I was reading through the book of Job again today and was struck by a few thoughts especially the word HOPE! Job suffered much and didn’t have the hindsight as we do as to what was happening to him! He really went to town with God and his friends at times, but out of frustration and lack of understanding rather than pure blame and cursing of God. I know how Job felt and find much comfort and strength as I read this fantastic book.
Here’s a thought :
Job 14:14-15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
“If a man dies, will he live again?
I will wait all the days of my struggle
Until my change and release will come.
“[Then] You will call, and I will answer You;
You will long for [me] the work of Your hands.
Remember, the Old Testament spoke little of the resurrection of the dead. After all Jesus had not yet come, died and rose again. So in the whole of chapter 14 we see much pessimism about suffering and death. However, job has some insights from nature that life does in fact arise out of death. An old rotted seemingly dead tree stump sprouts and sends forth new branches. 14:7-8. A seed falls to the ground and dies, then life springs forth from it. 14:9. And for us in the UK living in a temperate climate, we now enter winter, but we have the hope of Spring in 3-4 months time.
So, despite Job’s pessimism he had [so to speak] budding hope that God in fact can raise the dead and so if he [Job] dies, there is yet hope for him. We all must suffer in some way or another, but we have an advantage over Job! “WE HAVE THE WHOLE STORY!” Not just Job’s but Genesis to Revelation! And if we have Christ, we above all people have fullness of hope. In fact Paul said ‘these three remain FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE.’
And lastly whatever our view of suffering and pain, if we hold only to truth and doctrine our acceptance of it may be superficial! For example, ‘I have faith because the Bible say’s so!’ True, but that kind of faith is untried in the fiery trials of life. Suffering in fact can bring about a dynamic quality to our lives. Drought will cause a tree root to drive down deeper for water, the suffering of an oyster as grit drives it almost insane, covers the grit with [nacre] mother of pearl and creates a beautiful pearl. So suffering can drive us beyond the shallow and superficial in to a deeper dependence upon God.
If like myself you are experiencing a Job moment albeit in a big or small way? There is HOPE. We will come out of the trial as gold comes out of the fiery crucible free of ore, dirt and impurities. They have to be burned off to produce pure gold and theology and doctrine generally don’t do that only the trials of life do! So, hold on, keep moving forward, don’t despair, He will raise you up and He will put a new song in your heart, a testimony to the goodness and faithfulness of God. In fact, I have just had a nudge from Holy Spirit to say to some of you reading this blog…”THERE HAVE BEEN AND ARE SITUATIONS YOU ARE GOING THROUGH THAT ARE DRIVING YOU TO DISTRACTION AND ALMOST INSANITY WITH FRUSTRATION. HE SAY’S HE IS SENDING YOU [SPIRITUAL NACRE] COMFORT IN THE FORM OF PEOPLE AND SOOTHING SITUATIONS. YOU ARE BEING TRANSFORMED IN TO A PEARL OF GREAT PRICE FOR THE MASTER. PEOPLE WILL SEE YOU GO THROUGH THIS AND COME OUT FREE AND RENEWED EVEN WITHOUT THE SMELL OF SMOKE. YOU WILL NO LONGER BE BOUND BUT YOU WILL BE JUMPING AND PRAISING IN THE PRESENCE OF THE MASTER AND YOUR PEERS AND COLLEAGUES WILL SEE THIS AND GLORIFY GOD.