When God sends us something good we welcome it. How can we complain when He sends us trouble ?”– Job 2:10 (GNT)
Many times over the years I’ve heard or read the following statement: “He had the patience of Job.” Since I really just started reading the Bible back in June, I was never quite sure what that statement meant. Well, I just finished reading the Book of Job today. And now I have a little better idea of its meaning and can think of many ways it applies to our lives today.
Looking back, we can all remember times in our lives when something didn’t quite go our way. For example, did you not get the raise you were expecting at work ? Or realize we’d have to skip that vacation we were planning this year, because we couldn’t afford it ? And maybe we thought, “How come everyone else is getting a raise or making more money than me ? Why do they get to go to Florida and I’m stuck here this winter ?”
There’s an important characteristic about these types of wishes….they add to our lives. By not getting that raise or taking that vacation, we’re not really losing anything or having something taken away from us. Even so, we question why just the same.
But how many of us have lost ALL of our possessions and family – in one day ? And then, on that same day, had the faith and found the strength to exclaim the following:
“The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” – Job 1:21 (NIV)
Satan followed up that first test of Job’s faith by afflicting him with a blistering skin disease. And yet Job continued to remain faithful. Now I realize that the majority of the Book of Job centers around his questioning of God. And it took Job a long time to realize, even as his friends debated him, that even though He remained silent, God was still with Job. When the time was right, God spoke and answered him. Job’s faith was then restored in full, and God blessed him with twice as much as he had before.
The main lesson I’ve taken from Job today is that many of us jump the gun quickly when things don’t go according to plan – our plan anyway. We question why about things that in Job’s world would have been considered great luxuries. His losses in terms of possessions and family were almost incomprehensible, and yet his first reaction was to praise God.
Something to think about.