When Fear Shapes Reality: Understanding Job’s Experience

Job 3:25-26
For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.

Expectation leads to realization. Here, Job admitted that what came upon him was exactly what he feared would come. In fact, he even put himself in harm’s way, lost sleep, and made a fuss over every effort to hedge himself against that for which he was most afraid, and yet, in spite of all of his efforts, trouble still came. He was unable to stop that which he fully expected. I want to say that again, and I want to ask you to let it sink in; Job was unable to stop that which he fully expected! Now, I can already hear the skeptic of this thought. I can hear one saying, “Oh, but haven’t you ever experienced any unmet expectations? Surely you are not saying that all you must do for things to happen is to expect them to happen!”

To this thought, I would readily agree that unmet expectations indeed happen every day, and faith is more than just a spirit of expectancy. In fact, James teaches us in the New Testament that faith without works is dead, being alone. No, my friend, expectancy alone does not produce results, but expectancy backed by supportive action steps indeed does produce results every single time.

That said, look at our text one more time. Job feared that trouble would come. This means that he expected it to come. It was something that he believed. However, he not only had passing thoughts about it, but he actually lost sleep over it, labored against it, and would not shut up about it, attempting to prevent it. All of these action steps solidified his belief that trouble was coming, and he ended up getting exactly what he expected and prepared for.

Now, do I believe that Job was wrong to expect trouble? No! I would even say that he might have been foolish had he not expected it to come. Furthermore, all of the human race should know that you do not have to expect trouble to come in order for it to arrive. However, I would say that we can invite specific troubles into our lives depending upon how we labor over them in stress, worry, fear, and preparation for them.

Now, I said all of that to say this; I propose that we spend more energy expecting, working for, preparing for, and talking about success than we do trouble and failure! Active faith WORKS!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
<< Job 3