Job 32-33

Elihu speaks up. He is younger than Job and all of the other friends, so he has waited to speak. He wants to hear what the others would say, and besides that, he’s shy. However, he can refrain himself no longer. With the zeal of a teenager, he lets them all “have it.”

Elihu is angry with Job because he justifies himself before God, and he is angry with the friends because they are condemning Job. Nobody is pleasing him.

To Job, he says, “I have heard the sound of your words: ‘I am pure; without transgression.'” And he continues, “Behold let me tell you, you are not right in this, for God is greater than man.”

It’s refreshing when you see young people spout their zeal. Sometimes there is some confusion, and not the wisdom which will come later, but when the young have pure hearts, they always take up for God.

There is an idealism in devout young men that you often don’t see in older ones. They are ready to believe that God is really who He says He is. Nothing is impossible with Him.

I like that! I pray that we will keep that attitude – or recover it – all the days of our lives.

Acts 14

Faithful and unstoppable! Those are two words which describe Paul.

As Paul and Barnabas are introducing the gospel to the Jews and Gentiles who live in Asia, they encounter a man who has been lame from his mother’s womb. Seeing his faith, Paul commands him to rise and walk, and of course, he does. Paul is acting with his faithfulness to the Lord.

It’s amazing to see what happens after such notable miracles take place. At first the crowds think the apostles are gods, and start bringing sacrifices. But a short time later, they get stirred up by the Jews, and stone Paul, dragging him out of the city (supposing him to be dead). “But while the disciples stood around him, he arose and entered the city.”(V.20). Truly unstoppable.

Paul is a powerful man of God. He gets stoned or beaten and gets right back up and goes again. If he had been stoned enough to be supposed dead, he had to be badly beaten, but his condition didn’t stop him. (Actually, I’m quite sure that some divine healing was taking place there also).

As is usual for him, instead of soliciting pity, Paul is busy thinking about strengthening the souls who had just committed to the Lord. He wants to leave them in a strong state, so he appoints elders and gives them encouraging words before leaving the territory.

Finally, as the disciples arrive back at Antioch, they gather  the church together and share “all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.”(V.27)

As we study the life of Paul in the New Testament, we see this trait many times. He emphasizes what God is doing – not what the enemy is doing. Many of us would have gathered the church together to whine about the stoning or the hard days of travel. Not Paul. He always emphasizes God and not man or the devil.

I want to emulate that characteristic in my life. Every day we have the opportunity to focus on what God is doing – or focus on what the devil is doing. I want to focus on the former. When we keep our eyes on our God – and not the problems we face, our faith stays high – and so does our morale.

Paul is such an excellent example for all of us. I want to be more like him. For that matter, I want to be more like Jesus! I know that you do, too.