We walked through the book of Job for our time together on Sunday. And what a walk it was!
Here are some of my thoughts on Job:
I think most of us struggle with the book of Job for a few reasons:
Job’s suffering is intense and we don’t like to see someone going through hard times.
The book of Job flips suffering on its head in that normally we tend to think of the unrighteous suffering because of their deeds. But here, from the very beginning of the book, it is the righteous who suffer. God points out Job to Satan precisely because Job is a righteous man, who feared God and turned from evil.
This book challenges us in our humanity. How do we respond to suffering? Would we hold on to our integrity even in such hard times? Or, maybe I should ask, do we hold on to our integrity in the Lord?
But I also think that the book of Job might be more of an encouragement than most of us initially consider it to be. Here’s why I think that:
Job’s journey reminds us that God is in control. Life can often feel the opposite but the first two chapters and the last five chapters show us clearly that God is Sovereign.
Spiritual battle is filtered and limited by God.
God loves Job, which is a reminder to us that God loves us!
God speaks to Job and Job responds with confession, repentance and obedience. That’s a good model for us!
Job got to know God better through the journey of suffering.
We can be encouraged because we are New Testament believers. We have Jesus! We have His peace (John 14:27), His presence (Matt. 28:20), His love (1 John 4:16) and His Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) in our lives.
Job reminds us that we’re not the only ones suffering. Suffering has a way of making the world close in on us but this book helps refute that.
One final thought, Job’s three friends were horrible comforters! Job even tells them as much (16:2). As followers of Jesus, who know His grace and mercy, let us be ambassadors and vessels of His mercy to those around us who live in a hurting world. His grace and mercy are the healing balm that the folks around us so desperately need. And, just as God pointed out the righteous Job, God would testify centuries later that He was pleased with His Beloved Son, Jesus, at Jesus’ baptism. Jesus, as we know, would go on to suffer and die on our behalf. Three days later He changed the world with His resurrection. So, let us say along with Job, “For I know that my Redeemer lives (19:25).”
We can face tomorrow…because He lives!