What Did Job Mean We Should "Receive Evil" from God?

  A preview of November's email-only article.


Job on the Ash Heap: Job Berated by His Wife, Jusepe de Ribera (c. 1632)


Every month I publish an exclusive article for my email subscribers. (If you'd like to join the club, fill out the form below. It's free!)

In this month's subscriber email we're examining what Job meant when he said we should "receive evil" from God.

Here's how the article starts:

Stop me if you've heard this one.
A friend, family member, or coworker has a terrible thing happen. Car accident, layoff, death of a family member. Now he is "mad at God" because, "How could he let this happen?" Once he was a Christian, now he's not so sure he can believe in God who would cause so much pain.
No doubt you know someone firsthand or have heard tell of such a tale thirdhand. Maybe that person I just described is you.
Why is this story so common?
I think the reason is quite simple. Human beings, created in God's image, are designed for eternity. We are meant to live in harmony and peace with him forever. This destiny is embedded in our psyche, woven into our DNA. The story of Adam and Eve in the garden of eternal bliss and the promise of eternity in glory with our heavenly father are as natural to us as breathing. We anticipate harmony without even being conscious of said anticipation. Why?

 
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Your Utmost Is Not Enough

Learning to trust God even when life doesn't make sense.

J W


If you've ever been disillusioned with life or disappointed with God, no doubt the emotion was born from a mismatch of expectation and reality.

You expected a long and prosperous life, not one shortened by cancer. You expected to be in your dream job forever, not to be laid off because of hard economic times. You anticipated your children growing up to follow the Lord, but they have turned away from the faith.

These unrealized futures send a shock to our systems, and God, being the omnipotent, omniscient being he is sometimes bears the brunt of our rage and bitterness. As natural as these responses seem amidst the throes of tragedy, in the end, we're only hurting ourselves.

But where do these expectations come from? Who says we're guaranteed a long life of prosperity or an existence free from conflict?

What Would You Give Up to Be Well?

 A preview of October's email-only article.


Aditya Romansa


Every month I publish an exclusive article for my email subscribers. (If you'd like to join the club, fill out the form below. It's free!)

In this month's subscriber email we're looking at how we can keep the faith when health deteriorates.

Here's how the article starts:

As a relatively young person, I've enjoyed years of good health. I rarely visit the doctor. I don't take any medications. I'm free from aches and pains.

This hasn't always been the case.

As a child I struggled with severe chronic asthma leading to more hospitalizations than I can remember. Many people don't like hospitals, but I learned to like them. The warm glow of the ER lights meant I would soon be able to breathe easy again. So I endured the jabs, pricks, and chest x-rays in anticipation of the inevitable relief.

We had medicine at home, but no amount of albuterol or steroids ever seemed to be enough. Eventually all the preventatives and intervention attempts failed to keep the condition at bay, and I would deteriorate to the point where my parents began packing a bag in preparation for the overnight stay.


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Forgive Us Our Scorn

Why it takes humility to receive God's grace.


Ben White


As you read through the Bible you can't miss that God wants his creation to love one another. This axiom is simple, and it's woven into the DNA of the Scriptures such that we can't read more than a few pages without encountering the concept.

Whether this concept is overt as in the Ten Commandments—six of which deal explicitly with how humans should treat one anotherand Jesus's own proclamation that the second greatest command is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, or whether the standard is less obvious such as Jesus's encounter with the woman at the well, the pages of the Bible are peppered with the Golden Rule. In fact, 1 John teaches that, "By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother" (3:10). Pretty strong words!

Consume This Proverb Responsibly

A preview of September's email-only article.

Justin Aikin


Every month I publish an exclusive article for my email subscribers. (If you'd like to join the club, fill out the form below. It's free!)

In this month's subscriber email we're looking at how to respond when faith becomes inconvenient.

Here's how the article starts:

I love passages like Proverbs 3. The verses are uplifting and optimistic. They offer a clear path for peace, health, and prosperity.

Yet read in isolation, these verses set the reader up for disillusionment. Without proper context, life's messiness might cause one to question God. The inevitable bumps in the road will test one's faith, pushing the Proverb-reader further from the Creator.

Specifically, examine verses like verse 16 in which Solomon seems to promise that those who embrace wisdom will become wildly rich and full of youthful exuberance. He wrote, "Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor." Wisdom, personified as a woman, will bring wealth and longevity to those who embrace her.

This is, of course, generally true.

Those who sow wise seeds will reap its benefits. Those who are wise in managing money will become wealthy. Those who live with integrity will receive honor from their peers. Those who exercise and eat right will feel better and live longer.

Usually.

The fittest people still become ill. Costly accidents or expensive medical bills still bankrupt the best money managers.

 

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I send two to three emails per month, but you can unsubscribe at any time.

See you next month!