"The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD"(Job 1:21).
The Scripture quote above is from Job, a man of God, written shortly after he had lost everything in life dear to him and then his health as well. In fact he continued even after his poor wife, who had experienced all this travesty with him said, ‘“Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die! He replied, you are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”’ (Job 2:9-10). OK, I am blown away by Job’s incredible faith and strength in the middle of devastation. What causes this?
He started to speak to God in pain and wonderment, but without sinning. Even though his friends thought that He must have done something wrong to deserve discipline, Job held to the consolation of the Holy One in unrelenting pain. He questioned God on what he has done, knowing that his life was but a breath. After taking a beating from his so-called friends he still said, “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him” (Job 13:15). It is a frightening story of trial and eventual triumph to the faithful. Even in his complaints to God he still said, “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). What persevering faith and wisdom to understand God’s purpose in trials, I am blown away by his enduring faith.
I know all people experience difficult trials, but “Job’s Journey” is meant to be beyond our understanding in a way that causes us amazement and even fear that it could happen to us. Guess what? “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). This fear is in His awesome power and presence in all of our lives, whether we believe in Him or not. “Dominion and awe belong to God, He establishes order in the heights of heaven” (Job 25:2). God is in control, and we are not.
For those of you who trust in the Lord, you become new through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. I am impacted greatly by Job’s saying even as his life ebbed away in suffering pains that, “In His great power, God becomes like clothing to me; He binds me like the neck of my garment…He throws me into the mud and I am reduced to dust and ashes” (Job 30:18-19). Yet even near death he said, “He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live and enjoy the light” (Job 33:18). Through trial, troubles and pain God answers Job out of the storm challenging him, “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?”(Job 38:2).And so began chapters of God’s presenting His expansive omnipotence concerning all creation and life. This is about His sovereignty. Job is speechless and finally answers, ‘“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted…my ears have heard you and now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:2,5,6). Job is put in his small place in the universe, yet God is still merciful and loving.
“The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first…and he died old and full of his years” (Job 42:12,17). God blessed Job greatly through it all in His way and His timing. Our pastor Brian Dainsberg said of all of this, “Walking through suffering is like flying at night.” I can attest to this admonition through unknown storms of futile illness, implosions in the church, treacherous mountainsides and wild ocean waves, plane crashes and waterfalls. I have been blown away by God’s bringing healing through my own life and countless others’. Why Job? to show us God’s faithfulness through it all.