Recognizing our “empty words, distress, and God’s goodness” may all play a role in Tasting the Good when Troubles Emerge to come out of distress and live a fulfilling and healthy life.
“A wise man would not answer with such empty (windy) talk! You are nothing but a windbag. The wise don’t engage in empty chatter. What good are such words? …Your sins are telling your mouth what to say. Your words are based on clever deception. Your own mouth condemns you, not I. Your own lips testify against you” (Job 15:1-6 NLT).
“Job opens his mouth in empty talk; he multiplies his words without knowledge” (Job 35:16 ESV).
The same talk that Job cried might sound familiar, because you or someone you know may have cried them. Job was angry with God and didn’t understand why such horrible things happened in his life. He thought he lived as a good follower and did all the right things. Yet, his life completely fell into shambles when his worship ceased and his empty talk escalated to plummet him into distress.
Does this sound familiar? Where is your worship and recognition of the goodness and greatness of God? What empty chatter has escalated in your life?
You may ask, “How do I avert my attention toward God’s goodness and return to worship?
How do I let go of the empty talk that has become so familiar to me?
Let’s define empty talk and distress to judge ourselves and see if we are practicing these ways:
- Empty Talk:
In Job 3:1-26 and 6:1-7:5, Job’s abrasive words of pessimism derived from his destructive thoughts. He expressed his harmful thoughts in empty talk to his friends. Job’s friends advised him to put away his empty talk. Yet, he continued to rant, adding abrasions of pessimism, fear, worry, misery, distorted perceptions, guilt, anger, anxiety, grief, and controlling attitudes.
Fill in the blank space in the scripture passage:
“Avoiding worldly and _________________ chatter” (1 Timothy 6:20).
“Avoid worldly and ___ chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness” (2 Timothy 2:16).
- Distress – “affliction, draw apart, press together,” [i] “Great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; acute physical or mental suffering; affliction; trouble,” [ii] imposed external circumstances or inward pressure; to question by applying torture; torment, or pain.” [iii]
We may sum up distress as: misery, trouble, worry, anxiety, depression, grief, stress, emotional pain, some physical pain, and some mental anguish.
Distress and distressing both result in strain and affliction. If He has not yet delivered you out of distress, He will help you through it. What are the distressing ways that you are ready to discard, or not erode into any longer, when you face trouble?
Learn how to renew your thoughts and rephrase your statements. This exercise is a critical in changing our empty talk to life-giving words. You may journal your patterns of thinking and words for one day. We must know what we are thinking and speaking in order to know what to change. Carry a notebook with you for one full day to write as many thoughts you think and statements you speak in a day’s time. Don’t wait for a good day. The average person thinks around three hundred negative thoughts per day. Journal the good and the bad, every thought and every statement that you can manage to write.
This exercise takes some introspection for a day as you captivate your thoughts and words. You will reap the benefits as you learn your patterns of thinking to learn how to renew your thoughts and rephrase your statements. When you have finished, assess your combined thoughts and statements to recognize your pattern of thinking, whether positive or negative. This exercise will prove to be a life-changer.
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Jesus in Me: Lord, give me perseverance and determination to understand my empty talk and distress. You have given me choice food to know how to stop this destruction for my life and others around me. I am looking forward to partaking of this choice food to renew my mind and change my thinking and to come out of distress and depression. You are a great God and I worship you!
Today’s Tasting: Job 35-37
Though God has given Satan permission to destroy everything and everyone but Job’s life, it seems that Job turned introspective and camped in the introspection with his thoughts. By reading scripture, it is my opinion that self-pity set in. Fear and anger captured his thoughts, talk, emotions, moods, and attitudes.
This kind of talk plummeted Job into distress that lasted until he saw the greatness of God, along with his need for repentance, sacrifice, and a change of words.
In chapters 35-37, Elihu attempted to help Job put things in the proper perspective reminding him of God’s nature, character, and ways. These are reminders that God holds power to calm our troubles and lives:
- God’s greatness (Job 35) and “Job opens his mouth in empty talk; he multiplies words without knowledge” (Job 35:16 ESV).
- Elihu continues to point out “He also allured you out of distress…and set your table with choice food” (Job 36:16).
- God’s voice speaks, His Word thunders, He controls the weather and nature, and consider His wondrous works (Job 37).
No one is exempt from experiencing trials and troubles. Yet, it is through troubles that we have the opportunity to realize His goodness and greatness. It is through troubles that we learn to lean on God…the Almighty.
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[i] Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper.
[ii] Webster’s Complete Dictionary
[iii] Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W. E. Vine, Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, New Jersey, P 325