Intimations of Hope

Scripture: Job 13:16, Proverbs 17:28, 1 Corinthians 15:11-20
Date: 11/26/2016 
Lesson: 9
"This week, as we continue to explore the question of suffering in the book of Job, we will find that, even amid the unfair tragedy that befell him, that made no sense, and that was not justified, Job could still utter words of hope."
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Good morning, friends. Welcome again to Sabbath school study hour - a very warm welcome to our national and international viewers joining us across the country and around the world during our study time together. Now, we have been studying through the book of job. Today we find ourselves on lesson #9 entitled intimations of hope. And, for those who are joining us online, if you would like to study along with us, just go to the Amazing Facts website - just - you can download lesson #9 and study along. A very warm welcome to the members and our visitors here at the Granite Bay church - always good to see you Sabbath after Sabbath, here bright and early, ready to study together. Now, we do have a free offer that goes along with our study today and, especially for those who are watching in north America, a book entitled from stress to joy and this is free if you call our resource phone number and just ask for offer #705. The phone number is 866-788-3966. Again, that's 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer #705 and we'll be happy to send you the book from stress to joy.

Those outside of North America just go to the Amazing Facts website; you can download the book and study along with us. Well, before we get to our study today, as we normally do, we'd like to begin by lifting our voices in song. I'd like to invite our song leaders to come and they'll lead us in our praise today. (Soft piano music) good morning and Happy Sabbath. What a blessing it is that we can worship our Lord and praise him every Sabbath morning as we gather together.

Let's sing hymn #8 - we gather together - we join - please join with us and sing all three verses. We cannot wait until the time when Jesus comes back in the clouds of glory, but until then we ask him to be with us in our hearts - to take away our sins and our fears and to give us rest in him. Let's join together and sing Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus - hymn #204. Thank you for singing with us this morning. I'd like to invite you to bow your heads as we open with a word of prayer.

Dear Father, what a privilege, once again, to be able to gather together in your house to open up Your Word and study about the story of job and learn these important lessons about the Great Controversy, your care for us, and how you can sustain us through every trial and difficulty. So bless our time together, for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson today will be brought to us by pastor marshall mckenzie. Pastor marshall is new to the Sacramento area. He recently joined the Amazing Facts team.

He is our publishing director and we are just delighted that he will be sharing with us this morning. Thank you, marshall. Good morning and Happy Sabbath. Happy Sabbath. I was thoroughly encouraged by the lesson this week.

You know, as we live life from day to day, it's amazing how down we can get because of all the things we see happening around us. And in the book of job, this week, is all about hope. We're going to move from suffering to hope in this week's lesson. And I was thoroughly encouraged by that and I was also reminded of that this morning. When I actually came into church, I didn't have my - some of my notes printed out and I was scrambling around to find a printer and I talked to one person who didn't think that there was a printer actually here and I thought, 'oh no, Lord, I need to get my notes.

' And then I found the right person. You know, it's amazing what happens when you find the right person. And that person reminded me that there is hope and they proceeded to print off some of the notes from this week's lesson as we go through it. And I was reminded, 'marshall, even in challenge there's still' - what? - 'Hope.' In suffering there's still hope. In trial there's still hope.

And as we study this lesson, that's what job really helps us to understand: not just the suffering that he went through, but the hope that he had while he was going through it. And so, we're going to move from suffering toward hope. We're going to move away from satan's sadistic plans towards God's hope-filled promises. If you've ever taken the time, it's amazing how many promises are found throughout Scripture, to give us hope. And we need those promises.

We need that hope that job had. Matter of fact, it's brought out right in our memory text. Right in the very opening of our lesson - you have your lessons, you can open up here in the lesson to lesson #9 as was mentioned earlier - intimations of hope - and right here in the memory verse, we see this brought to the forefront of job's thinking. "He also shall be my" - what? - "My salvation. For a hypocrite could not count before him.

" We're going to focus, really, in this lesson, on the first half of this passage. Again, it says, 'he also shall be my salvation' and everything that job faced, in all of his trials, in all of his losses, he still comes forward with this thought: "he also shall be my salvation." Matter of fact, job helps us understand a little bit about his grief, but that makes the hope so much sweeter. In job chapter 6, verse 2 - after job loses family, after job loses livestock, after job loses his servants - everybody that's really closest to him - and now he's facing this in physical pain and mental grief. He has these words to say - job chapter 6, verse 2. When we kind of go back a little bit, we get this picture and then we see how much sweeter the hope that job expresses really is.

"Oh, that my grief were fully weighed, and my calamity laid with it on the scales!" - So job's like if - talking to his friends he's like, 'if you could just weigh the calamity that I'm facing - if you could just weigh the grief that I'm experiencing - if you could just put it on scales - if you could just understand it' - he's helping his friends to try to get a glimpse of his grief but, later, we see how much more important the hope is in this. 'He also shall be my' - what? 'Salvation.' Now what's interesting is, in Sunday's lesson, just before we really dive into job's hope, job has something to say about his friends. You know, when we go through trials, when we go through suffering, when we go through challenges in our lives, we hope, right, that our friends will have something to say that will comfort us, that will encourage us, that will strengthen us, that will challenge us to draw closer to God. But job's friends are a little bit different. And maybe we've had that experience where we've gone through a challenge and we've looked to our friends, and our friends, really, have kind of failed us.

Job, in Sunday's lesson, helps us to understand what his friends were like. Matter of fact, the title of the lesson on Sunday is forgers of lies. Now think about this: job is facing the loss of his children. Job is facing the loss of his livestock. Job is now facing this incredibly physical suffering and mental agony and so he's looking to his friends, for a moment, as he's having these discussions.

And he finds out something that's very interesting about his friends. Matter of fact, if you'd turn with me to job chapter 13 - in your Bibles - job chapter 13, verse 4 - job chapter 13 and verse 4 - and we're going to spend most of our time in job chapter 13, job chapter 14 - because this is really where job starts to bring out his hope and who his hope is in, okay? But before that, he has to help us understand a little bit about the friends that were surrounding him. Job chapter 13, verse 4 says, "but you are" - what? - "Forgers of lies, you are all worthless physicians." Verse 5 says, "oh, that you would be silent, and it would be your wisdom." The closest people to job in this great time of trial, he identifies as what? Forgers of lies. These individuals that he's known for some time - I'm sure he's had some relationship with them throughout his lifetime - he comes to see his friends for who they really are in this great trial. Yet job speaks of hope.

He's lost family. He's lost servants. He's lost everything and his friends, who are the closest to him, are found to be something that he never thought they were. I'm sure we've experienced that, right? I know there's been times in my life where I've had trial and I've had challenges and I've had suffering. And I've had friends that were closest to me that I thought I could cling to.

And yet, I found them to be something different than what I thought they were - and it's no different with the story of job. This is why job finds his hope in whom? He finds his hope in Christ. He finds his hope in God. When everything else around him is kind of falling apart and he sees his friends for what they really are, we start to understand, closer, how much job is clinging to God. He's clinging to God.

Talking about job and his friends for just a minute - actually, I want to switch to God for just a minute. Job's friends are forgers of lies. Now, by the way, who's The Father of lies? Satan. Satan's The Father of lies, right? Where do we find that, actually, in the Gospels? We find that in John chapter 8, verse 44. Matter of fact, if you can turn there just a minute, understand the perspective and the background - what job is going through - job chapter 8 - John, excuse me, chapter 8, verse - John chapter 8, verse 44 - Jesus points this out to his disciples.

He says, "you are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth" - what? In him. "In him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and The Father of it." Now, if you go back to job, and job identifies his friends as forgers of lies, what is job really identifying? He's identifying whom his friends are being influenced by. So, in this great trial that job is facing, job realized that satan is behind the scenes influencing his friends to be lying to him about whom? Who are his friends always talking about, by the way? You see this in their discussions as they talk to job.

They're trying to point job to whom? To God, right? Yet, their understanding of God and being influenced by satan, is misinterpreting who God really is. This is - this is brought out very interestingly. Notice with me, job chapter 42, verse 7, okay? Job chapter 42, verse 7 - and the lesson brings this out very clearly - job chapter 42, verse 7 - now this is not job speaking, this has finally come to the point where we actually hear God speaking. And God has some very interesting things to say to job's friends, okay? Job chapter 42, verse 7 - it says, "and so it was, after the Lord had spoken these words to job," - now he's going to switch to his friends - "that the Lord said to eliphaz the temanite, 'my wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right..." His friends who were constantly bringing up these aspects of God were not, in essence, really truthful aspects of God. It was like truth mixed with error.

So God says, "you have not spoken of me what is right" and then he goes on, "as my servant job has." There's a difference. As job's friends are speaking of God, they're not speaking right of God. Yet, job, in speaking of God, is speaking right of God - and God is the one pointing this out because job, through this trial, is clinging to God. He's hanging on to God by faith and, therefore, he can say, 'he also shall be my salvation.' There's these pieces of hope that are scattered throughout the book of job because job is relying on God. Now, before we jump into job chapter 13 a little bit more, I want to actually go back to job chapter 12, because we're going to get a picture of job's view and His Words in relation to God, okay? Job chapter 12 - and I'm just going to read a few of the verses.

We're not going to go through the whole chapter, just a view for the sake of time. It says, "I am one mocked by his friends," - okay, we understand that. He's lost everything and his friends are being influenced by satan - "I am one mocked by his friends," - and then he goes on - "who called on God, and he" - what? - "And he answered him," - he was like, 'I'm being mocked by my friends but, you know, in that time I call on God. And when I call on God, God" - is God silent? Is God silent here in this verse? No. No.

He answers him. You know, God is so good. When everything else fails around us, we can always cry out to God and God will what? He will answer us. Why? Because he's our greatest ally. He's our greatest friend.

There's no one else like God. No one else. And so job cries out to God and God answers him. The just and the blameless who is ridiculed. So job understands, 'God will answer me.

I'll call out to God. God will hear my prayer. God will answer me in this time of trial. But there's a few other verses I want to show you - verse 10 - notice: he's talking about God - and this is important to chapter , which the lesson really dives into Monday and Tuesday. He says, 'in whose hand is the life of every living thing," - in whose hands do you want your life? God's hands.

God's hands. And job, in verse 10 says, "in whose hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind?" Verse 13 - he says, "with him" - God - "are wisdom and strength, he has counsel and understanding." Verse 16 - "with him" - are what? Strength. Strength and prudence." Verses 23, 24, 25 - "he makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations and guides them. He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth, and makes them wander in a pathless wilderness. They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.

" God, ultimately, is in control. Amen. And we can trust God with our lives. Why? Because that's the best place to have our lives is in the hands of God, not the hands of our friends, but in the hands of God. And job really dives into this even more so.

So he has a response to his friends and it has to do with whom God is. And, by the way, job has a right understanding of God. Okay? So we go on in job chapter 13, beginning in verse 1 - I'm going to read quickly for the sake of time. "Behold, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood it. What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you.

But I would speak to the almighty, and I desire to reason with God." - I love that verse. Job's like, 'listen, I understand where you're coming from. I see what you're saying, but I desire to reason with" - whom? God. 'I desire to reason with God. I don't need to reason with you, I want to reason with God.

' And God loves it, by the way, when we talk to him - when we reason with him - when we bring everything that we're going through to his feet - he loves that. He loves to interact and communicate and that's why, later in job, you see God entering the picture and he's the one communicating. Verse 4 says, "but you forgers of lies, you are all worthless physicians. Oh, that you would be silent, and it would be your wisdom! Now hear my reasoning, and heed the pleadings of my lips. Will you speak wickedly for God, and talk deceitfully for him? Will you show partiality for him? Will you contend for God? Will it be well when he searches you out? Or can you mock him as one mocks a man? He will surely rebuke you if you secretly show partiality.

Will not his excEllence make you afraid, and the dread of him fall upon you? Your platitudes are Proverbs of ashes, your defenses are defenses of clay." - He says, "hold your peace with me, and let me speak, then let come on me what may! Why do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hands?" - And here is Monday and Tuesday - verses 15 and 16 - "though he slay me, yet will i" - what? Trust him. "Yet will I trust him." Job knows in whom he can trust. He's clinging to God for whom his hope comes from. He says, "even so, I will defend my own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation, for a hypocrite could not come before him.

" Job has this incredible hope - in the midst of all the things that his friends are telling him - that he can trust God even if God were to choose to bring his life to an end. And why is that? Why could job hang on to God so closely - even if God chose to allow his life to come to an end? Because job understood that even if his life were to come to an end, it's not all over yet. This is why job says 'he also shall be my salvation.' Because job knew there was life after death for one who commits their lives completely to God. One who places their life in the hand of the almighty - he knows that even if God were to slay him, he could raise him up from the dead one day. You know, there's other examples in the Bible of this.

You think of meshach, shadrach, and abednego, right? They're standing before the fire and they're about to be thrown into the fire. And yet, they were unwilling to bow down and worship the King. Why? Because there was one king greater than the one standing in front of them. Amen. Who would be able, even if they were to die, he would be able to bring them back.

Abraham had this same hope when he took his son - remember? - Took his son up the mount and he was going to sacrifice his son. And yet, his son was where the line of Christ was going to come from, but he was willing because Paul tells us in Hebrews, Abraham had such a faith that he knew that God could bring him back and continue the plans that he had planned from the very beginning. He knew - they all knew - that there was life after death. Matter of fact, look at - with me - in job chapter 12, verse 10. We read it earlier.

I want to read it again in this context. "In whose hand is the life of" - what? - "Every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?" Notice, with me, chapter 14 - I'm going to jump a couple chapters - because job continues to clarify this hope. The fact that there's life after death - that if God were to bring my life to an end, so be it. I'll still continue to trust him because I know he has the ability and he's promised to bring me back. Notice, with me, job chapter 14, verse 14 - actually, start with verse 13 - we'll go 13, 14, 15 - he says, "oh, that you would hide me in the grave," - notice: not end me, just what? Hide me.

Hide me. Just "...hide me in the grave, that you would conceal me until your wrath is past, that you would appoint me a set time, and" - what? - "Remember me!" - Verse 14 - "if a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes." - That's powerful. One day, Jesus Christ is going to come again and he has promised to raise those who trust in him, those who have believed in him, those who have put their faith in him - he has promised to bring them back from the dead. Amen. Corinthians tells us about that change when he comes in the clouds of glory, "till my change comes.

" - Verse 15 - "you shall call, and I will answer you; you shall desire the work of your hands. For now you number my steps," - job had a hope and that hope was in the promise that Christ, even if he were to allow job to be slain, he would one day bring him back from the dead. This Jesus - this God, who is the resurrection and the life - this God, who is the firstborn from the dead - this creator, who has the keys of hades and of death, he's the first and the last, who was dead and has come to life. You know, I love that song because he lives. Job could have hope because there was one greater than all of his challenges that was alive and well and looking after job in every situation.

Job could trust in this God. Matter of fact, in the lesson - you know, it's interesting, in Tuesday's lesson - I want to take you to another passage in Scripture - it's 1 Corinthians chapter 15. Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, verses through 20 - 1 Corinthians chapter 15, verses 11 through . Have your Bibles - and I hope you brought them - and then turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 15 - 1 Corinthians chapter 15, verses 11 through 20. It says, "therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

" - Verse 12 - "now, if Christ is preached that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?" - Now this is interesting. So there's some in the corinthian church, even though it was being preached that Christ has risen from the dead, there were still some who - what? There were still some that didn't believe there was a resurrection - almost like the sadducees who didn't believe that there was going to be a resurrection. Verse 13 he says, "but if there is no resurrection" - so he's like, 'okay, let me take this thought - you believe this way, let me take this thought and let me show you where this thought leads, okay? Let me show you where it leads - "but if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is" - what? He's not risen - "and if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is" - what? Empty. "Also empty." How many of us would want an empty faith? That would just crumble under our feet under the right circumstance. He goes on - verse 15 - "yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ," - so now he's saying, 'listen, if there is no resurrection and we've been preaching about resurrection, then this makes us to be' - what? 'False witnesses and liars.

' "Whom he did not raise up" - I'm continuing in verse 15 - "if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is" - what? - "Not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile;" - here in the new king James version that's an interesting word because, when you look around our world today, you realize how much futility we're surrounded by. This planet and the shape of this planet and the things that are happening around the world on this planet, show us how futile things are around us. The last thing we would want is our faith to be what? Futile also.

"For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile;" - and then he says, "you are still" - what? - "You are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished." - And then 19 - "if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable." - Verse 20 - "but now" - he says what? - "Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep." He follows the argument and you realize that, when you follow that logical thinking, there's no hope - that process of thinking - but Paul comes back to reassure them that there is what? That Christ did what? Died and rose. That Christ did rise from the dead and we can believe it. We can stand on it. We can trust in it.

Our faith is not futile. Amen. Our faith is founded on the rock. And when everything else falls apart around us, just like in the book of job, there is a hope that we can have. There is a hope that we can live with - live by - live for each and every day that we wake up - each and every day that we go about life there is a hope.

'If he slay me, yet will I trust him.' There is a hope. From this God - for this is the God that job gathers his hope from as he, by faith, clings to him and his promises. So I have to ask myself - when I look at job and when I look at job's hope and I look at the fact that job is clinging, in this challenge, to the fact - the real truth that Jesus Christ is coming again - that God has the ability - God has promised to raise us from the dead. I have to ask myself, is that my hope? Amen. Do I cling to that same thing each and every day that I live? Do I have this same hope, no matter what's happening in my life? And I don't know what your challenges are - you don't know what my challenges are, but we have to ask ourselves is this hope real for us, just as it was real for job? Can we say the exact same thing as job said in our memory verse? 'He also shall be my' - what? My salvation - 'and even if he slay me, yet will I' - what? Trust him.

Trust him. Trust him. Can we say the same thing as job said? You know, I want to read a passage from the lesson. It's a powerful statement, actually, in the middle of the lesson. It says, 'the riches of the grace of Christ must be kept before the mind.

' What do we need to keep before the mind? The riches of the grace of Christ. You know, where there's sin - where sin abounds - we're told in Romans - grace does much - what? - More abound. And this grace, we must ever keep before our minds. Treasure up the lessons that his love provides. Let your faith be like job's.

Let your faith be like job's that you may declare - that you may show plainly - 'though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.' Lay hold on the promises of your Heavenly Father.' Lay hold on what? The promises of your Heavenly Father. You know, Peter talks about these promises quite often and Peter, himself, went through an incredible experience when he was crucified - what? - Upside down. Yet he clung to the promises of God. Those promises are true and they gave him hope. 'Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.

' Lay hold on the promises of your Heavenly Father and remember his former dealings with you and with his servants. 'For all things work together for' - and we could quote this by memory, right? - 'For all things work together for good for those who love God and are the called according to his purpose.' Powerful passage - powerful statement from the advent review and Sabbath herald - just cling to the promises. You know, if you turn with me to Hebrews chapter 11, this is what all these men and women of faith did. And I know our focus is job, but you can't help but think about all the other men and women of the Bible that had the same faith and had the same hope that job had. Hebrews chapter 11 - and I just want to read a few verses, starting with verse 13, because job says 'though you slay me, yet will I' - what? 'Yet will I trust you.

' Now notice, in verse 13 of Hebrews chapter 11, it says, "these all died in" - what? Faith. "In faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them." In other words, they folded the promises in their own hands - these promises that God speaks are not just words on a piece of paper, but they're actually mine. They were meant for me. They were meant for you. They were meant for all of us.

They were meant for job. - "...but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland." You know, job wasn't so concerned about his earthly home. Job had much bigger things on his mind as he's going through this challenge. It affected him; there's no doubt about it.

Who wouldn't it affect? You lose everything - you lose everything and, yet, the friends who were closest to you are being influenced to speak about God differently than he actually is. You have all of that going on around you, all of us would be affected in some way or another, yet job clings to that hope knowing that God has greater plans. Why? Because even if you slay me - even if I die - you'll resurrect me. Why? Because you've promised a new heaven and a new earth, that eventually these challenges will pass and I will be able to enjoy my time with you for eternity in a new heaven and a new earth. Peter chapter 3, verse 13 - the lesson brings this out, right in the very beginning, that God has promised that there will be a new heaven and a new earth and these men and women of faith, just like job, clung to those promises and they died in faith - but they died trusting in the one who is going to fulfill every promise that he made.

I love God for that very reason. When God says something he what? He does it. When God makes a promise, God fulfills that promise. When God starts a work, he's going to complete that work. God doesn't, you know, leave any loose ends.

And God promises a new heaven and a new earth. Verses 15 and 16 is where I'll finish - here in Hebrews chapter , "and truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But" - verse 16 - "now they desire a" - what? - "They desire a" What a hope - a hope that will encourage each of us to desire something better than what we currently have. Isn't - don't all of us want something better than what we currently have? You know, I look at the - every year or every four years, you know, the election cycle everybody wants something better than they've had before and I'm not talk - I'm not getting into politics, but we always want something better. We're always desiring something better.

We love new things. How many of you like new things? Let's be honest. How many of you like new things, okay? We all like new things. Now that doesn't mean we can afford all new things, but we like new things. My children love new things.

Matter of fact, every store we go into it's 'dad, I want this.' 'Dad, I want that.' 'I want this.' 'I want that.' And, seriously, if I could buy the whole store, they'd love me forever, but I have to tell them we can't - I can't buy that. But they love new things. We all love new things. And what better thing to love than a new heaven and a new earth? Amen. That should top all of our list of new things.

This is what we should desire. This is what we should cling to. This is what we should hold onto. This is what job clung to. And, friends, guess who we're going to see in heaven one day.

We're going to see job. At one point, his life did have to come to an end, but it came to an end trusting: 'these all died in faith, not having received the promises, but they saw them afar off.' It's amazing what faith, by the way, can see. It's amazing what faith can see. It sees through our challenges, it sees through our trials, it sees through our conflicts. Job saw it.

Job clung to it. Job hung onto it. So they desire what? "A better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God for he has" - what? - "He has prepared a city for them." A city. What a hope.

What a hope that we know that, even in this life, if it shall pass, there's a better one just over the horizon. Amen. There's a better land just over the horizon. As a matter of fact, in Wednesday's lesson, this hope that job has, was always God's plan from the very beginning. God's desire for us was to experience.

He knew what was going to happen. He knew what was going to take place, and he had planned in advance. We read in Ephesians chapter 1, verse 4, "just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love," - notice - "just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world," - think about that. God had this plan all along the way. Titus chapter 1, verse 2 - we read: "in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began," - before you were born God had this hope for you.

He had this hope for me - had this hope for all of us before the world was even created. Before you and I were born - before our children were born - before our grandchildren were born - this hope has - before the world was even created - was to be ours. And then, in 2 Timothy chapter 1, verses 8 and 9, the lesson brings these passages out in Wednesday's lesson, "therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the Gospel" - interesting - share with me in the sufferings - we're talking about job, right? Job went through a lot of suffering. He says, "share with me in the sufferings for the Gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began." This hope in Christ Jesus was God's plan for us from the very beginning. His conception of this world and the creation of this world - God had hope for us on his mind and that's why job can say he also shall be my salvation.

He has a plan for me. He has a plan that goes beyond what I'm currently faced with - that goes beyond even me. For the sake of time we can't get into - really into all the things in Thursday's lesson, but I want to encourage you to go back to it. It's images of hope - you know, the Bible is brimming with all of these promises that God gives us and all of these promises, when truly embraced, fill us with hope. And in this time, in this world's history, we have hope, we need hope, and we can embrace hope because we're clinging to the author of hope and that's God.

That's Christ. That's the Holy Spirit. In John chapter 16 - jumping to the very end - in John chapter , verse 33 - we'll read it from our Bibles. I love this incredible passage - Christ's words to us - take hold of them today. Take hold of them.

John chapter 16, verse 33 - John chapter 16, verse 33, "these things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have" - what? Peace. Peace. In me - not in the world, but in me, you may have peace. - "In the world you will have" - what? Tribulation. Job teaches us that, that in this world we're going to have tribulation but then he says, "but be of good cheer, I have" - what? He says - overcome.

"I have overcome the world." Be of good cheer. There is hope for each one of us. Even in the midst of tribulation - why? Because Jesus says, 'I have overcome the world. I can give you the ability. I can give you the grace that you need.

I've promised a better land. I've promised a new heaven and a new earth.' And one day - and I believe soon - we're going to see the fulfillment of that promise, so hang on. Though he slay me, yet will I what? Trust him. Trust him. Draw close to that: though he slay me, yet will I trust him.

And believe me, we can truly, fully trust him. We can trust him with everything. I was encouraged by this study in job and I hope that you also are encouraged by this study. Let's have a word of prayer together. Father in Heaven, we thank you so much for your many blessings.

And Lord, we know that job was surrounded by suffering and trial. His friends were being influenced and yet he clung to you, who had promised him a new heaven and a new earth that had promised him a resurrection and that fulfills - Lord, you fulfill your promises. May we leave here with hope, knowing that you have better things for us and may we cling to that hope - that faith - those promises that you've given to us on a regular basis - to challenge us, to encourage us, to lift us up closer to you. We thank you so much for this time that we've had to study Your Word together. We thank you for the book of job and for the lessons that truly come forth from it as we study together and as we study individually.

For we thank you and praise you. In Jesus' precious and holy name we pray, amen. Amen. Again, I just want to come back to our free offer: from stress to joy - our free offer - from stress to joy. This free offer is #705.

You can also contact, to get this free offer, 866 - the number is 866-788-3966 - from stress to joy. May God bless you this Sabbath day. Amazing Facts, changed lives. Well, my conversion story is when I was in the Philippines I just graduated as a nurse and afterwards I did not have any religion and one time I found myself inside a small church - catholic church in manilla and before a big cross. And I was kneeling before and I could hear Jesus telling me to enter the convent - save myself and also my family.

And I said, 'Lord, I would like to follow you all the way.' At that point, I seemed to be happy externally but, because inside the convent we don't read our Bible - we don't study about the Word of God. We pray the rosaries. We also, at the same time, study the lives of the saints and also our founders and the encyclicals of the pope and the virgin mary. And so I do not know the truth and I had this torture of conscience - the guilty feelings that cannot be resolved. So I would confess to the priest in the confessional box saying, 'father forgive me.

Since - my last confession was last week - since then I have committed the following sin, including the root cause, why am I falling and falling in that same sin over and over again?' And still, for 21 long years, I struggle and I struggle and I struggle. I realized that I was totally empty. I was totally helpless and hopeless and so depressed and so desperate that I would like already to end my life. I was working for five years as dean of the university of saint Augustine college of nursing in iloilo city on one of the islands in the Philippines. After five years I receive my commission from my parents to help my sister who is being a battered woman.

This is one of the reasons why I came over to United States, it is because my sister needs my help. As I was working in the hospital in New York, my boss seraphin, he was so gracious enough to give me an invitation to the millennium prophecy. As I was listening to Pastor Doug Batchelor's presentation, my heart really was beating so fast and my mind - I'm able to grasp the truth that this is the truth that I've been longing to hear all my life - that I've been seeking for so long. My personal relationship with Jesus - I can see Jesus as my personal Savior. He is not only the Savior of the whole world, but he is my personal Savior.

He was the one who delivered me mightily from the depths of sin - from the mirey clay. Pastor Doug Batchelor has been used by the Lord in my conversion. The Amazing Facts I owe to them. the Lord really blessed this ministry and I'm so proud I was able to attend this millennium prophecy. My life has never been the same.

It has given me that peace - that joy that never - I have never tasted in my life and now I'm set free to be able to work for Him and to follow Him.

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