God’s Purpose in Suffering
Today’s reading: Job 22:1-25:6
My selection: Job 23:8-10
8 “ Behold, I go forward, but he is not there,
and backward, but I do not perceive him;
9 on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him;
he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
My reflections: Job’s suffering covers every area of his life. He suffers loss of material possessions, bereavement of all his children, physical agony through his disease, and the criticism and rejection of his wife and former friends. What does he have left? Certainly all he has is his faith in God.
But that is enough. When all else is gone Job trusts in the Lord.
In this passage Job shows that he is neither in denial nor in despair. He admits that he cannot see God. He doesn’t understand what God is doing. But he does understand why God is doing it.
God is testing him, trying him, to produce a purer follower. God knows Job’s life. He knows what is happening with Job and how Job is handling it. God has not lost control of or contact with the man who He held up to Satan as an example of faith and obedience.
This theme is echoed loudly in the New Testament. The Apostle Peter writes: In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:6-7).
God is glorified when His people praise Him in the midst of blessings and prosperity. But how much more He is glorified when His people praise Him in the midst of suffering and need.
My challenge: Praise God in the pain and suffering you experience today. He has a purpose and you will come forth as gold.
Tomorrow’s reading: Job 26:1-31:40