This week we’ve watched Job and his wife walk through some of life’s toughest lessons. Among them: don’t speak for God, don’t speak before God speaks, and don’t hide from God as HE speaks through your pain.
But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought! Job 19:25-27 (NLT)
Putting it mildly, it's been a tough week in the Job household. As Job analyzes the situation, he knows that the circumstances are bleak. He's lost everything he worked so hard to accumulate, including his health, the respect of his friends, and even his wife. And yet he makes a dramatic and strange statement that, to the bystanders, hardly seems to fit the moment, I know that my Redeemer lives....I will see God.
The circumstances say that Job is going down for the third time; his life is in the dumpster. His family is dead, and his wife is looking to collect his insurance money. Job's friends are heaping on the insult that Job has ticked God off so much that it’s all Job’s fault. On top of everything the ulcers of leprosy are oozing his very life's blood.
And through it all Job keeps singing about how his heart yearns within. What gives?
The secret of Job's faith is he knew that pain and suffering are not altogether inconsistent with the love of God. How did he know that? God had placed the reality within Job years before when Job committed his life to the Lord.
The story is told of a sculptor who was working on a bust of Lincoln. Day by day he would only make a few carefully planned strokes with the chisel. Each night the cleaning lady would sweep up the debris, and complain to herself about the sculptor’s mess.
As the bust was nearing completion, the cleaning lady recognized that it was the much admired Abraham Lincoln. She got so excited she came back during the day to watch the sculptor work on it; she just couldn't wait to see it finished. At one point she asked the artist, How did you know Ol' Mister Lincoln was in there? The artist smiled and said, Oh, I didn't really; I just started chiseling-away what didn't seem to belong.
In a lot of ways, that is what happens to a person when he gives his life to God. He is like a block of uncut rock with a masterpiece inside, just waiting to be let out. Mrs. Job didn't see it. Rather she only felt the pain of the Master's chisel; she never trusted the Redeemer's strokes to bring out her beauty.
Are your prayers unanswered? What shall you do while you're waiting?
Don't speak for God, or speak before God speaks; see what His word will say, search it, milk it, and digest it. Don't hide from God; struggle with him as He chisels-away the rubble. And above all, don't forget that He loves you...So much that He died for you.
Life is full of choices every day. In pain the division between those choices boil down to just two: unbelief or faith. In the midst of her pain Mrs. Job screamed unbelief, curse God and die. It was her choice, driven by hard circumstances, to reject God. She was never heard from again. Mr. Job settled on I know MY Redeemer lives. His faith became the first written account of how a person experiences transformation from pain to glory.
Trusting that God loves you will eventually give you answers; answers like,
I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. John 11:25b-26a
For You, Today…
Most of us will never experience the depth of what Job suffered; but we all take our turn with pain.
Let Job’s lessons help you be prepared to settle on faith; faith that God desires to love and help you through even the worst times of your life.