READ: Job 25-28
THINK: Life isn't fair. We all know it. But that doesn't make it any easier to accept. There's nothing quite like the feeling of being treated unfairly, because it makes you vulnerable in more ways than one. The temptation to retaliate can lead to words and actions you later regret. The tendency to wallow in self-pity makes it easy to give in to spiritual compromise. But unfair treatment doesn't have to set you back. In fact, it presents one of the best opportunities to demonstrate character. Don't allow others' actions and opinions to dictate your mood and behavior. People don't have the final judgment. God does. Staying aware of your accountability to Him can encourage, strengthen and inspire you to make wise decisions and avoid compromising behavior, regardless of what other think, say or do.
RESPOND: How was Bildad right in his view of God's power and dominion (ch. 25), but wrong in how he related things to Job? Why did all the words of Job's friends offer no real wisdom, help or encouragement (26:1-4)? As long as he lived, what had Job committed not to do regarding his words and character (27:4-6)? (See 27:4 note.) What does this reveal about Job's faith and values? Following Job's example, what must we endure without compromising our faith and devotion to God? (See 27:4 note, subpoint 1.) What is God's promise to us through times of intense trial and spiritual testing? (See 27:4 note, subpoint 3.) While Job spoke of God's wonders above the earth in chapter 26, what wonders did he talk about in 28:1-11? What did Job consider infinitely more valuable than earthly treasures (28:12-13), and where did this priceless gift come from (28:20,23)? What's the basis of true wisdom and understanding (28:28)? What is "the fear of the LORD," and how does it lead to the development and exercise of wisdom? (See 28:28 note, subpoints 1 & 2.) How and why does fearing God help us avoid evil? (See 28:28 note, subpoint 3.)
PRAY: Devote yourself to honoring God in your conversations and character. Pray for God's help and strength to endure trials, resist temptations and trust Him through tragedies. Give God thanks for never allowing you to face more than you can handle or endure with His help and strength. Ask God to help you gain and apply His wisdom.
ACT: Make sure that your words and conversations today are God-honoring and people-encouraging. Make wise decisions, avoiding situations and behaviors that could tempt you to defy God or do anything that displeases Him.
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