Day 24 - Finding Wisdom and Beauty Amidst Suffering (Job 19-21) - Year 2
January 24, 2024 - 22 min
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- Job 19-21
WORD OF THE DAY:
Have you ever experienced an epiphany, that 'aha' moment when everything becomes clear? I had one of those moments this week. Until recently, I had avoided delving into the Book of Job, finding it challenging to connect with a story where a loving God allowed immense suffering to befall Job. It seemed as though God had given Satan free rein, all at Job's expense.
But in the past few days, my perspective has shifted. I realized that God had such confidence in Job's faith that He boasted about him. God knew that amidst the pain, Job would contemplate the deeper aspects of spirituality.
I often process my thoughts through writing, and during my morning work on a new book, I penned this: "With every challenge, there's a lesson and a blessing. On life's imperfect, winding path, each step is an opportunity for growth and a deeper connection with God. It's about uncovering wisdom and beauty woven into the fabric of our everyday lives, even when it feels frayed and worn. Our pain isn't merely a lesson; it's a lifeline. It's a reminder that in our imperfections, amid the chaos, we are not only deeply loved by God but also being shaped by Him."
God's love for Job was so profound that He allowed Job to be tested, demonstrating to others how a faithful man responds to adversity. God understood that, in wrestling with questions, Job would find that trust in God, not necessarily understanding, is the ultimate answer.
We often wonder why the wicked prosper, growing old and powerful while we observe their blessings. This outward perspective can lead to jealousy. We may covet what they have, even if they've lived their lives contrary to God's ways. Consider Job—a righteous man who obeyed God but lost everything. Suffering can be a profoundly isolating experience, like walking through fire that threatens to consume us.
Two verses particularly resonated with me:
"My relatives stay far away, and my friends have turned against me. My family is gone, and my close friends have forgotten me." (Job 19:13–14)
Reading these words, my heart aches. Enduring hardship is challenging, but feeling alone amplifies the pain. Initially, people rush to offer support during a crisis, but as time passes, they often become uncertain about how to continue providing assistance. I confess that I've been guilty of this as well. Sympathy and empathy have a limited shelf life. Yet, we should never lose hope. The second verse speaks to us:
"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)
Despite feeling forgotten by friends, Job knew he would never be abandoned by God. Even if his earthly life didn't improve, he looked forward to eternity with God. Through his suffering, Job encountered God in profound ways.
Today, when we hear the term "Redeemer," we instantly think of Jesus. Yet, we should remember that Job's story dates back to Abraham's time. The Hebrew word for "Redeemer" is "Goel," denoting the next of kin responsible for redeeming, ransoming, or avenging those in debt, bondage, or family disputes.
Even as Job's friends accused him, he called upon God to avenge his predicament. In Hebrew, it is phrased as "I know my living Redeemer." The inclusion of "my" emphasizes Job's personal relationship with God. God revealed Himself to Job and granted him understanding. In essence, Job declared, "My Redeemer is alive, is now, and I intimately know Him."
Today, we understand that Jesus is the answer to our redemption, allowing us to also claim God as "mine." What's even more remarkable is that God claimed Job as "mine" first, trusting him to remain steadfast. As we nurture our relationship with God, we too can confidently declare, "My Redeemer is alive, is now, and I know Him."
Word of the day: Pause. To halt or rest in action or speech...
Zophar, in Job's story, said, "I must reply because I am greatly disturbed." This resonates with me, especially in challenging discussions with friends facing difficulties. I've realized that I don't need to respond immediately; instead, I should turn to God, pray for wisdom, and provide space for Him to work. During a conversation with Ron Deal, a therapist who leads FamilyLife Blended and has experienced the loss of a young son, he shared valuable insights. He advised being a supportive friend in