Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions
There is an interesting book on the market that tells people how to deal with life’s worst-case scenarios. The name of this book is The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. It might be something that you would want to look into for yourself.
Here are just a few of the chapters contained in this book—How to:
- escape from quicksand
- fend off a shark
- survive a poisonous snake attack
- escape from killer bees
- wrestle free from an alligator
- deal with a charging bull
- land a plane
- survive if your parachute fails to open
- survive an earthquake
- survive when adrift at sea
- take a punch
- win a sword fight
- jump from a moving car
Now, it is possible that you will never face any of the scenarios I have mentioned. But, it is possible that you could find yourself in the same place that Job found himself. Job was a person we read about from the Old Testament—a good man who served God and did the right thing.
In his mind, the worst thing that could happen had happened. He lets us know that even when life was good and things were going his way, he was always afraid that this very thing would take place. What Job faced in his life was his worst-case scenario. What he endured was horrible, but what he learned was priceless.
Job’s Worst-Case Scenario
Let’s face it, we all have a worst-case scenario in our minds. Sometimes, those very things happen to people we care about. At the very least, there will be times when the bottom will fall out of your life and you will enter the valley of affliction. The Bible explains Job’s life story—he wanted to serve God, and that was his motive and what a wonderful example. God was obviously using Job to show others by the genuine man he was.
He was prosperous, wealthy and very generous to others. He had seven sons and three daughters—but one day all his wealth was destroyed and his children were killed. He endures this dreadful calamity with great struggle and questions of Why did God allow this to happen to me? His wife cursed him and his friends told him to stop complaining. He faced a worse case scenario.
Job lived a good and godly life, still calamity came. His was a life blessed by God, but still trouble stalked his life. Even during the good times of life, Job lived in anticipation of his worst-case scenario becoming a reality. Evidently, our friend Job was a worry wart!
Thank God, most of the times our worries are ill-founded! However, there are times when life will bring with it a worst-case scenario:
A young boy was driving a hayrack down the road when the wagon fell over in front of a farmer’s house. The farmer came out, saw the young boy crying, and said, “Son, don’t worry about this, we can fix it. Right now dinner’s ready. Why don’t you come in and eat with us and then I’ll help you put the hay back on the rack.”
The boy said, “No, I can’t. My father is going to be very angry with me.” The farmer said, “Now don’t worry, just come in and have some lunch and you’ll feel better.” The boy said, “I’m just afraid my father is going to be very angry with me.” The farmer and the young boy went inside and had dinner.
Afterwards, as they walked outside to the hayrack, the farmer said, “Now, son, don’t you feel better after that great meal?” The boy said, “Yes but I just know that my father will be very angry with me.” The farmer said, “Nonsense. Where is your father anyway?” The boy said, “He’s under that wagon.”
It would do us good to remember that a good life is not a hedge against trouble! Being godly does not guarantee that we will be free from calamity! We seem to have the idea that when we live right, we are entitled to all the blessings God will send down to us—this is just not the case! Some of God’s most precious saints have endured the greatest of afflictions:
- the Apostle Paul (as described in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28)
- the three young Jews in Babylon (as we read in Daniel 3 )
- the Prophet Daniel (as described in Daniel 6)
- David and all the trials of his life
- even the Lord Jesus, called ‘a man of sorrows’ in Isaiah 53:3.
Why should we feel that we are to be exempted from the difficulties of life? Job 14:1 says, “Life is short and sorrowful for every living soul”. Job learned some very important lessons about God in his life time.
The Classroom of Job’s Life
Job learned lessons about:
- the Person Of God – Chapters 38-41
- the Purposes Of God – Chapters 3-37; 42:1-5
- the Power Of God – Chapters 38-41; 42:10-12
The specific lessons he learned were that:
- No area of life is safe from difficulty or disruption.
- God’s purpose in trial is not to break us, but to grow us. He does not want to punish us, but to perfect us! Often, the best lessons in life are learned in the furnace of affliction. The three young Jews in the furnace—Daniel 3; Daniel in the lion’s den—Daniel 6, Jesus’ disciples in the storm—Mark 6. None of these would have ever learned what God could do until they were put in a place where they needed him to do it!
- God’s purposes and plans for our lives are often beyond our comprehension—Isaiah 55:8-9: “The Lord says ‘my thoughts and my ways are not like yours. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, my thoughts and my ways are higher than yours’”
- God is absolutely sovereign in all of life. Nothing happens to you or me without his permission, Romans 8:28 says, “God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves Him. They are the ones God has chosen for His purposes”, and Psalm 37:23 says, “If you do what the Lord wants He will make certain each step you take is sure”.
- In the end, all things worked out right. The Bible is clear when it tells us that “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). In the end, all of life’s up-and-downs will be perfectly blended into just what God intended for us in the first place.
- No matter how bad things become, they will not last forever. Therefore, as you travel through your valley, remember that the exit is always just right ahead! Remember, this did not come to stay, but it merely came to pass.