Aren’t you glad you’re not Job? I have been reading the Old Testament book of Job again recently and it struck me that I have no idea what I might do if I were walking through Job’s trials. Job was described by God himself as “...the finest man in all the earth...blameless—a man of complete integrity…" (Job 1:8 New Living Translation) Yet God allowed Job to wade through some of the darkest waters anyone could face. His children were all wiped out in a day. He lost his fortune, then he lost his health. Suddenly all he had left was a wife who told him, “Curse God and die,” and three “friends” who kept telling him his troubles must be what he deserved. Before the story is over, Job doubted and questioned God. He judged God for letting him go through the pain. He seemed to almost lose faith…until God himself spoke to him.
You and I are regularly in danger of being like Job. We may not experience the same level of trials Job went through, but we are in danger of giving up hope that God loves us and cares for us. Trials have a way of filling us with “Why?” questions.
- Why is this happening to me?
- Why is God not answering my prayers?
- Why can’t I seem to experience God’s presence anymore?
- Why is my life falling apart?
- Why can’t I get along with the people I love?
- Why have my friends abandoned me?
It’s easy to wonder why a God of love and mercy and grace and hope and forgiveness could seemingly abandon a man he called blameless. After all, if God could abandon Job, he might abandon me, too! In reality, though, GOD DIDN’T ABANDON JOB! In fact, it seems that one of God’s purposes was to work through Job to show the rest of us that he is ALWAYS FAITHFUL, even when we feel forsaken. If you carefully read the story, you will discover that the end of Job finds the man even more blessed than he was at the beginning.
God wants you to know that he hasn’t forgotten you. No matter how much you have messed up nor how many times you have lost your faith, he is still there for you. And he promises his children that their future is one of hope…even if they are at the very end of life.
The “Why?” questions are a fitting finale to our “Spring Cleaning” series this weekend at Stone Ridge Church. In addition to anchoring to God’s Word about our “whys”, we will offer everyone who needs it a chance to receive prayer. It’s time for your hope to be rekindled, so join us and bring some friends! Can’t make it? Make sure you catch the podcast!