A friend and I were talking tonight about the Book of Job. Part of this post is something that she was talking about because of a sermon from her Pastor that she heard on Sunday, and most of it is my own thoughts, stimulated by our conversation and where God has me right now in life.
Sometimes when we face hard things and situations we don't understand, it is often that we want to ask God "Why?" it is happening. It may not be wrong to ask "why," we just may not get the exact specific answer that we hope to get.
What WE DO KNOW IS THAT TRIALS OF VARIOUS KINDS are used to shape and transform us in various ways regarding our perseverance, character, and faith (TRUST) in God and who He is. We learn valuable lessons in the hard places----if we allow God to do so. Gold is refined by going through the fire.
So in the Book of Job, we see Job's situation ---that he loses everything, his wife telling him to curse God and die (bad idea), and his friends that also come along with lots of words and poor advice----which we can learn from that the best thing to do many times when people are hurting or suffering is to be quiet and just be there.
Anyways, it is interesting because at the end of the book, God talks to Job and asks Job a whole bunch of questions---questions that for nearly four chapters POINT JOB BACK TO WHO GOD IS RATHER THAN ANSWERING WHY EVERYTHING HAPPENED!! God never told Job about his conversations with Satan---that is background knowledge that we are told whereas Job is not told of that to our knowledge.
You see that is what God wants to truly do with us in the midst of our various trials, struggles, and tribulations---THEY ARE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE POINTED BACK TO HIM---BACK TO WHO HE IS AND TO KNOW HIM DEEPER AS A RESULT!!! I am facing some things right now---and God is using my situation in my life to DO EXACTLY THAT---Because I am willing. ANYTHING IS WORTH IT IF IT DRAWS US CLOSER TO HIM!!!
We see Job's response to all of God's questions when he says, Job 42:1- "Then Job replied to the LORD : "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. "You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.' My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes."
You see, JOB KNEW GOD DIFFERENTLY AND MORE INTIMATELY AS A RESULT OF GOING THROUGH HIS SUFFERING.....and yet he still didn't and never would have all of the answers!
May we respond the same--recognizing and intimately knowing that GOD IS GOD and He has the absolute control and right to do whatever HE WANTS in our lives----and yet to know we can trust Him that HE WILL NOT ALLOW ANYTHING INTO OUR LIVES BUT WHAT IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST FOR US SO THAT WE MAY BECOME LIKE HIM. And at the same time, whatever He allows into our lives is so that HE might get the complete and ultimate glory through it all.
Can we TRUST Him to do that? Today, I can....and tomorrow may He give me the grace sufficient to the moment thereof to be able to do so!!!!
And just a side note that it is interesting that God shows His displeasure of how Job's three friends responded because in Job 42:7 they had not "spoken of Me (God) what was right." Wow!!!
Another good question for us:
Whether we are going through trials or comforting someone else in the midst of them are we thinking of God and "speaking of GOD what is right?"...in a manner that is appropriate and reflects the truth of who He is?? Something for each one of us to think about..myself included.
So THE ANSWER TO OUR QUESTION OF "Why?" is not really what matters, although we may ask it and not always or we may never actually get the answer---THE QUESTIONS ARE:
1) Will we allow our trials of various kinds to bring us closer to God and into a deeper and intimate relationship with Him regardless of the outcome of the current struggles or situations in our lives?
2) Will we choose to speak what is right of God in the midst of our situation because He IS unchanging regardless of what happens to us? As I write this I am realizing for myself that "not speaking what is right of God" is sin.
3) Will we realize that it is all about HIS GLORY AND WHAT HE SEES AS BEST--and truly surrender recognizing it isn't about US at all?
4) Will we recognize that our unique set of trials and life experiences are there to help someone else along life's pathway that will face either the same or a similar situation in the future----and the variety of unique things we have faced give us unique opportunities we may have to help someone else? (Thank You Melanie R.!)
When we recognize that God is sovereign and in ABSOLUTE CONTROL and truly believe that, we can say no matter what "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away--blessed be the NAME OF THE LORD!!!" Job 1:20-21 says, "At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 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." In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
Wow--I was convinced of the truth of that "not charging God with wrongdoing" before I actually read this--neat huh!!!