'Fear Not' Elaine Tavolacci
This afternoon the president of the United States, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic The Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Fear is gripping the hearts of many people as they are listening to the reports coming in. There has been breaking news of shutdowns across the country. The virus has caused havoc as it is thwarting travel, caused school closings, stadium closings, parades and, and even some churches have been cancelled due to a ban on large gatherings. This is a well-planned attack from the enemy and he is trying to release panic and fear across the globe. There was one man in the bible who experienced one calamity after another. His name was Job. Many Christians don’t read the book of Job because they don’t understand it.
The book of Job, chapter one describes Job as being a wealthy man with a good family, many servants and large number of sheep, camels, oxen, and female donkeys. He was considered the greatest man among all the people of the East. The book goes into a story about how God met with the angels and Satan came with them. The Lord asked Satan where he came from and he replied, roaming throughout the earth. The Lord then said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? There is none like him on the earth. The Lord called Job a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil. The Lord gave Satan permission to test Job as long as he didn’t take his life. Job then began to receive one bad report after another. The Sabeans attacked and killed his servants and took all of his animals. “A bolt of lightning struck Job’s sheep and his servants and burned them up. The Chaldeans sent out three raiding parties that attacked the rest of his servants and took all his camels.
There was one catastrophe after another and then a strong wind came and destroyed the house where his sons and daughters lived and killed them all. Another day when the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan also came with them to present himself before the Lord. The conversation between the Lord and Satan was repeated but the Lord then said: Job still holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” Satan asked the Lord for permission once again to destroy him saying stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” Satan then inflicted painful sores all over Job’s body. He was mourning and cutting himself with pottery to scrape the sores. His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your faith? Why don’t you just curse God and die? “Job refused and stayed steadfast to his commitment to the Lord.
When Jobs three friends came by and saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him. They tore their robes, wept aloud, and sprinkled dust on their heads. They saw his suffering and assumed that he was guilty of sin since God is a just God. Job, knowing he is innocent, at first believed that God must be unjust but after some time of suffering, he became encouraged saying: “When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold”. Job said this because he knew that he didn’t do anything to deserve this injustice. He also understood that Gods plan for his life could not be thwarted or cancelled. When God gives you a promise, it will come to pass no matter what it looks like in the natural. Some of you could relate to Job’s story.
You feel as if you have lost everything and you can’t go on any longer. There is a fear rising throughout the land right now but it will not consume you if you don’t allow it to.
The end of the book tells us that after Job had prayed for his friends the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. The Lord gave him children and multiplied his livestock and camels. Jesus hears the cries of fear throughout the land. He hears every prayer. As you call out to Him in the fires of affliction, He will respond. Though the trials seem overwhelming, He is with you through them all. Trust Him to strengthen you and refine you in these tying times. Disregard the opinions of those who doubt His word. The opinions of others cannot negate nor cancel out His plans. Just as Job, when He has tested you, You will also come forth as gold. Shake off the fear and despair that is affecting many at this time. Don’t allow the enemy to intimidate you by trying to steal your identity in Jesus. If you keep your heart and life right with the Lord just as Job, the enemy cannot terminate any plans that the Lord has for you. Listen for His voice, and be led by the Holy Spirit. Allow peace to rule in your heart and mind so that you will no longer be misled by the voices of fear and unbelief..
But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.
Job replied I know that you can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted.
Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch. In all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. So Job died, old and full of days.
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