Friday, October 28, 2016

1888 Glad Tidings : Insight #5 October 29, 2016

Fourth Quarter 2016 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
"Curse the Day"

October 29, 2016
One week ago we were walking along a road in Mexico City and we stopped to look and see what was causing a strange sound coming out from a highway underpass beneath us when suddenly there was a huge explosion and the whole ground shook. Instinctly, we began to move hastily away from where we were standing in case the ground beneath us collapsed. Presently, one of the political parties in Mexico has devised a new way of protesting – they are setting off firecrackers in the underpasses and tunnels. As to why they chose this method, we don't know, but it seems extremely immature, and possibly quite dangerous, even for themselves.
As we moved away from the place we had been standing, we turned and looked back. There was an older lady lying on the road with blood pouring out from a  huge gash in the side of her head. We ran to her and with the help of others, moved her off the road and into the shade where Heladia held a thick wad of toilet paper against the wound until the ambulance arrived twenty minutes later. When the explosion went off, she had panicked and began to run away but she tripped on the pavement, fell, and smashed her head on the side of the road.
As Heladia sat with her to stem the flow of blood and to comfort her, the lady told her that in previous years she has had major complications with her spine, and she is afraid her fall might have just caused more problems. She also said that she suffers from hypertension and that she is afraid of people and going out into society. And now here she was, lying on the ground, covered with blood, and with a dozen police officers and a large crowd of people gathered around her. She rarely ever leaves her home because of her fears, but that morning she had got her courage up to open that gate and to go outside into the world. And this is what the world gave her.
Life is not fair. We did not choose to be born into it. We did not choose for Adam to sin. He was the one that brought sin into this world. Not us. And now we have to live with the consequences. But is there anything to gain from pointing the finger, or shall we just learn to live with our situation?
However, this is not easy to do, unless we understand the great controversy that has been happening between good and evil for the last six thousand years or so. Only then can we know the meaning of life, and have the answer to our multitude of questions that begin with the word, "Why...?"
Fortunately, we have the Scriptures and the blessed writings of Ellen White to show us what is actually happening behind the things which we can only see and feel with our senses. But Job did not have this advantage. He did not know that Satan had walked into the presence of God, indignant at Job's trust in God and his obedience to Him and demanded an opportunity to test his faithfulness. Can you imagine Job's confusion when, in one day, everything that had made his life worth living was taken away from him! And then he is afflicted with terrible boils and all he has left is the pile of ashes in which he sits. And to top it all off, his greatest support on this earth abandons him. "Curse God and die", his wife says - a strong suggestion that he has lost her too, for the time being. What a miserable experience!
Not understanding the reality of the situation, and the spritual warfare that was being fought over him, is it any wonder that Job cried out, "Let the day perish wherein I was born!" Who can blame him for speaking in such bitterness of soul? Can you? Can I? How many of us, when life has taken an unexpected turn for the worst, have felt just this same way that Job was feeling? How many of us have ever thought that just maybe it was best that we were never born? And yet, we know the great controversy... We knowwhat is going on behind the scenes...
When things don't work out right, and people ask me what went wrong, I tend to give one answer - "I was born"... I hid in my mother's womb for an extra four weeks past the due date because I did not want to come out into this world. But I was born, and life has had lots of nasty surprises for me, as it has for all of us. I have my fleeting moments of regret, then I grit my teeth and say, "Well, here I am now. I can't change anything. Let's see why God permitted me to be born." And I give my life into His hands.
Looking back, we can see perfectly why God permitted Job to be born. How much encouragement do we get from his experience today! I mean, seriously, could any of us ever lose as much as he lost, and so quickly? And yet, "in all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly" (Job 1:22). If God's grace was sufficient for him, then it will be more than sufficient for us.
The remarkable thing is that although Job didn't undertsand why he was going through his suuffering, he still held onto the hand of God. Today, we can understand our experience, yet it is a huge struggle for us also not to give in to despondency. Many times, that despondency may seem to have a moment's victory, and then we condemn ourselves for it. And so, let's contemplate something really important for a moment.
Job chapter 3 is one seriously bitter chapter, full of loathing of his life and his very existence. But God never rebuked him for his lamentation. Consider Jeremiah, who also bitterly lamented his birth, but with far greater violence. He said the same thing as Job, "Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad. And let that man be as the cities which the LORD overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide; Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me. Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?" (Jeremiah 20:14-18). And yet there is no word spoken in condemnation of Jeremiah either.
While the great prophet Elijah did not lament his birth, he also wished that he could have escaped from this world, with all its sorrow and suffering. "He requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers." (1 Kings 19:4). God did not meet him with rebuke, but with tender pity.
We should not think for one second that God does not know how unfair things are that we were born into this world of suffering. It was definitely not part of His plan. He did not choose this for us either. But for the sake of the stability of the universe, He cannot just click His fingers and make things better. He must permit the great controversy to play out so that we might have our eyes opened as to who Satan really is and that he is the cause of our sufferings, not God. The whole universe must understand that God really is love, even though there appears to be so much suffering. It is not God's fault. It is Satan's. And God wants us to learn this so that we will stop giving him and sin our affections, so that when God destroys them both, we will not be destroyed with them.
Other lessons this quarter will deal with the all-sufficiency of God's grace in the trial. But what we must take away from this one is that God understands our suffering and confusion, and He will not condemn us if we, for a moment, regret our existence. He understands. We must believe this. It is only when we cherish these thoughts, or act on it, that we bring ourselves under condemnation.
The greatest proof of the fact that God understands is found in the experience of His Son. Alonzo Jones tells us in the 1895 General Conference Bulletins that Psalm 22 is the "Crucifixion Psalm", - it is the experience of Jesus as He hung upon the cross. Indeed it is, for when He was in the upper room after His resurrection He said to His disciples, "And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me" (Luke 24:44).
In Psalm 22 we see what Christ´s internal experience is. We can read His thoughts. We know this chapter is talking about Jesus because in verses 16-18 He describes His external experience: "For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture." And it becomes abundanly clear that the whole chapter is about Him when we read the very first verse: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?"
Knowing that this chapter is speaking of Jesus, we can more fully appreciate verse 6, where He says: "But I am a worm, and no man". Yes, This is Jesus speaking. We are getting a look into how He was feeling as He hung upon the cross, with our sins laid upon Him. He feels like a worm. Have you ever felt like that? As though you wished you could just crawl away and hide from everything? Especially when you see the mistakes that you have made with your life? Here is Jesus, feeling the guilt of your sins, feeling as though He was the one that committed them, the one that made all the mistakes in your life, and He feels like He wants to just crawl away and hide too.
But this worm isn't just any worm. It is referring to the larvae of flies – the maggots that we see devouring the corpses of roadkill. Under the burden of our sins, this is how Jesus is feeling – like the worst person ever.
Yes. Jesus, and our Father through Jesus, understands exactly how we feel when we bitterly lament our existence. No, Jesus did not cherish this feeling, neither did He express it out loud, but here in chapter 22 we see Him facing the same challenges that we face. Did He choose for sin to enter into this world? Did He choose for its consequences to bring so much pain and sorrow into this life? No. But He did choose to be born. Why? So that He can understand why we choose not to be born. And, believe me, He really does understand. And then, understanding why we feel that way, He can bring us hope. Hope that God has permitted things for a reason, and that some day we will actually be grateful for our experiences even though we may not understand them now. It is when times are darkest that the smallest ray of light seems so much brighter. It is when surrounded by prickly thorns that the rose is most beautiful and its scent most wonderful. And so it is that when life is the hardest that we feel the soft, tender and caring touch of God...
But while we are on this exciting and sometimes crazy adventure of discovering the love of God, let us not forget that the greatest men that have ever lived, those who have testified so powerfully of the love of God, have also struggled with the darkest of all feelings. It was in those dark times that they learned the love of which they testified. Let us not become discouraged because we became discouraged. Many times we do that – we think we have committed a terrible sin because of the negative feelings that sweep over us. Never believe for one moment that God condemns you for it. Rejoice and be happy that He understands. Get up and keep trusting Him. Be like Jesus. Even though you might feel that you are the worst person ever, and that your whole life may appear to be a waste, submit your life into His hands. They are waiting to accept you, just as you are. And He will show you why...
~ Camron & Heladia Schofield

Friday, October 21, 2016

1888 Glad Tidings : Insight #4 October 22, 2016

Fourth Quarter 2016 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
"God and Human Suffering"

October 22, 2016

Many a confrontation arises when couples have to name their expected child. One such account of spousal discord in naming is recorded where the dad actually lost his voice—for months—all because the name had to be 'John the Baptist' and he resisted.  Ever wonder what Job means?
Imagine Job's dad and mom having to decide on a name and coming up with "Persecuted" or "Enemy"as their final choice. That is exactly what Job means.  As prospective parents we do our best to choose names that mean something profound and that will not be subject to the slightest alteration that will be harassing to our child in the form of a nickname—especially in the first years of school when kids cruelties are manifest in the most biting nicknames. Not so with the pa and ma of Job.
When did Job's suffering or persecutions begin? Now to our Hellenistic polluted thought patterns many of us will say when the fire started to fall and he lost his material possession.  I submit that his very name was the source of his persecution. His name depicts human suffering—that of his parents, his own, his children, even extends to his animals. (By the way, should animals be able to talk they would plead not to be killed just for us to eat them.)
Job 12:7-10 "But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; And the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: 8 Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: And the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. 9 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind.
Job's point here is that he takes to give; his life and all life is from God.  Nothing and no life came from itself—that would make matter eternal and therefore God.  Modern science's preoccupation with materialism essentially is a form of pantheism.
Both Genesis and Job, written by Moses, deal with human suffering.  Genesis deals with the reason for human suffering—the Fall—while the book of Job deals with the reality of suffering in the life of a faithful servant.  The book of Job deals with how Job and his friends share differing views of God in suffering.  Elder Waggoner helps us with this keen observation:
"Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." Hebrews 12:6. He lets affliction come upon them, but it is only in love that He may teach them. "Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." James 5:11. The Lord allowed terrible afflictions to come upon Job, but it was not because He rejoiced in human suffering, but because He would instruct Job, and bring him into closer relation to Himself. "Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept Thy word." Psalms 119:67. "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes." Verse 71. {November 4, 1897 EJW, PTUK 690.1}
If Job and David saw affliction as God's curriculum to bring us close to Him then I should joy in my trials.  Elder Waggoner goes on to say:
The Lord calls all to Him, that they may learn of Him, but the only way He can teach us some things is by affliction. "We must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God." Acts 14:34. Even Christ, "though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered." Hebrews 5:8. If we suffer with Him, we shall also be glorified together with Him. Romans 8:17 Let affliction, then, of whatever sort it may be, everything that is crossing to our disposition, or seems to be contrary to us, even though it be the direct result of our own misconduct, be received as from the hand of the Lord, and we shall be sure to experience good from it. From our weakness, let us learn meekness; for "the meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way." Psalms 25:9. Then instead of being obliged to be taught as the horse or the mule, we shall know what it is to be instructed in the way that we should go, guided by the eye of the Lord. Psalms 32:8, 9. {November 4, 1897 EJW, PTUK 690.2}
Not only is affliction the needed schoolmaster, but Isaiah 63:9 teaches us that in their affliction He was afflicted.  What does this really mean?  This is the most encouraging aspect of our study of the book of Job.  Again Elder Waggoner powerfully teaches us.
"Century after century has the human race been piling sin and misery upon the Lord, by their deviation from the truth, the way of life, yet He bears it without a murmur. Here we catch a glimpse of the meaning of the phrase, "the long-suffering of God." We have ignored His life in us, and have not sought to learn its ways, so that we might yield to them, and so allow Him to bear the load in His own way, and to live His own life unhindered and unfettered, and He has borne it all uncomplainingly. It was not simply in the High Priest's palace, and in Pilate's court, and on Calvary, that Jesus bore insult and abuse and pain without murmuring; He has been doing that for the last six thousand years; and the very thing which is to His everlasting honour, has been set down to His reproach. Men have charged the Lord with indifference to human suffering, because He did not rise up in His might, and suddenly put an end to it all. How little they knew! They did not understand that He was literally suffering all these evils, allowing them to be heaped upon Him, and that His silence under the burden of sin and oppression and injustice was the only way of salvation from them, to the human race. {E. J. Waggoner "The Gospel of Isaiah. The Silent Sufferer. " The Present Truth 16, 13}.
An interesting thing happened earlier this week. My lovely wife showed me her finger where the leash had freshly filed a groove in at the joint of her index. This happened as she inadvertently grabbed it with her unprotected hand after the dog suddenly came upon a cat and took chase. When my eyes fell upon the cut I felt the pain going through my own body in sympathy with her. Our children were visibly impressed at the synergy. Oh for a heart that is moved in similar ways always. Moved in sympathy by the hurt around us and in us. 
Our God has born our griefs and carried our sorrow, yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God. Isaiah 53:4.  The story of Job opens us to the reality that what touches earth touches Heaven. God is not the unmoved mover and Satan knows this perfectly well.
Here is what we will discover in the book of Job this week: God suffers with us.  When Satan strikes Job's family and Job himself he strikes God.  The lesson title should have been "God IN Human Suffering".  On this high day—the Sabbath of October 22, 2016, be certain that we have a God who is suffering with us mentally, socially, physically, and emotionally.  Let us by faith reach out to those around us with the firm assurance that He is Emmanuel—God with all of us and this suffering is soon to come to an end.  May we cooperate with Him in the final eradication of sin.
For this very reason when the Eternal Council took place in eternity past it was decided that should man sin there would be a child sent.  When the Name was discussed there was no quibbling or fussing.  His Name would be called Emmanuel, God with US. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

1888 Glad Tidings : Insight #3 October 15, 2016

Fourth Quarter 2016 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
"Doth Job Fear God for Naught?"

October 15, 2016

This week's lesson deals with human motivation and explores fundamental truths of the Great Controversy.
Why do we serve God? Do we serve him for nothing? That is, nothing other than who He is - love incarnate? Does love alone have enough staying power to hold us fast to Him?
Satan's accusation was that Job was actuated by, and that God encouraged, selfish motives.
     "Unselfishness, the principle of God's kingdom, is the principle that Satan hates; its very existence he denies. From the beginning of the great controversy he has endeavored to prove God's principles of action to be selfish, and he deals in the same way with all who serve God. To disprove Satan's claim is the work of Christ and of all who bear His name."  Ed 154.3 
In contrast to this accusation, Job's experience on the stage of our world puts to the test God's plans in revealing Himself to and through our humanity.
"Our little world is the lesson book of the universe. God's wonderful purpose of grace, the mystery of redeeming love, is the theme into which "angels desire to look," and it will be their study throughout endless ages. Both the redeemed and the unfallen beings will find in the cross of Christ their science and their song. It will be seen that the glory shining in the face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love. In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which "seeketh not her own" has its source in the heart of God; and that in the meek and lowly One is manifested the character of Him who dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto.  DA 19,20  
Is selfless love really the life of the universe?
Time will tell.
The story of Job takes place over time - a time of suffering. But suffering for a purpose, a larger purpose: to demonstrate the holding power of the love of God. God is not the cause of suffering, but He accepts the responsibility of allowing it, in order to prove that to live is to give.
Do you aspire to serve God? To be blameless, upright, fearing God, blessed by Him with material blessings, with a loving family? To rise early in your intercession for others as Job did for his children? Do  you look to these things to validate whether or not you are successfully serving God?
The tests of the Great Controversy, as shown in the experience of Job, will eventually strip away our possessions, and then challenge our very person, and finally the core question must be answered: What is left when we have nothing? Do we serve God for nothingWhat is left when we can do nothing but hang on by faith to the knowledge that God is still there, and that He loves us? Blessed by the name, or character of our God, no matter what happens!!
Our response, like Job's, is to be the lesson that will solidify in the minds of the "sons of God" what motivates them, as well as us. Someday they will hear us sing,
"Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
"Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest." Rev. 15:3b,4.
"Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. Rev. 7:10b.
 And this will be the response:
"And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
"Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen." Rev. 7:11,12.
Wednesday - Thursday
Very interesting, isn't it, that the same word is used for bless and curse in the Old Testament. Why might this be?
Faith, belief in the Word of God, regardless of circumstances, is what turns trials into blessings. 
"Thus we have presented to us the precious Son of God, given to be a precious Saviour, who redeemed us by his precious blood. Our faith in him is a precious faith, and the trial of our faith itself is precious; all more precious than gold that perisheth. Surely upon us, who believe in Christ, has come the fullness of the blessing pronounced of old upon Joseph. 'Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, and for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, and for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth and fullness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush.' Deut. 33:13-19. And added to all this 'are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises.' Precious, precious indeed, are the gifts and promises of God."
 June 11, 1885 ATJ, SITI 358.2
Doubt, unbelief in the Word of God, because of circumstances and our expectations, is what turns blessings into curses.
"How can I ever have the blessing and the benefit there is in that thing if I do not take the thing? If I am always hesitating and afraid that I am not free from the service of sin, how long will it take to get me free from the service of sin? That very hesitating, that very fear, is from doubt, is from unbelief, and is sin in itself. But in Him, when God has wrought out for us indeed freedom from the service of sin, we have the right to thank God for it and as certainly as we claim it and thank Him for it, we shall enjoy it. 'He that is dead is freed from sin' (margin, 'is justified from sin'). and it is in Him, and we have it as we are in Him by faith." February 25, 1895 ATJ, GCB 352.8
"And what was it that destroyed the Jews? It was the rock which, had they built upon it, would have been their security. It was the goodness of God despised, the righteousness spurned, the mercy slighted. Men set themselves in opposition to God, and all that would have been their salvation was turned to their destruction. All that God ordained unto life they found to be unto death. In the Jews' crucifixion of Christ was involved the destruction of Jerusalem. The blood shed upon Calvary was the weight that sank them to ruin for this world and for the world to come. So it will be in the great final day, when judgment shall fall upon the rejecters of God's grace. Christ, their rock of offense, will then appear to them as an avenging mountain. The glory of His countenance, which to the righteous is life, will be to the wicked a consuming fire. Because of love rejected, grace despised, the sinner will be destroyed." DA 600.2 
Job decided to stick with believing, and so he would not curse God. Like Christ, he believed in spite of his feelings and all that was happening to him. Like Christ, he believed that He was under the Father's loving care, even in the midst of severe temptation. And he was blessed.
"For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
"And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God. Job 19:25,26.
"But He knows the way that I take;
When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold." Job 23:10
God did test him. Until he had nothing. He trusted that God knew what He was doing. And he did come forth as gold, tried in the fire. And so can we, through nothing but the blood of our Redeemer, Jesus.
And that is really something!
~Todd Guthrie

Friday, October 07, 2016

1888 Glad Tidings : Insight #2 October 8, 2016

Fourth Quarter 2016 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
"The Great Controversy"

October 8, 2016

Here we are—at the beginning.  Really! Job is the beginning. It is the first book to be written by Moses, along with Genesis.
"The long years amid desert solitudes were not lost. Not only was Moses gaining a preparation for the great work before him, but during this time, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote the book of Genesis and also the book of Job, which would be read with the deepest interest by the people of God until the close of time" (ST Feb. 19, 1880)..
Since Job is written by the same author of Genesis it makes sense that the whole of Scripture should be read in the context of the great controversy between God and Satan, between good and evil, between light and darkness which the book of Job, more than any other, lays out from the first opening verses. This thematic overlap—light and darkness-- is interesting and apparent in these two books.  The book of Job opens with Job rising early in the morning to make intersession for his sons. Job is involved in Worship.

It goes on to state that "there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves, and Satan came also among them." Job 1:6 This clearly is a Cosmic setting.  Satan's previous title was Lucifer, or 'Lightbearer', but now he is called Satan or 'enemy' (adversary). This alludes to a cosmic conflict. God pointing out a true light-bearer on Earth--Job, while Satan points to a dark motive "Doth Job fear God for nought?" —directing his barbed accusation at this heavenly court and at God in particular.

Genesis opens with there being darkness on the face of the deep. Gen 1:2
God separated light from darkness Gen 1:4 and
God saw light and it was good Gen 1:5

The theme of darkness and light are primary in the book of Job too. It is no coincidence that Job is the book where the words 'darkness' and 'light' are most often used in ALL of scripture—light 35 times and darkness 24 times.

Ever wonder why there was darkness in God's perfect universe when this world was made? This was a mystery to me until two different preachers pointed me to this, this Summer. The context of man's creation was after war broke out in heaven. Rev 12:7-8 This dark earth, without form and void, was the residence of Satan--the former light-bearer.  If you refuse to receive and reflect light then darkness or night is the result. Reading Job is both a blessing and a chastisement bane. He seemed to have everything—family, wealth, spirituality and business acumen—so much like Moses that it is uncanny.  One thing that he lacked was anonymity—being able to blend into the background—but not for long.
After a meeting of the "Sons of God", and a conversation between God and Satan, a swarm of punishing paparazzi pounced on Job's idyllic life—literally all hell broke loose on him.  "Have you considered my servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil." Job 1:8  Job did not have the Desire of Ages, but we do."
"The history of Job had shown that suffering is inflicted by Satan, and is overruled by God for purposes of mercy.  But Israel did not understand the lesson."—DA 471.4.
Are you learning this lesson that God has for you to learn? Whatever is happening to you God overrules for purpose of mercy. Prophets and Kings put it this way:
"Into the experience of all there come times of keen disappointment and utter discouragement—days when sorrow is the portion, and it is hard to believe that God is still the kind benefactor of His earthborn children; days when troubles harass the soul, till death seems preferable to life.  It is then that many lose their hold on God and are brought into the slavery of doubt, the bondage of unbelief.  Could we at such times discern with spiritual insight the meaning of God's providences we should see angels seeking to save us from ourselves, striving to plant our feet upon a foundation more firm that the everlasting hills, and new faith, new life, would spring into being."—PK 162.5
'Seeking to save us from ourselves', now there is a thought.  I need to be saved from myself. God's providence is able to do this. Jesus has saved me from myself. Praise God!

An aspect of suffering that the book of Job presents also leads to the need to understand what Satan's scope and boundaries in this controversy are. Elder Waggoner helps us out here.
"But while Satan has usurped the dominion which God gave to Adam, he does not have unlimited control of this earth. God did not give unlimited and supreme authority over the earth even to man and his uprightness; and so when Satan overcame man, it was not possible for him to get control of the earth to an unlimited degree. This fact Satan acknowledged, when he said to the Lord concerning Job, "Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?" Job 1:10. It still remains true that "the Most High ruleth and the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will." {April 15, 1889 EJW, Bible Echo and Signs of the Times 122.4}
There it is.  God has a hedge around you (Ps 139:5) and me. In this shaking that is just before us, or that we are presently going through, we would have to come to realize that we are in a cosmic conflict with eternal consequences. This conflict started in Heaven.  It continued when man forfeited his standing through the Fall, and it continues in every aspect of our lives. 
"The Bible is its own expositor. Scripture is to be compared with scripture. The student should learn to view the word as a whole and to see the relation of its parts. He should gain a knowledge of its grand central theme--of God's original purpose for the world, of the rise of the great controversy, and of the work of redemption. He should understand the nature of the two principles that are contending for the supremacy, and should learn to trace their working through the records of history and prophecy to the great consummation. He should see how this controversy enters into every phase of human experience; how in every act of life he himself reveals the one or the other of the two antagonistic motives; and how, whether he will or not, he is even now deciding upon which side of the controversy he will be found.  {CT 462.1}

~Richard Kearns