Title: Speak Positively (2)
Scripture: Job 9:1-35
Let’s begin by acknowledging that sometimes life is hard.
And some of us have it harder than others.
That’s why the Bible says there is “a time to cry and a time to laugh” (Ecclesiastes 3:4 NLT).
But what if you just keep “crying” about life?
How can you reduce the strain and drain produced by negative self-talk?
Here are three ways:
- Cut and Paste.
Train yourself to recognize negative inner chatter the minute it starts and delete it immediately as a physical reminder to yourself.
But don’t stop there.
Replace those negative thoughts with Scriptural self-talk.
“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles” (Proverbs 21:23 NKJV).
- Tweak Your Tone.
You know how the doctor says ,”This may pinch a little,” as he jabs a needle in your arm?
Borrow his technique and reduce big ugly blackhead wordage to smaller, unintimidating blemish terms. A
“Impossible” is a brick wall compared to “this may take some work.”
Wouldn’t you rather tackle a project that’s “challenging” rather than “unmanageable?”
- Be Your Own BFF (Blessed Friend Forever).
Using your BFF voice, intentionally over-dub that negative droning voice inside you.
Speak to yourself like you would to your very best friend.
The Bible says, “David encouraged himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6).
Reboot your mind.
Reprogram your thoughts.
There’s power in God’s Word.
So, whatever He says about you, start saying the same thing and watch your life change for the better.
And speaking about life changing for the better, let’s take things to the next level and see how God’s Word relates to all of this…
9 1-13 Job continued by saying:
“So what’s new? I know all this.
The question is, ‘How can mere mortals get right with God?’
If we wanted to bring our case before him,
what chance would we have? Not one in a thousand!
God’s wisdom is so deep, God’s power so immense,
who could take him on and come out in one piece?
He moves mountains before they know what’s happened,
flips them on their heads on a whim.
He gives the earth a good shaking up,
rocks it down to its very foundations.
He tells the sun, ‘Don’t shine,’ and it doesn’t;
he pulls the blinds on the stars.
All by himself he stretches out the heavens
and strides on the waves of the sea.
He designed the Big Dipper and Orion,
the Pleiades and Alpha Centauri.
We’ll never comprehend all the great things he does;
his miracle-surprises can’t be counted.
Somehow, though he moves right in front of me, I don’t see him;
quietly but surely he’s active, and I miss it.
If he steals you blind, who can stop him?
Who’s going to say, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’
God doesn’t hold back on his anger;
even dragon-bred monsters cringe before him.
Reflection: (Job 9:1)
Bildad said nothing new to Job.
Job knew that the wicked ultimately perish, but his situation confused him.
Why, then, was he perishing?
Job didn’t think his life warranted such suffering, so he wanted his case presented before God (Job 9:32-35).
He recognized, however, that arguing with God would be futile and unproductive (Job 9:4).
Job didn’t claim to be perfect (Job 7:20-21; 9:20), but he did claim to be good and faithful (Job 6:29-30).
While Job showed impatience toward God, he did not reject or curse God.
Reflection: (Job 9:9)
The Bear, Orion, and Pleiades are constellations.
“So how could I ever argue with him,
construct a defense that would influence God?
Even though I’m innocent I could never prove it;
I can only throw myself on the Judge’s mercy.
If I called on God and he himself answered me,
then, and only then, would I believe that he’d heard me.
As it is, he knocks me about from pillar to post,
beating me up, black-and-blue, for no good reason.
He won’t even let me catch my breath,
piles bitterness upon bitterness.
If it’s a question of who’s stronger, he wins, hands down!
If it’s a question of justice, who’ll serve him the subpoena?
Even though innocent, anything I say incriminates me;
blameless as I am, my defense just makes me sound worse.
“Believe me, I’m blameless.
I don’t understand what’s going on.
I hate my life!
Since either way it ends up the same, I can only conclude
that God destroys the good right along with the bad.
When calamity hits and brings sudden death,
he folds his arms, aloof from the despair of the innocent.
He lets the wicked take over running the world,
he installs judges who can’t tell right from wrong.
If he’s not responsible, who is?
Reflection: (Job 9:20-21)
“Though I am innocent, my own mouth would pronounce me guilty”.
Job was saying, in effect, “In spite of my good life, God is determined to condemn me”.
As his suffering continued, he became more impatient.
Although Job remained loyal to God, he made statements he would later regret.
In times of extended sickness or prolonged pain, it is natural for people to doubt, to despair, or to become impatient.
During those times, people need someone to listen to them, to help them work through their feelings and frustrations.
Your patience with their impatience will help them.
“My time is short—what’s left of my life races off
too fast for me to even glimpse the good.
My life is going fast, like a ship under full sail,
like an eagle plummeting to its prey.
Even if I say, ‘I’ll put all this behind me,
I’ll look on the bright side and force a smile,’
All these troubles would still be like grit in my gut
since it’s clear you’re not going to let up.
The verdict has already been handed down—‘Guilty!’—
so what’s the use of protests or appeals?
Even if I scrub myself all over
and wash myself with the strongest soap I can find,
It wouldn’t last—you’d push me into a pigpen, or worse,
so nobody could stand me for the stink.
“God and I are not equals; I can’t bring a case against him.
We’ll never enter a courtroom as peers.
How I wish we had an arbitrator
to step in and let me get on with life—
To break God’s death grip on me,
to free me from this terror so I could breathe again.
Then I’d speak up and state my case boldly.
As things stand, there is no way I can do it.”