THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
THE IMPORTANCE OF JOB
theme for 2010 comes from a very challenging book, Job.
Our theme brings us to grapple with the mystery of God as
Almighty, with our nothingness apart from Him, and with
redemptive suffering. This is so very different from and
in direct contrast with where much of the world is going
-- living lives apart from God, looking to self for “redemption”
and well-being, disdaining weakness, discomfort and pain.
book of Job brings us to the basics of the authentic gospel.
And only in the authentic gospel can the world truly find
Jesus asked, “But when the Son of Man comes, will
he find faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8b). Today there is
a lot of faith, and I believe when Jesus returns there will
still be a lot of faith. But what kind of faith would it
Will it be faith found in sects and cults?
it be the faith of the liberal Christian churches?
it be faith that comes from accepting and exulting in
the gospel of prosperity?
it be nominal faith, going through the motions but not
really living in Christ?
it be the faith that does proclaim Christ but at the same
time have many other material idols in life?
we talk of authentic faith, I believe that those who genuinely
seek the kingdom of God will only be a “little flock”
It is in this that learning and living out the lessons of
Job will be crucial.
We need to be in awe of God the Almighty. If we lose this
reverential fear, then we begin to live our own lives apart
need to see our own nothingness apart from Him. If not,
we become proud with our accomplishments and begin to rely
on our own wisdom and strength.
need to see the reality of spiritual warfare. Satan is at
work, opposing and trying to destroy what is of God.
All these point to the means by which God redeems us, enabling
us to be part of this little flock of authentic faith. Such
means are affliction and the suffering this brings.
Affliction, especially when severe such as what happened
to Job, humbles us. It puts us in the right place in relation
to God. Only when we are humbled can God raise us up.
way of salvation is the way of the cross. This is the path
God chose. It is a mysterious path. But it is the only way
for us to have redemption. This is why Jesus defines discipleship
as denying ourselves and taking up our cross. Only then
can we truly follow him.
is redemptive. Again, the cross was God’s chosen instrument
of salvation. Suffering purifies and brings us into a more
intimate relationship with God.
deepens our faith in God the Almighty.
This is why in the mystery of God and in the mystery of our
relationship with Him, we are called to simply trust in Him,
because He is just and righteous.
year God wants to build us as His people, according to His
ways and not ours. This year and henceforth, God wants to
use us as His effective instruments. God can only do these
if we are properly formed in holiness. We look to Jesus
of course. We look to Paul and the many saints. But this
year, we also look to Job.
if we were not so focused on our own ways and our own interpretation
of the authentic gospel, we would already have seen the
many lessons of Job in the life and teachings of Jesus and
Paul. The similarities between Jesus and Job are striking.
As we start this new year 2010, as we enter more deeply
into our theme for this year, let us learn the lessons of
Job. These will be enduring lessons, not just for this
year, but until Jesus returns again.
that time comes, may we, and the many we are able to evangelize,
be found among the little flock.
 “Little” is a comparative term. The flock
can still be millions, but compared to the billions of people
in the world, a few millions would be little.
 Affliction comes in many ways. Many times it comes by
means of the forces of nature -- floods, earthquakes, tsunamis.
Aside from humbling us, such natural calamities point us
to the God who is all-powerful Creator, the Almighty. We
realize our total dependence on God.
 I will deal with this in a future paper.
 You should read and re-read the Lessons of Job (including
the series on “Our theme for 2010”), that I
put out. You should reflect deeply on them. You should grapple
with the hard teachings. You should not ignore or just brush
aside what you find uncomfortable.
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Way Forward in Christ (Part26) [PDF]