Season Premiere: A Brand New Year | Job

How Can We Keep Hope Alive In The Midst Of Adversity?

James Greer
Jan 10, 2021    35m
In the midst of adversity, we hold fast to our integrity and turn to God for only He can truly comfort us. Job experienced great loss, yet he thanked God in the midst of his trial. We don't always know the why of our suffering. All we have to do is trust God, believe Him, and He will bless us with more than we lost. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer (00:00):
Well, good morning, Journey Church. Man, woo! Man, I'm so excited about the new devotion book. Hey, it's coming out next Sunday and I want everybody to get one. And there's going to be a lot of things to do. If you're in a small group, our Journey Group, next Sunday, you'll be receiving the book through your small group. And this book is going to be so great. I mean I love you to come to church. Amen? But I also love you to learning to be the church. And this book is a way that you can learn to come to church and be the church. And we'll explain how next week. Not only that, you know, you can connect with this book, you'll learn how, and not even have contact. So I want you to be here next Sunday, and you'll have an opportunity to get the book on how to training to transform.

James Greer (00:48):
Amen? I'll tell you, there's a lot of turmoil going on in the United States today, isn't there? And I want to talk about that for a minute. But before I do, I want you to know, if you have a lot of tragedy going on in your own life, the turmoil in the United States doesn't mean much. I have a friend that's in the hospital right now, and he's in a coma. He went in with a blood clot and through a strange time of events ended up swallowing his tongue and coded. And he's in a coma right now. Serious, serious. Don't know what the outcome will be. And I can tell you his mother and his wife and his children, they're not worried about what's going on in America right now. They just want him to live. And so as bad as it is, what's going on in the rioting and the chaos in America, he's worried about the tragedy that he and his family are going through right now.

James Greer (01:50):
In fact, I was so concerned, I got up early this morning at six o'clock. By six, I was up way earlier than that, but at six, I looked on our records and I'm so glad we keep records. And I looked at in May of 2013, gave an invitation and this particular person, he came to the front and he gave his life to Jesus Christ. And I thought how important that is right now to know that no matter what, and it's my prayer that he wakes up from the coma, but that there was a time that he gave his life to Jesus Christ. So when the rioting, when the chaos is going on in America, what you need more than anything else is to know that you have a relationship with Jesus Christ. In fact, you're not going to find peace in politics. You're not going to find peace in a particular party. You're going to find peace in a person, and that person's name is Jesus Christ. And John 14:27, it says, peace, Jesus speaking, He says, peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. It's a gift. You can only have it from Jesus Christ. Not as the world gives you. You can see that you can't get it from the world. Let not your heart be troubled.

James Greer (03:11):
There's a lot of people right now, their heart's trouble. They're confused. They're worried about what's going on in the world. And that's okay. But Jesus said, I'm going to give you peace. And He said, I don't want your heart to be troubled. And He doesn't want you to be afraid. We as Christians have a strange peace that's an internal peace. It has nothing to do with what's going on in the world. And Jesus wants to remind you right now that He doesn't want your heart to be troubled by what's going on in the world, and He doesn't want you to be afraid. He wants you to know this is not your home. Peace is a byproduct of trusting God's promises and purpose and plan for your life.

James Greer (03:50):
You need to know where peace comes from. It doesn't come from the world. It comes from a byproduct of trusting God's promise and purpose and plans for your life. In John 16:33, He puts it this way. Jesus speaking, He says, these things I've spoken to you, Journey Church, and whether you're here or whether you're online, He spoke of that you may have peace. God said, some of the reasons that I speak to you because I want you to have peace. But He said, I want you to know in this world, you're going to have tribulation. You're going to have turmoil. Be of good cheer. I've overcome the world. As long as we live in this world, we're going to have turmoil, we're going to have pressure. He wants to remind us the tribulation and the turmoil is a time and a reminder for us to turn to Him to find our peace.

James Greer (04:43):
Violence is never the answer. It's not the answer for our nation. It's not some answer for our home. It's not the answer for our society. Violence always ends up in vanity, emptiness, useless always. No purpose. Politics is not the basic answer. Parties are not the answer. Of course, the person is. But for me and you, it's purity of heart. In fact, Titus 1:15, it's so great. It says, a person who is pure of heart sees goodness and purity in everything. You see what the real problem is? It's a heart condition. If our hearts were right, we'd see goodness and purity in everything. That's why Proverbs 3:23 says, keep your heart with all diligence for out of it, all the issues of life, every issue you're having in your life, with your family, on your job, all the issues are coming, they're coming from your heart. The problem with the crazy riots in Washington and everywhere else, it's an issue from the heart. If the hearts were right, we wouldn't be having this problem.

James Greer (06:02):
My question for you today, how is your heart? See, it's easy to look at Washington. It's easy to look at the rest of the world. It's easy to look at your neighbor. It's easy to go on the job. But my question to you right now is how is your heart? And the way that you know that your heart is right, because you see goodness in everybody. You can find the goodness in other people. Anybody can find faults in everybody. So my question to you, before we go any further, even before we get into Job, I pray that your hearts start getting right. I pray that you would receive the message with the right heart. I pray that you would go home and you'd look for goodness in other people and not the badness.

James Greer (06:46):
See, when Job, he went through great tragedy, he went through great loss. It almost looked like Job was being tortured. What we need more than anything else is when we're going through great tragedy is hope. We just need to hope that things are going to get better. We need the fog to be lifted. I'm telling you when you're really suffering, when you're really going through tragedy, it's almost like a dream. It's like a fog. I don't believe anybody's ever suffered the tragedy that Job did. You need to be here next Sunday so bad because we can't get to it today, but next Sunday, we're going to talk about the steps that Job went through. He went through a mourning, he went through a blaming, he went through a forgiveness, he went through a recognizing, and he went through an acceptance. And what happens when you don't understand these steps, if you don't come back next week, it's so bad because if you skip a step, you get stuck in the tragedy.

James Greer (07:47):
You can go, it can get better. I don't know where you're at. I don't know what's going on in your life. I don't know what the tragedy. I don't know what you're suffering. That's why I like the Psalmist said. The Psalms 27:13 and 14, it says, I would have given up out of lost heart. I'd have been defeated unless I had believed that I'd seen the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. God said, hey, I want you to see, I want you to believe that things are going to better while you're still alive. Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage. He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I said, on the Lord. You can see the goodness of Lord even while you're living if you'll trust and if you'll wait. See, the end of Job was much better than the beginning. The end of your life can be even better than beginning. The last half of my life has been better than the first half. It's been more fruitful. I hope the last quarter is even better. I'm past the halfway mark.

James Greer (08:54):
I was telling the guys and we were laughing the other day in my office. And I said, man, we got to get with it, man. I mean I can't have the 40 year mark. I mean the children of Israel wondered for 40 years, and they could have been there in 42 days. I said, man, I can't be 40 years. They laughed. They said, yeah, we'll have to lift you up in a wheelchair. I said, y'all, I'll be a hundred and something years old. I said, we got a rock now. Amen? I want the last quarter to be my best. And Job 42:12, it says, and the Lord blessed the what? Latter days of Job more than his beginning. And He can do that. He can do that to this church. I want that. Amen? He can do that in your life. I want to tell you something that you really, really need to listen.

James Greer (09:50):
When you're going through tragedy and great loss, what you want more than anything else is to know why. I've gone through personal tragedy. I've gone through financial tragedy. I've gone to physical tragedy. I don't care what spiritual condition I was in. I always wanted to know why. You would think when you're reading the book of Job who suffered more than anybody you'll ever know, the book was written to tell us why. Can I tell you something? It what's not. In fact, I'll give you a free insight. The whole book of Job never tells Job why. The main purpose of Job was not to tell Job why and not to tell you why we suffer. There was two main purposes of Job. Number one, you'll find out that he proved to Job that God was in control and He knew more than Job or me or you and anybody else, and you have to come to that point.

James Greer (11:00):
And number two, which I love, He can bring you through this and bless you greater than you can ever imagine. You do understand what you need more than anything else is when you're suffering and going through tragedy to believe that there's hope at the end of the tunnel? One of the great purposes of the book of Job was saying, hey, God's going to bring you through this and God's going to bless you and God's going to use you and God is in control. Job 42:16, He says, after this, Job still lived 142 years. But guess what? Even after 142 years, Job died. In other words, you better have a heavenly perspective because I don't care if you live 50 years or a hundred years or 200 years, you're still going to die. But he got to see his children and his grandchildren and he got to see four generations.

James Greer (12:01):
So even before we get into Job, I want you to know that's the essence of the book of Job. Last week, we preached on the children of Israel and how they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. They wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because they had sinned against God. They wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because every time God tested them, they never passed the test. And two weeks from now, I'm going to be preaching on Gideon. Gideon and the children, they were for hundreds of years in bondage. And they suffered. So you had 40 years, you had a hundred years and now you have Job. Job suffered probably for months and maybe up to a year. Job's suffering was because he was a saint, not because he sinned. Did you hear me?

James Greer (12:54):
Some people's suffering is not because of their sin, because of their saintness, because of their goodness, because of their holiness, because of their glory they bring to God. Job was one of those. The title of our whole series is a Season Premiere: A Brand New Year. If there's anybody that needed a brand new year, I would say it was Job. Amen? In Job 42:12, you have to see, you need to start with it because we're going to look at what Job lost. And if you don't see the end, you'd want to quit at the beginning. And the reason that I tell you that, there's some of y'all that are suffering great loss, and you want to quit because you don't see the end. And when you're really suffering, what you want to do is give up. I know what that's like. I know what it's like to be so depressed, you want to hide under the table that you don't want to see people.

James Greer (13:55):
You just want to give up. That's not the end. The Lord blessed the latter days of Job better than the beginning. I've seen it. I'm living it. I believe it. God's [inaudible] and He wants that for you. I want you to see first, number one, I want you to see what he lost. It's unbelievable. Job 1:13, now there was a day when his sons and daughters, they were eating and drinking wine in their older brother's house. And there's a messenger came to Job and said the ox were plowing, the donkeys were feeding beside them. Then the Sabeans raided them and took them away. Indeed, they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword. And alone, I have escaped to tell you. Can I tell you something? If we just stopped right there, can you imagine? Your servants, they've been slaughtered with a sword. The smell, the horror already right off the bat. Your servants have been slaughtered. The bodies are everywhere. While you can't even comprehend that, while they're still speaking, another one came and said, and the fire of God fell from Heaven and burned up your sheep and your servants and consumed them. And I alone escaped.

James Greer (15:33):
Now, before you can ever get over the blood and the horror of that, now you got the smell of flesh being burned. I don't know if you've ever smelled it, but it's terrible. You're almost in shock by now. And while he was still speaking, another one came and said, the Sabeans formed three bands, and they raided your camels and they took them away. Yes. They killed the servants with the edge of a sword. And I alone have escaped to tell you. I mean by now, you wish they almost wouldn't have been able to escape because you don't want any more bad news. You would think surely by now. Can you imagine? Everything he heard, he's thinking it cannot get any worse. While he was still speaking, another one came and said, your sons and your daughters, they were eating and drinking wine in your older brother's house. And a great wind came from the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house. Can you imagine? And it fell on the young people and they're dead. And I alone escaped to tell you.

James Greer (16:39):
Can you imagine? It's one thing to lose your sheep, your ox. It's one thing to lose your wealth. And can I tell you, if you have ever had a large amount of wealth and lost it all, it also hurts. It's devastating. It's an emotional shock. Can I tell you after that to lose a loved one on top of that, it's almost unbearable that you can't function. I've done both, but I've never lost them all at the same time. I have lost the wealth, and I have lost a loved one almost at the same time. You can't function. When you lose a child or a family member, it's almost unbearable. Whether it's a grandchild, you can't describe it. I cannot imagine what Job's going through. I don't want to know. Whether it's just a matter of days, his wealth, his health, his kids, financial. And can you imagine now you've lost all your wealth, you lost all your children? And you said, that's it.

James Greer (17:58):
Now his health. Can you imagine? Job 2:7, it starts talking about this. It says that Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. Satan and the Lord are talking about this all the time. The fire that fell, it fell from Heaven. Went from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. Ugh. And he took from himself, it's like pottery and he scraped himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes. I don't know anybody that's suffered such great tragedy. I don't want to know anything. I know one thing, that Job needed help. I can't imagine how Job got through it. I know there was a few things that Job did prior to this that helped him get through it. I know that Job was a man of integrity. I know that in Job 2:9, it says that that his wife said to him, do you still hold fast your integrity? Well, why don't you curse God and die?

James Greer (19:12):
A lot of people say, man, poor Job's wife. I can't believe she did. Yeah, I can. Can you imagine losing all your children in one day? Can you imagine losing your kids, all your wealth? Go outside and see the slaughter of everything that you've ever had? Then you look at your husband. I can see Her haying that. I think she gets a bad rap. But Job doesn't do that. He was a man of integrity. And a lot of times, y'all don't even realize, when you really have integrity, it means you're not going to quit, you're not going to give up no matter how bad things are. And today people don't really know what integrity is. Integrity is, man, you have a bad day on your job, you don't quit. Integrity is when you're married and you and your wife have it out, you don't walk out. Integrity Is listen, I'm going to see it through. I'm not going to give up. You don't quit on God. Do you know how easy it is, how many times you want to blame God and quit on God? I do. But he was a man integrity. He said, I'm not going to give up. I'm not going to quit. I feel like cussing God.

James Greer (20:21):
I felt Like cussing God. I felt like blaming God. I questioned God. I quit the ministry for three years. So you don't know what you'll do when you're going through something like. You might think you do, but you don't know. But your integrity keeps bringing you back to God. You can run from God. I can tell you when you get to the end, there's nothing there. Nobody else can help you, can they, Mrs. Pat? She's lost kids and grandkids and husbands and everything else in life. You can't run. The Rylands are back there, you lost a son. Y'all didn't, y'all ran to God instead of from God. Y'all are smarter. You don't ever get over it. You just try to get through it. Job was a man of integrity. But he was a man of integrity before this ever happened. Can I tell you the best thing you can ever do before a tragedy come is have a good relationship with God before it hits.

James Greer (21:27):
Job 1:1, there was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. And that man was blameless and upright. He feared God and he hated evil. I mean it talked about what kind of man he was. See, when tragedy comes, the first person we should turn to is God. And see, even now, if you have a tragedy, even if you don't have a close relationship with God, I'm telling you, instead of being far from God, run back to God. See, I believe that Job already had a close relationship with God. I believe that's how Job got through it. The Bible says in Psalms 50:15, call the land of the Lord in time of talent trouble, He'll deliver you and He'll glorify me. See, I believe the closer you are to God, there's at least three things that happen. The closer you are to God when tragedy comes, the faster you'll turn to God. But more important than that, the faster you get your comfort from God.

James Greer (22:30):
2 Corinthians 1:3, I sent that out a lot this week. I've sent it to the wife of the husband that's in the coma. And said, blessed be the God and the Father of our Lord, the Father of mercy and all comfort. There's nobody that can comfort you like God. People have come around you and you need people. They don't know what to say, and it's not their fault. There's nobody can comfort you like God. And the closer you are to God, the faster you turn to God, the faster you allow God to comfort you. And third, you finally get to the point which is the hardest thing you'll ever do. Accept that you might not know why. You just have to say, what do you want me to learn, God? That is so hard to do. When you go through a real tragedy, I'm not talking about you break your arm and stump your toe.

James Greer (23:33):
I'm talking about the tragedy of tragedy. When you lose a loved one, when you've lost some tragedy in your life, somebody walked out on you that you loved. You don't always know why. And some people hang onto why for their whole life. And some people, you're not going to know why. It's natural to ask why. I've done that. Why did you take my son, my daughter, my wife, my grandchild? There's a lot of sorry SOBs in the world. Why didn't you take them? Why'd you take this good person? Some of that, you're just not going to understand. Third, Job did have a heavenly perspective. And when you don't have a heavenly perspective, it's going to be very tough to go through your tragedy.

James Greer (24:38):
You found out in Job 1:19, when he talked about the wind came and it struck and it killed all his kids. But what you might not see is in Job 1:20, Job rose and he tore his robe, he shaved his head and he fell on the ground. And he worshiped? Listen to what Job said. Job in the midst of tragedy somehow had a heavenly perspective. I don't know. He said naked I came from my mother's womb, naked I shall return. You came into this world with nothing. I don't care how wealthy you are. You're leaving this world with nothing. The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. Listen to this. Read that next word, blessed. What does it say? Blessed? Blessed be the name of the Lord? Do you understand he's going through the tragedy of all tragedy, suffered more than anybody I know and he's gone through all this? And he's saying naked I came into the world, naked I'm going to return, the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. Blessed is the name of the Lord.

James Greer (25:55):
How in the world can you bless God when you're going through that? I do not know. The only thing that I understand that blessing God during that and worshiping God during that, it explains how at end that he was so blessed. And all this, Job did not sin nor did he charge God with wrong. That is integrity. If you want to know what integrity looks like, read those verses. Amen? I don't understand it. Oh, then Job knew something better than we. Job knew that this was not the end of life. Job had a heavenly perspective that we better learn to have. I can't imagine. I feel so sorry. People that are, everybody's going to suffer. You're going to have a tragedy in your life. I feel so sorry for people that are suffering and going through tragedy and they don't have heavenly perspective, that don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ. See, I believe part of what Job was going through didn't even have a lot to do with what's going on on earth. I believe part of it had to do with what was going on in Heaven. I believe that God the Father was showing the heavenly beings and the angels that He was in charge. I believe He humiliated Satan. Satan was going to God and Heaven and asked Him for permission.

James Greer (27:14):
He had to get permission. He said, did you consider my servant Job? It was a heavenly scene that played out here on earth. It makes you think. Why did he pick Job anyway? It wasn't because Job sinned, y'all. It was because Job was a great saint. Many times the people that are serving, it's because of what they did right, not what they did wrong. His suffering was because he was such the right type of person. Let me give you a few insights because of time. Some things you're not going to understand until Heaven. You better accept it. The longer you put it off, the harder it is. I know you want to know why, but you're not going to know it. Number two, you ready? Bad things happen to good people. Happens all the time. Job's a great example. Man, things are going to happen to good people. Number three, there's things going on in Heaven that we don't understand here on earth. I believe part of what happened to Job was a heavenly play that was played out on earth.

James Greer (28:42):
Fourth, you better start having a heavenly perspective on what's going on in life here on earth. Paul understood a heavenly perspective. He said in Philippians 1:3, he says, for me, to live is Christ. For me, to die is gain. Paul said it's better for me to die. Now for me, don't take me right now. But Paul had a heavenly perspective. I'm just telling to be honest. You know? 2 Corinthians 2:7, listen to this one. Listen to this. But we speak the wisdom of God and there's a mystery. What is the mystery? It was hidden. This wisdom from God, ordained before the ages of glory. It was ordained that Satan and the enemy, they didn't understand this. Which none of the rulers of this age knew. For if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord in glory. You know why it says that? You know why? Because eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, nor have entered in the hearts of men, the things which God has prepared. Do you understand what it's saying?

James Greer (29:44):
If the enemy of Satan and his followers, one-third of all the angels, he said, God hid it from them. If they had not, they wouldn't have crucified Christ if they had known the glory. They wouldn't have killed the disciples if they had said, hey, they don't even know. They have not seen, they have not heard, all the things that God had prepared for them. They wouldn't have been killing him. Paul understood that. He had a heavenly perspective. Some of y'all are going through tragedy. You feel like you're even being tortured. You're never going to get over all of it. You can't get through it. You're not going to get over it. I'll just tell you that. You have to start looking at it from a heavenly perspective. Job lived to be 140 something years. He still died. You got to understand, you may never understand why. You might want to start asking what. I know these are hard questions. I'm just trying to help you. The what question is God, what could I learn and what would you have me to do?

James Greer (31:11):
You got to believe that your last half or like me, my last quarter could still be my best. He blessed the last half or last days more than the beginning. You must know Jesus Christ and maintain a close relationship with Him. If you don't know Jesus, today is today. You don't know. Got a friend right now that's in the hospital in his 40s. He didn't know that. He didn't know that he was going to go in there and you don't know. If you're not sure there's a time that you invited Jesus Christ into your heart, we're going to give an invitation in a minute. More important than anything else that you do, don't leave here without knowing that. You know that you sinned, you believe Jesus died for your sins and you want to come this morning and invite Him into your heart.

James Greer (32:13):
You must understand the purpose. The purpose of Job was not to tell him why he suffered. It was to tell him that God is ultimately in control the universe, but it's also to teach me and you this isn't the end. Whatever you're going through, how bad you feel, how bad your suffering, that doesn't mean this is the end. God still can bless you and use you beyond your greatest imagination. Would you stand and let me pray for you? God, I thank you for your Word. I thank you that we never have to give up. I pray for those that are going through tragedy and suffering and heartache, God, that you would comfort them like only you can.

James Greer (33:07):
I pray that they would have hope. Their hope would be in you. That you could still bless them. That you could still use them. God, I pray for those that are here today that could take their next step card. They would even take it out now and take their next step. Some is to join. They can do that with that card. Those that maybe want to be baptized. We're going to have three in the third service, some young people, some adults. Some adults said, hey, I want to be baptized. I was saved, but I want to baptized now as adult because I know what I'm doing now. And you want to follow through in a public baptism.

James Greer (33:58):
Some of you want somebody to pray with you and pray for you. We're also going to have that type of invitation. We'll have those that are up front or you can write it on your next step card. I want you to remember that Jesus said that He has overcome the world, that He told you not to be afraid, that peace comes from him, that not what's going on in the world. God, I pray that nobody leaves here today with fear but with peace. I thank you for what you're doing in our church and the individual lives. I pray, God, you'd have your will and your way. It's in the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Darrell Ingram (34:41):
Hey, guys. On behalf of Pastor James, we're so glad you joined us this morning. And if you still want to pray, we have people on standby right now. I'm going to ask you to come back next Sunday as Pastor James continues his series Season Premiere: A Brand New Year. Don't miss it. See you Sunday.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360