Romans 15.4 explains, everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

Some of the Church in America has appeared to be a lot like Job’s friends: they teach that if you obey God, God will bless you abundantly, and if you disobey God, God will curse you properly. If this is true, why then does Paul tell us that the Scriptures have the additional role of encouraging us and helping us endure in this world so that we maintain hope?

Those who are ‘blessed’ seldom feel the need for encouragement, endurance or hope. Their present wonderful circumstances are already providing those things. Perhaps the ‘best life now’ rhetoric is false Biblical advertising.

Like Job, the man of God understands he is engaged in a battle between good and evil, between the will of God, the sin of men and the evil intent of demons. In this world, cursed as it is by sin, which makes even the earth itself bring catastrophe to humanity, the people of God continue to labor for the glory of God regardless of this world’s reward from God.

Our hope is in eternal life in the kingdom of God under the rule of God in Jesus, on that day when He returns to create a new heaven and a new earth. Until then, the Word of God is clear that we can expect resistance to the will of God from within and without, resulting in hardships to all of humanity.

The people of God are to do the will of God which will result in bringing help and hope to humanity who likewise struggle in this world whether they know God personally or not and whether they obey His will or not.

The blessing of obedience is the increased realization of the presence of God in our lives to endure suffering with humanity even as He Himself obeyed completely and endured hardship without complaint, until He rose from the dead, proving His future promise, of our best life which is yet to come, to be true.

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