is in charge of all the angels and He WILL WIN THE WAR.

    Demons may fill every corner of this earth but I will not be afraid of them.
    The Blood of Jesus gives me the power to win the war,
    I go to heaven to be with Jesus in the end,
    they do not.

    When I read Job I struggle with how God threw him under the bus. i just don’t get why he would say, OK take everything i gave him away, I’ll show you that he will still love me, like he had somthing to prove to Saten. I am still unpacking that one in my brain, it just does not mesh with my view of God. still working on this.

  34. ICEBREAKER:

    What stood out to you from the above and why?

    Thanks to you Dee for bringing these “old” hymns to mind. I love them and we don’t seem to sing them much anymore in our church.

    What comes to mind when reading the text is “Yuck!” I hate snakes! That picture is extremely revolting; I had to scroll down to get it out of my view! I guess I feel that way about Satan also. As I read, I realized how easy it would be to give up in life. It seems so hard sometimes. Unfortunately (!), my parents raised me to love God and something inside me won’t allow me to run completely away from Him. I get what Steve said…”Satan wants me to deny God.” Although I sin too much, I could never be consciously disrespectful to God. Is that how Job felt? He didn’t think he had done anything (consciously) to deny God, but he was in pain physically and mentally and couldn’t understand why. Job didn’t know about grace, but we do. Job’s friends certainly thought he had done something to make God upset. Did God need to deny Job of something so precious (his family) to him to help him believe that God loved him in the end? In life, it seems that the things I have to work at the most are the most meaningful to me. I think this could apply to relationships just like work, hobbies, or whatever. If it comes easy to me I don’t value it as much. Is that what happened to Job? His life was carefree, rich, and non-threatened so he didn’t value it very much? Did God need to set him straight? Was he trying to help Job appreciate the life he had or was it just a test of faith?

    I also realized that I have a copy of the Screwtape Letters, but have never read it. I suppose this would be a good time 🙂

  35. A. Why does Job think there might be more hope for a tree than a man?
    Because a tree that seems dead can bring forth life when the rains come, he fears that death is the end of a man

    B. What question do you see in verse 10?
    Where does man go?

    4. Read Job 14:11-13 and describe Job’s lament, fears, and wish. He wishes he could die, that he could wait until Gods anger was finished and then be revived by God

    5. Suddenly the Spirit arrests Job, and a question comes to mind. Find it in the beginning of verse 14.
    He begins to hope for eternity, this brought to my mind these verses;

    Ecclesiates 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”

    Romans 5:3-5 ” More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
    and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
    and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”

    A. Job has been given an assurance — how does he respond in the 2nd part of verse 14?
    All the days of my service I would wait, till my renewal should come

    He responds with patience, a willingness to wait

    B. According to verse 15, what will God do after Job is laid in the grave?

    He will Remember Job and call to him

    and why?
    Because God would long for the work of his hands

      1. I am comforted, thank you Dee, I was in the store yesterday and a song came on that reminded me of Daniel. I felt desperate for a moment, then thought of him in heaven, as I so often have. Lasy year at this time I had thought we/he would now be struggling to overcome the brain injury at this time, doing difficult physical therapy. He is now REMEMBERED, put back together, as Tim Keller brought out in the sermon.
        When we unhooked his respirator, I prayed and said that this was not the miracle we had hoped for but that it is a miracle that God revealed Himself to Daniel and that he was even then in heaven.
        This world just seems so flat now

  36. This is what came to mind as I prayed this morning for Cyndi and others grieving on this blog…
    After dad died, a part of me needed to see my dad on the other side, what he might be doing, was he happy? etc. so I asked God about it. A few days later a friend asked me, “Can’t you just see your dad up there fishin’ with Jesus in that perfect water?!” I realized this was part of my answer. One other time God ministered to me in a vision, actually more of a knowing, it came in a moment I wasn’t even thinking of dad, I was cooking. I heard a conversation between my daughter who I miscarried and my dad in heaven. It was the first time they met. He put her on his lap and said, “Well hello there! I told your mom you were a girl!” This makes perfect sense to me b/c each time one of us kid’s were pregnant we would ask dad what we were having and he would get back to us. Dad was never wrong-eight times! When I am grieving I see these scenes and trade them for the painful scenes like seeing dad in the ICU. It comforts me.
    Praying for all, especially those we haven’t heard from in a while.

    1. thanks kim, its wonderful to have people pray for me. I feel so very sheltered from grief compared to most on this blog, I know it will come, but so far I have been mostly untouched in a life altering way.
      I feel very shallow compared to many of you. I just kinda live my life trusting that God loves me and I will be in heaven some day and that is really what matters. so when I come to a concept my brain just does not wrap itself around I just put it in my “thats for God to know and me to find out” box. just trusting His love to cover the gap.
      I see Him work so much in my heart and family and every day life that I know He loves me and will do the best for me, but I have a hard time looking at others hardships and hurts and thinking the same for them. I know its true, but my logical mind just does not get it. and thats OK with me right now. If I worshiped a God I could understand then He really would not be worthy of my worship.
      love and pray for you all, I am on my way to vacation…..7 people and all thier stuff in a mini-van:) should be a hoot. I have it all in and we leave at 4am tomorrow.
      A cool thing. we are meeting Lily’s best friend from China tomorrow in Atlanta Georgia. her mom found me on a yahoo group 2 months after Analyn (lilys best friend) was adopted 9 mo. ago. God is a God of miracles!

      1. “shallow” is not a word I would EVER use to describe you Cyndi! I think often the deepest most profound thoughts, are the simplest truths–faith like a child, right?
        I am praying you have a great, safe trip–filled with joy, good conversation, fun, kids getting along well…(praying for you what I wold want!)
        much love to you friend~

  37. As I read the passage in the first question I was struck by our safety in the Lord. Vs. 10: Hast not thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? God is is giving us a glimpse of the protection believers have. I believe God always has the upper hand as seen in Luke 22:31-32 Here Jesus tells Peter he is being sifted by satan. We learn satan can’t sift us unless God gives permission. God is in charge.

  38. 2. He has dominion over all. He never changes. And the battle is His—He is actively in charge, never passive, never leaving us on our own.

    A. Why does Job think there might be more hope for a tree than a man?

    Job doesn’t yet realize that he will have new life, eternity in heaven. He believes only a tree can be made new and given new life.

    B. What question do you see in verse 10?
    Job doesn’t know what happens when man dies—he is wondering if there is nothing left after we die?

    4. Read Job 14:11-13 and describe Job’s lament, fears, and wish.
    Job’s wish is that God would protect him, keep him safe until the trials pass, that death could be a temporary refuge. His fear is that it is not. He cries out for God to remember him.

    5. Suddenly the Spirit arrests Job, and a question comes to mind. Find it in the beginning of verse 14.

    I love this—Job is listening and God is speaking to his heart—Job asks “ If a man dies, will he live again?”

    6. A. Job has been given an assurance — how does he respond in the 2nd part of verse 14?
    “I will wait for my renewal to come.”

    B. According to verse 15, what will God do after Job is laid in the grave, and why?

    I had missed this verse in the past—I love it. “You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made.”

    I have been thinking on this verse since yesterday. I wanted to look at the word for “long for”. I found that the greek word here means literally to be or become “pale”, here meaning to pine or long after, so as to become pale. That just moves me—God loves us so indescribably deep because He formed us, we are His masterpiece, His treasures. He loves us so deep that He can be stirred up in His heart by us–He is not high above without the ability for us to move Him, we touch His heart.

    C. How does this combat Satan’s lie? How could you speak this truth to your soul? Write it here:
    For the first time in looking at Job, I am wondering it there is almost a sense that God chose Job out of love. The fire of the trial Job faces ultimately brings an intimacy with his Creator that nothing else could have. I have often looked at people in my life who have gone through incredible suffering, and seen how their walk with the Lord is richer, deeper than I can even put words to. There is almost this sense about them that they were chosen, in a good way, to fight the battle. Like God chose his best man to stand in the front lines of the war—one He knew would only be refined and grow deeper in love with Him through it.

    So Satan’s lie is that God doesn’t care—that He sits high above and orchestrates our lives as a heartless puppet master. The truth is that everything God does, has all of His heart intertwined in it—His perfect, all knowing, all powerful, never failing heart. And the truth is that He loves us so deeply we cannot even begin to understand—all we can do is finally say, we trust, we rest. We don’t get it, but we know without a doubt He is good. And if we look back, we can see in Scripture, in our own lives, where He has shown this to us, so that we might be able to believe with the storms come crashing in.

    1. I like your answer to 6b. God longs for us. Just yesterday I asked God to help me desire Him more. I think I will change my request and ask God to help me to long for Him.

      1. I like that Kim.
        I have been praying for Melody–hope she’s doing OK.

        1. Thank you, dear Elizabeth. I know that will bless her. Today is their 2nd wedding anniversary.

      1. 2. Read or sing the second verse of A Mighty Fortress. What stands out to you?

        Reading through this brings to mind Psalm 42, where the psalmist laments, and asks his soul, “Why are you in despair, O my soul?” I am all too acquainted with the feeling of being downcast, of sinking down, of losing hope. I can see how Martin Luther wrote these words as an answer to those feelings, to help us speak truth to our soul.
        These depressing feelings come when I am wondering what to do? And realizing I am helpless. “Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing”.
        But, I have the “right Man on my side, the Man of God’s own choosing.”
        My anxious soul asks who might that be? The rest of the words are the answer to my questioning soul. These words are meant to give my soul confidence to hope in God.

        1. Whoops – somehow I messed up and my answer to #2. got put here as a reply!

      2. Elizabeth, So rich your inspired thought here-it brought to mind how desperately entrenched in idolatry our world is right now-how easy it is for us also-it is like God is calling us to let go of it and run to Him-I am starting to see and find great solace in how God uses evil for good to press us into him. He is even supreme over evil and suffering.

        You know, this weaves into what Kim wrote in those wonderful quotes she gave and in particular with the Brainerd story on his deathbed coughing up blood saying out loud: “Oh for Holiness! Oh, for more of God in my soul! Oh, this pleasing pain! It makes my soul press after God” -Elizabeth, I so long to have a soul that presses after God like that-but I am afraid I have a long way to go! 🙁 God longs for me to press after Him like that. what drives me crazy though is this daily battle where my soul cries out Oh for Holiness, for more of God in my soul, yet at the very same time I can so easily take control and close up. But to do that in the midst of extreme suffering, even on my death bed? I so long that my heart will be at that place when it happens and I have hope God will grow me as He has re-ignited His fire within me since I have started on this blog and I do now honestly want whatever it takes for Him to get me to that place of heart like Brainerd and Spurgeon, and others.

  39. I am getting ready to meet a friend for lunch and have read through some of the comments and I see Psalm 27 here among you. So encouraging to me.

  40. Elizabeth, just got your comment in my inbox. It is hard to stay away from this well here! 🙂 I know this is off topic but I must say what encourages me about you is that God has made you sharp. You love the word of God-You love Him and your comments here have teeth-You are sharpening me so.

    1. oh Rebecca, truly you bring to mind proverbs 27:17! Honestly, God has used you so much to give me a desire to go deeper. I used to just want to answer the questions, being the anti-procastinator, one who craves productivity too much. But as I would read your contemplations, I want that deeper, richer knowledge…I’m just begining, but am so thankful for you example, and yes, this well of wise women here–what a gift!!

  41. Good Afternoon Ladies,

    Just wanted ya’ll to know that i will be gone Wednesday through Friday night i am going to the ocean so i will catch up when i get back 🙂

    1. Have a wonderful time, Meg! Just got back from the ocean and it’s a great place to contemplate on all we are learning and talk to God!

    2. Meg, Have an awesome time, and wow you get to go to the Ocean, what a blessing!

  42. 1. Read Job 1:6-12

    A. In verse 7, what was God’s question and Satan’s reply?

    God asked Satan where he came from. Satan said he has been roaming the Earth, going back and forth in it.

    B. What do you know about Job from the opening of Job, and why might he be of special interest to Satan?

    He was an upright man and God had blessed him abundantly. Satan was interested in him because he feared God and shunned evil.

    C. Who brings up Job’s name according to verse 8? Why, do you think?

    God does. God found Job worthy. I think God is sovereign and He knew Satan would be interested. He knew Job loved Him for Him and not for the stuff He has given Job.

    D. Why does Satan believe that Job follows God? What is Satan’s challenge?

    Because God has put a hedge around everything he owns including his family and also God has blessed the work of his hands.

    This is a huge challenge for Satan-He has to get a man who truly loves God to turn from God and that is hard to do when God has made Job righteous and given Him a desire for God. but I am not sure Satan thinks it is a challenge. I think Satan thinks Job loves God for His stuff and not for God-verse 9 and 10. I don’t think Satan is allowed to know our hearts like God does so he is really clueless in regard to how hard this is going to be.

    E. Who has the upper hand here? Support your answer scripturally.

    God has the upper hand. Verse 12: “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Also, in Verse 6: Satan came with the angels as they presented themselves before God. Signifying God is above all. Also, God engaged Satan first in verse 7.

  43. 2. Read or sing the 2nd verse of A Mighty Fortress (see above). Lord Sabboath means Lord of all the good angels and all the evil angels. What stands out to you? (My favorite rendition is Steve Green — can hear on U-tube.)

    I love how the song says if all we had was our own strength to confide in we would surely lose, were it not for Jesus CHRIST who is on our side. He must win the battle.

    OH MY..Just found this rendition of Steve Green singing it accapella..Goose bumps. This brought me to tears: http://youtu.be/NRJHKzU_t1M

    1. These are great questions and I am not sure how to answer c. Been pondering it a lot. Looking forward to hearing answers.

      a-below I stated 14:15 stated it. How God longs for what He made. Also in the beginning chapters of Job since God so highly esteemed Job He chose him to go through this battle. That is mind blowing. Things that this 6 year old cannot rightly understand. Yet I do see it as privilege. Just as the trials I am now allowed.

      b-He was a highly honored man here. Had everything. He was helping people. He probably was a man’s man. Had it all. With this can come pride. He is remembering this stuff. Sometimes we need to be softened. I wonder about this for him as well. In our great time of blessing it is hard sometimes to look beyond ourselves. How he states widows hearts sang for joy and he caused it. That line is pretty funny!! 🙂

      C-Again, 6 year old. Cannot answer. :)Looking forward to gleaning your guys wisdom though.

    2. B. I don’t think God’s central purpose in bringing up Job’s name was to refine him, but it did indeed refine him. When you read Job 29:1-14, see if you find some idols of the heart.

      Verses 1-6 seem to speak of Job getting comfort/security from having his children around him and his material blessings. (Yet, in verse 5, he yearns for the time when “the Almighty was yet with me…”)

      Verses 7-14 describe Job when he went into the city square, and how young and old, princes and nobles were awed by his presence among them – could this be an idol of affirmation/approval? Job goes on to detail in verses 12-13 how he “delivered the poor who cried for help, and the orphan who had no helper.” He helped the perishing and the widow. Verse 14 says, “I (Job) put on righteousness, and it clothed me; and justice was like a robe and a turban.” That seems the opposite of the Gospel, where we put on the righteousness of Christ, because we have none of our own.
      It seems Job may have been getting his need for approval or affirmation from these things he was doing.

      C. If God’s central purpose was not to refine Job, though that happened, what do you think His central purpose was?

      In my study Bible, the intro to Job says, “Job’s afflictions brought God’s character and ways into question. Yet ultimately it brought deeper intimacy with God.”
      I can never answer the question of “Why” God chose to allow Job’s suffering. However, every person at some point in his or her life is going to experience some degree of suffering, and at those times, it does make us question God’s motives and His goodness. When everything was going well for Job, he had no reason to question the character of God. Perhaps by his fiery suffering, which was intense, he really wrestled with these deeper questions for the first time in his life, and God met him in a way He never had before. Job ended up having an intimacy with God that he never knew before, and it came through suffering.

    3. More thoughts on “C”….I think of how I react when someone questions my motives or character. I often become defensive and angry; I try to explain myself and justify my actions; I am hurt or offended; I lash back. And often, there was a selfish motive lurking there and it’s my pride that wont admit it so I respond that way!
      So I’m thinking that here in Job, God allows His character and ways to be brought into question. But God doesn’t have anything to hide! There’s no unloving, punitive, selfish motives behind any of His actions. In the book of Job, God doesn’t explain Himself, He shows Job who He is in His dialogue with Job starting in chapter 38 – He is the Creator, he rules over all His creation, He controls all things, His ways are perfect.

      “Will you really annul My judgement?
      Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?” (Job 40:8)

      How often is that my response to criticism – trying to justify myself by condemning someone else. Even though God is fathomless and we can’t know everything about Him, it seems like here in Job, God is being an “open book” and inviting us to see if we can find any imperfection in Him, and we can’t. So we, like Job, respond with repentance, worship, trust, and we know Him better.

        1. Oh wow – I see it now, Dee! I’m so glad you pointed that out!

  44. 3. Read Job 14:7-10

    A. Why does Job think there might be more hope for a tree than a man? This is interesting because a tree does continue to sprout up. We cut down several and have tons of sprouts trying to come up all over. I get this, a tree can be cut down but it will sprout back with water.

    B. What question do you see in verse 10? But where is a man after he is cut down?

    4. Read Job 14:11-13 and describe Job’s lament, fears, and wish. Seems like he may think death is final. He wishes he would be hidden in Sheol until God’s wrath is past.

    5. Suddenly the Spirit arrests Job, and a question comes to mind. Find it in the beginning of verse 14.

    6. Read Job 14:14-17

    A. Job has been given an assurance — how does he respond in the 2nd part of verse 14? All his days he will wait til his renewal will come (hope of resurrection?)

    B. According to verse 15, what will God do after Job is laid in the grave, and why? God would call because He would long for the work of His hands (reference to God’s love for His own)

    This thrills me. One day God will call my name, Steve’s name, your name — and we will rise, like Lazarus! He will call for us because he misses the one his hands made.

    C. How does this combat Satan’s lie? How could you speak this truth to your soul? Write it here: God does love me period. He never leaves or forsakes me though times can look dark. God is in control and never leaves me. There is always coming resurrection.

    I did get that book on Job and the gospel you recommended a few weeks back. Looking forward to digging into it. This is so good.

  45. Keller’s sermon is GREAT!
    Here are my notes.
    love guys voice who read script!
    3 things all through Script we have in suffering.
    1-Comfort
    I do not need all the answers if I knew you were for me and in it with me.
    God came Himself…Only Christianity is like that. Christ Himself entered
    into suffering. He came like a lover.
    2-glory
    Suffering produces glory.Weight and beauty. Lastingness and beauty. Glory
    and suffering go together. Like a tree that needs to be pruned or no fruit
    will come from it.
    3-resurrection
    word for longing is intense word almost means lust…Job did not know about
    resurrection but he worked this out in his head. Your love means you can
    call me even when I am dead and it would resurrect me.
    WOW Jesus knew calling Lazurus forth would put Him into the grave but He
    did it anyway out of love.

    We have what Job did not in Christ. How amazing. and how incredible Job’s faith to believe what he did not see.

    1. I thought the script reader might have been Max Mclean?
      I liked how he paused and drew a big breath before he began.

        1. Yes I appreciate the women reading too. Took notice of that.

      1. Yes amazing. Keller said it but man it is a WOW! I want to wrap my brain and heart around that.

      2. When I heard this I immediately thought of the humanness of Jesus. Yes he was reconciled to go to the cross but I doubt He would want to hurry that process along. I am so glad He was fully human and fully God. He really can feel for me. It also makes the price so much higher.

  46. This thrills me. One day God will call my name, Steve’s name, your name — and we will rise, like Lazarus! He will call for us because he misses the one his hands made.

    C. How does this combat Satan’s lie?

    Satan’s lie is defeated when Job looks past the here and now, He trusts God hoping for what he cannot see, Job believes God created him and will remember him.

    How could you speak this truth to your soul? Write it here:
    I can trust that God has purposes for my suffering, and preach the Gospel to myself till I can’t deny that that I am his creation & He loves me. Why does this seem to be so difficult for me?

    7. Meditate on the last verse of A Mighty Fortress (above) and share your thoughts.

    Even when things seem impossibly wrong and Satan seems to have the upper hand in my circumstances, God is in control, I need not be afraid, God has willed His truth to triumph in me. The battle will soon be finished, and Christ is victorious.

  47. So far, my take away from this week is about the snake…..I think my favorite part of the movie “The Passion of the Christ” is when Jesus stamps on the head of the slithering snake in the garden. It SO emphasizes how I feel when the devil tries to take me down. I remember the imagery and feel a sense of strength. The actor stomps so well! I love the verse from I Peter….”Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” I printed it out and have it in large letters in front of me on my desk.

    Also, in the Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis explains in the preface how people ask him his thoughts about the devil. he says he doesn’t believe there is an equal and opposite force to God. I was struck by this because I have always thought of the devil as being an adversary to God that depicted the opposing evil to God’s goodness. He says God created an angel that fell; he opposes Michael, not God. Interesting. It almost makes it better for me if I think of him that way…..I could actually win a fight against him, he’s only a fallen angel for goodness sake, NOT as strong as God!

    1. Definitely praying about this now. Let us know how it goes. Sad some do not know the Lord. Praying He will draw them to Himself. Our pastor has asked us all to pick a day to fast for 6 weeks I think to focus prayer on the lost in our community. They are building a large muslim center and school 3 miles from our church so we have been learning how to love our muslim neighbors well and pray God draws them. So anyway, I have been making a list to also specifically pray for the lost during this time. I will add these folks.

      May the Holy Spirit quicken you and give you favor as your light of Christ shines brightly for Him. May they see it and desire the Father and Jesus. May His words and wisdom pour forth in this meeting.

      1. Praying Dee!!

    2. Will pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance for your words, and for the church as they seek a pastor.

    3. Dee–what an opportunity! Oh how He works–having them ask for your help, I love it! Praying He will quicken you–that your words will be filled with what He wants to say. Keep us posted!

      1. Dee, Will pray-wow what a great opportunity! Lord we thank you that you have opened the door for Dee to be your fragrance among the search committee-Lord quicken Dee to know when to speak and what to say in regard to your counsel in finding a pastor for their church-Lord we thank you for how you are moving in Dee’s life there and how you are moving among the search committee and we desire for your will to be done in this and we are excited Lord to see how you will move. We ask you would be glorified in and throughout the whole process.

  48. C. If God’s central purpose was not to refine Job, though that happened, what do you think His central purpose was?
    My first thought on this was that God being God knew the end from the beginning. He knew that Job wouldn’t fail. Job has been a shining example and inspiration to millions of people over the last few thousand years. People read and study again and again what goes on in heaven how God does not bring our suffering Satan does, but God allows it for His purpose and glory.
    My second thought is that everything in the bible points to the Gospel. This was just a precursor to what was to come. Satan ultimately challenges God Himself. Instead of God allowing suffering to Job, God allowed suffering to Himself through Jesus. Instead of God having miserable comforters, God had the ultimate Comforter the Holy Spirit. Instead of God sparing His life, as He did for Job, God allowed Jesus to die so that the final victory would be won. Death has lost its sting! The grave has been conquered, and man shall live with God forever!