I wanna talk about Job today. Just for the sake of the discussion, I’m going to assume someone is reading this who has never heard of Job. Job is a character in the Bible; he actually has his own book in the First Testament. If I were to boil Job’s story down it would sound like this:
Job was a good man and loved God. Satan wanted to make Job curse and deny God so God allowed Satan to test Job. In one day, in just a short time span of that day, Job lost his fortune, his family, and his fitness…but never his faith.
That’s the HYPER-condensed story of Job (I would encourage you to click here and go read the entire book of Job if you haven’t before.) When people read the story of Job there are two usual responses: 1) look how holy Job was! and/or 2) look what God allowed Job to go through.
Now, I admit to feeling both of these, but tend to greatly falling into the second camp. Look what God allowed Job to go through at the hands of satan! How could the good God I love allow things like that? And if He allowed them to happen to Job…does that mean that God is always like, “Sure satan! Maggie could use some testing today!”? I had accepted, like so many, that this was something that I just wasn’t going to understand, that it was always going to bug me and be a bit of a burden.
But then today. Today, I was approached with the story of Job in a book I am reading. In this book, my brain was finally approaching the story of Job in a new way, and this new approach allowed God to say something to my heart that has been in this story since the very beginning, since Job survived it!
Quit seeing what God allowed Job to go through.
Start seeing what God equipped Job to get through.
Mic drop. Holy Spirit mic drop. Folks, I’m equal parts amazed at this powerful truth and down trodden that I never looked at it that way before. Sure, we can set up camp on that first phrase and live in fear of God and His maniacal whims (which doesn’t match up with the God of Scripture) OR we can focus on the second phrase.
God equipped Job to survive (and even thrive) through the loss of his children, his livestock, his health, his relationship with his wife, and even his closest friends. God didn’t make the way for Job to suffer through it…but survive through it.
I won’t deny that there will be times when you are going through things. I also won’t be arrogant enough to try and explain away why the infinite God of the universe would allow some things to happen. What I will be audacious enough to remind you of today is this: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11, ESV). I don’t know what you’re in today. I don’t know what you are going through…but I do know the God who is going to get you through. He has plans for you that include “a future and a hope”.
Our burdens become so much less burdensome when we stop focusing on what we’re going through and instead fix our eyes on who will get us through.