Don't Stop Worshiping!
Lord, help me to know Your heart is always for my good and that I can trust You even when I do not understand.
Read Job 1:1-22
 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.  He had seven sons and three daughters,  and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.  His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.  When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.  One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.  The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”  Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”  “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied.  “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.  But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”  The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.  One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house,  a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby,  and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”  While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”  While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”  While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house,  when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”  At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship  and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”  In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectDo you have peace knowing God allows suffering?
From my perspective, this passage raises more questions than answers about why suffering exists! But Job’s attitude to God in the middle of suffering challenges and instructs me. First, despite his suffering, he both recognizes God’s absolute prerogative to do as he pleases and never doubts that God only ever acts rightly (22).Second, Job is described twice as “blameless and upright,” a man who “fears God and shuns evil” (1,8), with a life of regular praise and worship (5). That doesn’t appear to change. His response to the suffering, which strips away all the supports to his identity and purpose and removes all earthly sources of his joy, is to continue to worship God (20). Thousands of years later, V.R. Edman, fourth president of Wheaton College, was able to say, “Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.” That’s not bad advice (though admittedly hard to follow!) for all of us when we encounter suffering. Hang on to what we know of God’s character, and continue, like Job, to praise him.
Ask God to help you trust him, especially when you don’t understand what’s happening to you or he seems distant.
Faithful God, You are never far off. You are a God who has suffered what we never will and who is near in our suffering.
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