Job, thought to be the oldest writing in the Old Testament, is one of my favorite books. Some say it is an allegory contrasting man’s finiteness with God’s infinite, sovereign character. Some say it is the real life account of a man named Job. I say it is comforting and inspiring.

At this point, some of you have stopped reading. Others are reading on to see how crazy I am. There are a few who want to find the same comfort in this story of complete devastation.

I find it to be comforting for a couple of reasons. It is a relief to me that life does not follow the retribution principle. This philosophy was prevalent in the Ancient Near East. It said that good things happen to good people; bad things happen to bad people. In other words, if you experienced some kind of hardship or failure in your life, you had done something wrong. If you experienced blessing and prosperity, you had done something good. Well, I know for a fact that isn’t true. I look around and see people who live without integrity or goodness and they are some of the most prosperous people in my community. And others who walk with beauty and integrity all day long are struggling to make it.

Secondly, it is comforting to me to know there is a God who is bigger than my imagination. He lives outside of the box I want to put him in and he is not confined to what I can understand and explain. I want God to be personal and close, but also bigger than my imagination. Otherwise, he would look a lot like me and I am no god.

In my Story, I find these verses from Job to be pivotal. I share them here as a source of comfort for anyone in a tough part of their Story.

Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.

Job 1:20-22

Here are my takeaways from this passage:

  1. His response to difficulty was to worship. I want to have that be my first response as well.
  2. Job knew where his wealth came from and that it was ultimately the possession of the One who gave it. I want to keep a proper perspective on everything I have and live with open hands.
  3. Job never sinned by blaming God with wrong doing. When hard times hit it’s easy to shake my fist at heaven. I never want to blame God for doing wrong in my life.

“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!”

Job 19:25-27

Here are my takeaways from this passage:

  1. In the midst of difficulty, Job never lost sight of his Redeemer. I also know that my Redeemer lives and I believe he will stand on the earth again.
  2. Job did not see this life as the end. I expect to see God with my own eyes!
  3. Job’s response to seeing God was overwhelming amazement. The thought of eternity and being with God forever is overwhelming in a good way to me! It is my HOPE!

Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”

Job 42:1-6

Here are my takeaways from this passage:

  1. Job admitted he was speaking about things he didn’t understand. I want to live with humility, admitting that I know very little.
  2. Job acknowledged the difference between knowing about God and knowing God. I want to KNOW GOD; I don’t want to just know alot about God.
  3. He responded with repentance. I want to be quick to repent when I have gone astray and misunderstood what God is up to.

For those readers who stuck with me this long…my prayer is that, in the midst of difficulty, you will be able to acknowledge God’s sovereignty and omniscience and be comforted by His greatness.

And just maybe you want to read the whole book of Job.

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