Patience and Suffering – Job continued

This week has been particularly hard. It’s been hard for me, hard for my family, hard for faith. I know it’s been a while since I’ve written so I wanted to share.

My grandmother was put in the hospital a week ago – family was called in to say goodbye. I could explain all the symptoms to you, the reality is that the “life” she has right now is gone. Working in the medical field for as long as I have it is evident to me that she will not make a full recovery. The family will have to watch as she slowly passes. It’s painful to watch and hard to understand why God doesn’t just give her peace.

During my time with my family, sitting in the hospital for long days, I felt God pushing me to read Job. I have wanted to read Job for a long time – not sure why I delayed but here are some thoughts I have for the first few chapters.

  1. Job 1:1b “That man was blameless and upright and God-fearing and turning away from evil.” 
  •  This verse tells me a lot about Job. He followed God no matter what. It never says he wasn’t tempted but that he consistently turned away from evil. He did his best to never go against God.

2. Job 1:13 – 19 “13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants[a] with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”

  • Notice – that’s a lot to process. Satan didn’t take it one step at a time. He didn’t take little bits. He took as much as he could as soon as he could. The few things that stood out to me about this passage was:
    • It was the beginning of Job’s testing. 
    • Satan never uses half measures – he deliberately sends more than he thinks we can handle until we are overwhelmed and angry – this allows our wall of defense to weaken and him to break us down.

3. Job 1:20-22 “20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”

  • Points to this verse are simple:
    • Job acted, not reacted. He took captive his emotions and brought them before the Lord.
    • He worshipped through it all. He understood that only God could heal the hurt he had. No food, wine, or company would work. Sometimes we spend a lot of time simply trying to find a way to numb the pain. Sometimes it’s better to embrace it and let the natural healing of God take place.
    • He didn’t sin or blame God with being wrong. Sometimes when we are hurting we blame God. He knew that God was doing something bigger and trusted him to do so. I’m not saying we can’t call out to God but blaming him and saying it’s his fault – humanity loves to blame people. We always need a “scape-goat”.

Maybe crap just happens and life just sucks and it’s all because sin is in the world and we don’t need another reason. Maybe it’s time to stop blaming and trying to find somewhere to place whatever is hurting and it’s time to simply say “God I’ve had enough grief and loneliness stealing my peace of mind. I want to be happy and have joy. teach me.” We are called as Christians to live differently so maybe – it’s time to stop complaining and start living victoriously knowing that this life is only temporary. All I could think while I was with my family and reading Job was of these verses:

Romans 5:2-5: “Through Him we also have access by faith into this [remarkable state of] grace in which we [firmly and safely and securely] stand. Let us rejoice in our [a]hope andthe confident assurance of [experiencing and enjoying] the glory of [our great] God [the manifestation of His excellence and power]. And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation]. Such hope [in God’s promises] never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

 

Suffering brings patience, patience brings endurance, endurance brings proven character, character brings hope and hope points us back to Christ’s promises. The suffering seems worth it to me now.