In the darkest, most emotionally painful moment of my adult life, when I was lonely, broken and afraid, the Lord led me to an Old Testament book I rarely read…Job. He didn’t send me to Job because I, in any way resembled Job and the honor with which he handled the unprecedented personal destruction allowed by God on his life. I was sent to Job in order to fully grasp the righteousness and sovereignty of our great God, whether I have plenty or am in need, whether I am full of joy or lying on the floor in such great pain that it feels like emotional death.
My circumstances do not change the absolute truth that God is sovereign, loving and glorious. In ALL things and at all times the great and Living God is to be praised. The scripture quoted below begins the moment Job is told that, not only are all his children dead, but every cent of his wealth gone…. 20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” 22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
What an amazing disposition toward God in the midst of these horrific losses. What an unbelievable statement of faith, while in deep, deep despair – and with no end in sight to his misery. Even in what must have felt like total condemnation from God and rejection by God, Job embraced the one and only eternal truth that will remain after this world burns…God alone is sovereign in all things…and at all times… blessed be His name!
The above passage from Job 1 absolutely destroys the perspective on “christianity” that is held by so many in the western world. Somehow we think that God’s purpose is to bless us and prosper us materially. Here, the wealthiest man in the world loses literally everything he has and loves, and his wife and friends tell him that God is against him and that he should curse God and die…but he refuses. He stands with God in his pain and does not abandon the faith. His hope is not in prosperity or even in earthly health and happiness…his hope is in God alone. His hope was truly in an eternal kingdom that can never, ever be shaken, with the One who made all things and who promises glory, peace and joy forever and ever to those who love him with their hearts, not just their mouths. Surely God was testing Job’s heart by destroying everything…everything he held dear on this earth. Would we pass this test? If we know that we would not, I would go to to quiet place before the Lord, fall on my face and beg Him to transform my heart by his Holy Spirit so that whether he gives – or chooses to take away everything I hold dear, I can say, even in anguish…Blessed be the name of the Lord!!