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Thursday, April 27, 2006

"My Redeemer Lives!"

"I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth" (Job 19:25).

Photo of Dottie on printerI received a call yesterday afternoon from a friend who was a college classmate of Brooksyne's and mine. He was in our area on business and asked us to join him for dinner. We got caught up as Paul, Brooksyne and I shared together of what Christ is doing in our lives, personally, and through our ministries. He and his wife have experienced some tough bumps in life as she has had some serious health needs over the last several years. We visited in our home late into the night and prayed together before he left.

What a blessed assurance to know, as we reflected back over our lives, that our Redeemer lives.  What a blessed assurance to know that as we live today and face a temporally uncertain (to us) future that our Redeemer lives. We've trusted Him in the past
, we can trust Him today and we can always trust Him for the future!

Job lived during the Patriarchal period some 4,000 years ago. He is best known for the tremendous trial he went through.  However the record of his life presents several timeless and powerful statements of faith as he endured these trials with a steadfast faith in God. Throughout the nineteenth chapter Job recounts his grave afflictions.  Physically, socially, financially; he went through an incredibly tough period.  He had lost his children, possessions and health.  He had endured several discussions with his "friends", which essentially sum up the false philosophies of the world (then and even now.)  He sure didn't get any support or encouragement from his nagging wife.  He summarizes his troubles with the colorful phrase, "I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped with only the skin of my teeth" (19:20).

Yet in the very midst of this trial he musters the faith to declare the great affirmation of today's text.  "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth." He does so without the benefit of Romans 8:28 and countless other Scriptures of assurance, encouragement and hope that we have in our Bible.  This appears to be the first chronological reference to God as Redeemer in the entire Bible. 

What an example Job is to us.  He is recognized years later by the prophet Ezekiel as an example of righteousness, along with Noah and Daniel (Ezekiel 14:20).  James refers to him as an example of perseverance: "As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy" (James 5:11).

Job states with absolute confidence that in the end God will stand.  Indeed God has always prevailed, is always prevailing and will always prevail.  At times His ways are a supreme mystery to us, but what tremendous peace we have as we also recognize this truth.  In the end He will be standing and since we have been redeemed we belong to Him and thus we will also stand with Him!

Today, my believing friend, let me encourage you to make Job's affirmation of faith your own. What tremendous peace comes when, regardless of our personal circumstances, we can declare "I know that my redeemer lives!"

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Father, from the Biblical story of Job's unequaled sufferings emerges one of the most radiant and hopeful promises that I can apply to my life, "I know that my Redeemer lives!" Though my heart and my flesh may fail, You are my strength and my portion forever.  The troubles that seem larger than life itself lose their magnitude in comparison to knowing that in the end I will see You myself with my own eyes. What glorious anticipation fills my heart as Your overcoming spirit leads me through the trials of this day!  It is not by my might, nor by my power but by Your Spirit that I find You to be the anchor in the storms that assail me.

"My Redeemer Lives" An upbeat song with a recurring reminder that "My Redeemer Lives!"  Audio

"I Know That My Redeemer Lives" One of the most blessed hymns in church history in my view.
Here's a sample audio
Lyrics    (8 verses!)

Through the years one of the most helpful books I have ever read on trusting God is a book simply titled "Trusting God" by Jerry Bridges, who happens to be one of my favorite writers. I also enjoyed his teaching ministry many years ago as a student at a class at Gordon-Conwell. You can read an excerpt of the book online.

Trusting GodTrusting God  By Jerry Bridges / Nav Press
Do you find it easy to trust God---until adversity strikes? When life clouds over, do you suddenly begin to suspect that you only imagined his care for you? Bridges uncovers three essential truths about God: He is completely sovereign; He is infinite in wisdom; and He is perfect in love. Building on these three rocks, Bridges shows how we can learn to trust God, even when we don't understand what he is doing. 215 pages, softcover from NavPress.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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