Do you ever look at some people's lives--a co-worker, family member, neighbor--and convince yourself their grass is greener? You witness God's blessings on their life, marriage, family, and job, all the while wishing you could have the same favor. I've done that a few times--or a lot--in keeping up with the Jones' and chances are you have as well. I can't help but think many people looked at Job and use to have these same thoughts.
Job had it all: the large family, comfortable lifestyle, cushy bank account, respect in the community. Job seemed to have the favor of God in his life, and indeed, he did. In fact, in the very first verse of Job we learn so much about his character.
Job was blessed because his heart was in the right place--focused on God. He was a man known for his character and passion for God, even when no one was looking. If the Bible credits him with such words he was no doubt a man of integrity both in front of and behind the curtains.
Most of us know the story of Job and the long-suffering he endured. As it goes, Satan was at the throne of God and God points out the character of Job. It's incredible to read how God pointed out this man and yet sad to hear true commitment to God was so rare. Satan comes back and says that of course Job is upright because he hasn't had to suffer. So God allows Satan to test Job, to in fact prove his commitment to God, up to the point of death. So Satan goes to work.
Satan takes away all of Job's property and children [his legacy]. That would be devasting to anyone and certainly push may of us to the brink. But Job holds firm to God in the darkest of hours. It doesn't stop there either; Satan then proceeds to do the worse he can to Job physically so he covers Job in very painful boils all over his body. I cringe when I read that he uses broken pottery to scrape at the sores.
Job would be in this dark place for a while and people would try to discourage him along the way. His wife tells him to curse God. His friends tell him there must be some sin in his life to experience such turmoil. For much of the trial Job tries with all his might to hold true to God. But as many of us have done, we've broken under the weight of our trial.
I've shared my own experience of hitting rock bottom and trying the world's way of healing many times; I tried so hard to hold on to what I knew about God and under the pressure I cracked. I look back and wish I had stayed true that month I gave up, but I did learn so much from it and hope I can choose differently in the future.
Job has a breaking point and he calls God out, asking for an opportunity in court to take up his cause because he felt God had dealt with him unjustly. God goes into this eloquent comeback that how could Job be His equal in court if he cannot comprehend all that God has done. I could go on about this, but for the sake of time, Job realizes his sin and repents with great conviction.
You and I don't and won't have all the answers. You will go through seasons or experience situations you don't understand in that moment so your faith will be required of you. When understanding runs out faith makes its greatest appearance. Take what you know about God--that He is always good, that He has a bigger plan in the works, that He loves you--and rest in that knowledge. It doesn't mean things will immediately get better but it will carry you through the trial.
Job was upright and passionate about God, but he still had so much he could learn about his mighty God and had a greater intimacy to still experience. He found that in the storm. And when he came out of that storm, God blessed Job more than ever before.
Hold tight, my dear friend. God has not forgotten you and He will not forsake you. Our God is always good and because He loves you, will weave every moment of your life into a beautiful tapestry.
- Have you experienced your own moments of questioning God? How did you deal with it and how would you respond differently in the future?
- Do you believe God is good and loves you? Spend some time in prayer reflecting on HIs awesomeness and intimate love for you.