Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Lord Gives...

My questions have not been answered, but my faith has grown.  I do not know the "why's" of life, but I have no doubts about WHO.  I'm still totally in love with the book of Job and I've really come to view it as a love letter from God to His faithful, hurting people.

There's so much treasure on the book of Job.  I think about Job...A LOT.  I think it's interesting that God tells us, not just once but THREE times, in the opening that Job was blameless.  Job feared God and he turned away from evil.  Job's suffering was not connected to sin in any way.

And he loves God.  He knows God.  His first response, his instinct, is to immediately trust God.  He knows God is sovereign.  Job starts with faith, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I shall return.  The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21

Isn't that the basic response of Christians?  It's part of us...innate.  Of course we trust the Lord.  It's so easy to spend our lives saying, "God's got this."  "God is in control."  "God has a purpose and a plan."  "God knows what He's doing."  And it's all true.

But sometimes in this life things happen that we can't even fathom.  God's plan for us includes things we NEVER imagined He would ask us to walk through.  The pain seems unbearable and it catches us off guard.  We begin to question... Maybe we question God's goodness.  Maybe we question His plan.  Maybe we question His authority.  This is why Job is such a wonderful book.  Job walks through the darkest of places when reality sinks in.  He asks hard questions.  Moral questions.  Theological questions.  Philosophical questions.  Real questions.  He is accusatory of his friends, who are not compassionate, understanding, or helpful.  He actually questions God's ways, God's will, God's justice.

And, of course, in the end, God answers him and Job is humbled.  He realizes God is more than he could possibly conceive.  He repents and is restored into fellowship with God.  What Job comes back to in the end is that there is nothing but trust in God.

I think one of the great things that Job provides us is to encourage us to ask the big questions.  To ask those questions and let Him strengthen our faith, our trust.  We may never have answers.  Our circumstances may not change.  We would not be able to understand it, even if God gave us answers.

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