Job was a righteous man who feared God. He had the reputation of ‘the greatest man’ of his generation. God allowed the devil to attack Job. He lost all his reputation, his wealth, his children and his health. His marriage and his friends were almost gone. Job wanted to die but God restrained him. He had to pass thru this peculiar furnace of unmerited grief so that the secret of his heart might be revealed to him. His complaints reveal hidden pride, secret fears and doubts that are common to all believers.
Job believed in Almighty God who created the universe. But he was unable to believe that the same God is personally interested in him as a friend.
‘Even if I summoned Him and He responded I do not believe He would give me a hearing…’
Job believed in Almighty God. But he was unable to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of Man, High Priest and Intercessor.
‘God is not a man like me…If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both; someone to remove God’s wrath from me so that His terror would frighten me no more…’
*No joy! No heaven!
Job believed in God who lives in heaven. But he lacked the assurance of salvation. He did not believe that in God’s presence there is fullness of joy, which is independent of the circumstances. He did not believe that God’s chastisement is His choice method to purify the soul. He assumed that God’s wrath means punishment without mercy. He doubted his salvation assuming that after all this suffering, he will end in hell.
‘Are not my few days almost over? Turn away from me so I can have a moment’s joy before I go to the place of no return… to the land of deepest night, of deep shadow and disorder, where even the light is darkness’ (Job 1:1-3; 9:16, 32-35; 10:20-22)
This is my letter to you…
I was once just like you, confident of my righteousness and having my own invented hope. I did not believe that the Almighty God ‘has time’ for me. I did not believe that He can stop from His busy schedule and notice me, a worm; a shadow on the earth He has created. I too did not see the value of my soul. I thought that prayer is a waste of time. I thought the believers are deceived to entrust their hopes to fake imaginations. That is why for many years I did not pray at all. I trusted myself and not another. I had no need of God. I chose to make myself happy thru hard work and a good name. I did not believe in God or devils, in heaven or in hell. I thought that the spirits’ realm is a fantasy, the product of men’s imagination.
I never truly considered the possibility that above all the stars that blink at night, God might exist. I never sat down to think that God might be interested in my personally, as a Friend. All these thoughts seem too good to be true and I did not want to inflate my hopes with dreams that are not real. So doubt was my religion; unbelief my doctrine and hard work my agenda. My family, my country people, they too did not believe in God. So why will I be different than my entire world?
My letter to you could have ended with that simple question. It could have been sealed with the bitterness and the frustration of life. But the truth is so much different than all my fears and doubts…
This is the truth that I have personally found: God has come down to me and He has saved my soul. He has totally defeated my fears, my unbelief and my rebellion. I am now in Christ ‘a new creation’. He that made the stars, made me anew. Jesus Christ, the Son of Man and the Son of God died for me on a cross. He saved my soul and healed my body. He filled me with His personal peace and eternal joy. He gave me a new song to sing. He made an eternal romantic poet out of the scientific me. He freed me from men’s expectations and judgments. Jesus became the Intercessor I never dreamed about. He is now my God, my High Priest and best of all, He is my friend forever.
I encourage you to be patient in all your trials, for at last, your faith will become better than gold. God knows you personally, not only your pastor or your governor, but He knows you! He knows exactly when you woke up this morning. He knows your anxious thoughts and your fear of failure. He knows about your job, your boss, your salaries and bonuses. He knows about your loans and your desire to pay them off. He knows your weight and all about your headaches. He knows about your loneliness and fear of poverty. He knows all things because He is God!
Honor God by totally trusting Him in everything! ‘The end of the matter is better than the beginning’ for God will make it so (Ecc 7:8). You may not understand now the value of these trials but later, looking back, you shall see the change in your character and you shall worship God. Do not jump to conclusions based on appearances, for these can deceive and hurt you. Do not judge anything half way down the road. Wait patiently until you reach the destination, for everything has a purpose, that God may be glorified.
Dear Job, let your sadness become joy! Unknown beauty shall suddenly bloom from this heap of ashes! Use your hands to clap and your mouth to sing! Praise God, for there is still hope for you! I know it for I was there!
Glory to the Lamb who was slain!