Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.
Does the critic still want to dispute Shaddai? Let him who wants to correct God give an answer!”Job 40:2 (CJB)
I’m going to begin today’s post by sharing some quotes from Job:
- “Then Adonai answered Job out of the storm; ‘Who is this, darkening my plans with his ignorant words?'” (38:1-2).
- “Where were you when I founded the earth? Tell me if you know so much” (38:4).
- “You know, of course, because you were born then; by now you must be very old!” (38:21)
- “Who has given me anything and made me pay it back? Everything belongs to me under all of heaven” (41:3).
The older I get the more I really love the book of Job. It speaks to me. This time around, what has stood out to me is how God responds to Job.
God is never mean to Job, but He is certainly firm. He begins His discussion with Job by asking the question: “Who is this who gives dark counsel, with words, without knowledge?” In other words, “Who are you, Job, and why are you speaking such ignorant things?” Then God proceeds to ask Job questions that prove God is the Boss and Job is not. And, honestly, some of the questions God asks are hilarious. I can hear God’s sarcasm when He says to Job, “You know, of course, because you were born then; by now you must be very old!” (emphasis mine).
The problem is Job is myopic and he does not trust God. God is the One and only God, and He has a plan. He has always had a plan. From the very second He brought control to Chaos, God has had a plan for everything, including Job. But Job, like all of us, could only see a piece of God’s plan through his myopic, self-focused perspective. This is not to say Job’s suffering isn’t unfair and totally awful. It was. BUT GOD.
We, the readers, know God had a plan for Job because we get to read the beginning of Job where we see God and the Adversary discussing Job, and we are privy to God’s allowance of the Adversary to do bad things to and against Job. We get to see more of the plan than Job does. And we know that all the pain and suffering of Job leads to a part of God’s plan being fulfilled…His plan for Job, the man himself. But this is a really good notion for us all. Just like with Job, God has a plan for us, too.
You see, I believe we are all Job. God has plans for us all, we are all a bit myopic in our own right, AND we all hate pain and suffering and trials and tribulations. No one I know ever gets excited and happy when bad things happen. I am not a fan when life feels painful and scary and sad. I am not a fan of trials and tribulations. But they are inevitable. If we make it onto this planet, Jesus has assured in the Gospels that trials and tribulations will come to us all (John 16).
Yes, trials and tribulations are guaranteed BUT Jesus gives us HOPE: “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 ESV). I think this is the piece Job misses…God’s PEACE.
This brings me to the verse I quoted at the very start of this post, and my overall point for today: “Does the critic still want to dispute God?” I feel like this question is a warning to us all, and not just something God spoke to Job. Life is hard. For some it’s even harder than hard. But no matter what, God is the Boss. He is in control of EVERYTHING including what He allows to hurt us. You read that right, including what He ALLOWS to hurt us. We need to trust Him and His plan even when it doesn’t make sense. Even when we want to raise our fists to the heavens and scream at Him. We need to trust God. We are not His critics. We are His kids. He is a good, good Father, and ultimately His plans for us are plans for welfare and not for evil, to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV). Again, as I say in a lot of these Thursday posts, if your are struggling today GO TO GOD. Tell Him your struggles and then TRUST HIM to see you through. Don’t become God’s critic. That really never turns out well for anyone.