God Is Still Good Even In Moments Like These
UNHURRY HACK: We can’t forget who God is when see or experience suffering.
First Read Job (focus verses: 1:21, 19:25, 28:28, 38:4, 42:3,12)
The book of Job is known for its theme of human suffering, but I wonder too if there isn’t some daily life application hiding in there as well.
Read 10 Take-aways for daily application below I’ve often kept this book of the Bible filed in my mind under “biblical extremes,” as in only needed when experiencing extreme suffering, or just too hard on my heart to read and understand. But that’s just not true.
We need every part of the Bible every single day because every part of the Bible point us to Jesus. I believe that meditating on the book of Job redirects our heart to the daily awe and wonder of our Mighty God, as well as reminds us who and where our true help comes from. From daily disruptions to disaster and devastation, these words are for us today.
God is still good even in moments of suffering, even moments like these…
We can’t forget who God is when see or experience suffering. God will never leave us nor forsake us. He never stops watching over us. God never stops being all-powerful and all-loving. We have to remember this while we read about Job and think upon human suffering. God sees and hears what you and I experience and we can’t lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), but we can lean on the strength and security of Christ's hand that holds ours and bears the pain with us instead. Psalm 121 is a blanket to snuggle up in as you read through all of Job’s 42 chapters. Our help will always come from the Lord.
Where does our help come from? It’s not in the mountains or hills we see…it’s not in scrolling and texting, and it’s not even kept steadfast in the well-meaning conversations among friends. Even these are fallible. Our true help comes from the LORD, and when we cling to the Maker of heaven and earth, His true peace and wisdom permeate our circumstances.
As one of the oldest books in the Bible and part of the wisdom literature in the Bible, we have much to learn. I can’t imagine losing everything dear to me like Job did. Few people can truly say they have lost EVERYTHING. By chapter 2, upright Job lost his wealth and belongings, his household and children, and suddenly finds his own health in crisis. Two words have echoed throughout time and I find myself wondering as well, “Why God?” Why must there even be suffering at all? Surely he didn’t deserve such treatment. Does he? Does she? Do I?
Job tenderly responds to his suffering by saying:
Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will leave this life.
The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord. (Job 1:21)
Later, he also asks “why?”He knew the God he worshipped, but his heart was aching. Try circling all the words “why” and the phrase “if only” in Job’s opening speech. There are many. I so appreciate seeing the raw and vulnerable side of Job and it warns me to not let feelings take the wheel, but to steer into the steadfast nature of God.
This question of “why” can drive us to the Eliaphazs, Bildads, Zophars, and Elihus of today. They’ll tell us what they think and might even dapple statements with enough of God’s Truth to make it believable, but at the end of the day, there is only one All-knowing God. These friends of Job offered much needed company and a listening ear, but then piously felt compelled to explain what their human heart could not understand: It must be you Job, what did you do? What did you forget to do?
We are fixers, aren’t we?
Maybe we should be worshippers instead. (Lord, help me get here)
In place of answers, sometimes we just need to bask in the presence of our Sovereign God.
Job nails it in a prophetic moment of clarity. We don’t have to like our situation and we can be real with God, but we can also cling to how the story (Job’s, yours, and mine) ends: “But I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the end he will stand on the dust” (Job 19:25). Praise God!
Job ironically hoped his story could be etched in stone so that one day maybe his name could be cleared or somehow his suffering could be avenged and redeemed, but it already was (and so is ours) in Jesus Christ.
Your story matters (a trendy and true phrase that we hear a lot these days), but what matters most about your story is the beginning and end. Who is standing on the dust? We can either live suffocated and hopeless underneath it, or victorious with Christ as our Redeemer who stands upon it.
Does your story begin with Christ? When we surrender our heart to the salvation and lordship of Jesus Christ, a victorious story begins and continues in the arms of our Redeemer.
We live in an informational age full of technology and resources at our fingertips, but I think we’ve always been a people desiring explanations. It’s how mankind discovered gravity and the solar system, and the how to bake the best chocolate cookies. That part is not new to the story of Job. Our mind is wired to think and create and solve, but God has always been our answer.
Our Redeemer lives, and one day He is going to stand on all the dust of days!
Are you awe-struck by God’s power? Humbled by His love, grace, and mercy? We can’t explain the “whys” of things so great as these. And we aren’t asked to, only to trust that the bigger picture (the one God sees) of His glory and reason are perfect.
When you take God out of the equation or jump ahead, it always leaves room for error. Caution lights should begin to flash when we rely wisdom of the world. O Lord that my heart would default to seek YOU first and stay there! Every human word we hear must be measured up against the perfect safety and accuracy of the Word of God. Jesus is our plumb-line, not the thoughts and measures of this world.
In a hymn to wisdom in Job 28, we see once again that the worship of God should be the place our heart and mind should camp out and stay. “Where then does wisdom come from and where is understanding located? (verse 20). The answer comes a few verses later, “The fear of the Lord--that is wisdom.” (verse 28). There it is again, that daily awe and wonder in worship of our amazing God.
Unhurry my heart Lord to stay at your feet in worship so that I can navigate both the good and the bad with a heart of praise.
We can learn and trust God’s character, but as Job learns, perhaps we aren’t always meant to figure out God or His ways. “Where were you when I established the earth” (Job 38:4), God asks Job (and us). After listening, Job concludes that God’s ways “they are too wondrous for me to know” (Job 42:3). What a good reminder that we aren’t God and that our human conclusions are so limited and small.
There is a great God with a great glory who reminds us often not to lean on our own understanding, but instead to stand with our Redeemer in the midst of it all. What a loving God we have who draws near to us in our Job moments of suffering and our Job moments of anger & sulking. And only our loving amazing good, good God would end a story like Job’s with restoration and blessing. It’s ours too, and that’s standing on the dust my friends!
So the Lord blessed the last part of Job’s life more than the first. (Job 42:12)
10 take-aways from the book of Job:
Human understanding is limited and not always accurate.
Counsel and close friends can’t ever take the place of God’s Word and Truth.
Ultimately we may never understand WHY, but we can always stand firm in WHO.
God still draws near to us even in our ugliest moments.
In true surrender, every gift or daily blessing we receive belongs to God anyway.
Our Heavenly Father is good and loving.
God’s character is not determined by my circumstances.
It is important to read scripture in context.
We can be real and vulnerable with God and ask Him questions, but must also rest in His perfect sovereignty.
In Christ we truly have all we need.
JOIN ME IN PRAYER TODAY:
Dear Lord, you are all-wise and all-powerful, and even in the moments I can’t understand like suffering and injustice, help me remember that I can trust YOU. You are a good God, and a you are a good Father. You still love this beautiful broken world and in Christ you are making all things new. Praise be to your matchless Name, one day all suffering will end and only your glory will remain. In Jesus Name, Amen.