Through Many Tribulations (Part 1: Loss)

Text: Acts 14:22

Paul and Barnabas encouraged the brethren to remain faithful to the Lord “through many tribulations” so they could reach the final reward of heaven. The kinds of tribulations that we may face could be unique to Christians or common to all people. Any of these tribulations could potentially derail our faith and cause us to come up short of the reward. So we need to prepare ourselves to make it through these tribulations to reach the eternal kingdom. This lesson will focus on the example of Job and how he experienced loss.

The Losses Experienced by Job

  • Job was a blameless man (Job 1:1, 8) – had been greatly blessed by God (Job 1:2-3); yet God allowed Satan to tempt him (Job 1:9-12)
  • Job lost his children (Job 1:13, 18-19)
  • Job lost his possessions (Job 1:14-17)
  • Job lost his health (Job 2:7-8) – initially this was not permitted by God (Job 1:12)

The Loss of Loved Ones

  • We all experience this at different times – parents, grandparents, siblings, children, grandchildren, etc.; death is a certainty for all of us (Hebrews 9:27) because of the problem of sin (Romans 5:12; Genesis 3:22-24)
  • Why losing a loved one is a challenge to our faith – some question the goodness of God for allowing it to happen (Job 2:9); some lose a spiritual mentor when a loved one passes (Ephesians 6:4; 2 Timothy 1:5)
  • How to endure the loss of loved ones and remain faithful – do not blame God, but the devil (John 8:44; cf. Hebrews 2:14-15); remember the hope of heaven for the faithful (Revelation 14:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14); even if the loved one was not faithful, they surely now want you to be (Luke 16:27-28); find strength from other Christians (1 Thessalonians 4:18; cf. Hebrews 10:25)

The Loss of Possessions

  • This can happen to any of us – riches are uncertain (1 Timothy 6:17; Matthew 6:19)
  • Why losing our possessions is a challenge to our faith – worrying about material things can choke out the word (Luke 8:14); poverty can lead us to be tempted to steal (Proverbs 30:7-9), envy (Galatians 5:21), or be ungrateful (Revelation 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • How to endure the loss of possessions and remain faithful – fix your hope on God (1 Timothy 6:17); lay up treasures in heaven (1 Timothy 6:19; Matthew 6:20) and keep focused on that goal (Philippians 3:14; Colossians 3:1-3); learn contentment (Philippians 4:11-13)

The Loss of Health

  • Unless we die in some tragic accident or are alive when the Lord returns, we will face this – this happened after Satan tempted Job the first time; for many, this is the most difficult type of loss
  • Why losing our health is a challenge to our faith – it is personal; it is often more difficult to apply Scripture to ourselves than to others (2 Samuel 12:1-7; Matthew 7:1-5); we are forced to recognize our limitations and this causes many to turn against God (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
  • How to endure the loss of our health and remain faithful – remember that God’s grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:7-10); call upon others who can help (James 5:14); never lose sight of the goal (2 Corinthians 4:16-5:4)

Conclusion

  • It is inevitable that we will face loss as we live on this earth – we have to endure this
  • Do not allow these things to cause you to love your faith in God (Job 1:20-22)
  • Remember what is truly important – seek the reward that “will not fade away” (1 Peter 1:4)

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