Seeing God in times of sufferings
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
In spite of the fact that Job was described as “blameless and upright man” (Job 1:1), he still realized in the end that he has no righteousness of his own. He came to understand that he did not fully know God. Job recognized in the second part of this confession that “no plan” of God in the future “can be stopped.” Job was learning the lesson Nebuchadnezzar learned centuries later (Dan 4:35): “He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the people of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” With the blessings he had in life before he was struck with trials did not help him recognize God as the source of everything. Only when he went through testing that he came to accept the fact that God is the giver of what he had. “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!” (Job 1:21). He admitted that he knew nothing about God that when he was continually prodded by others to blame God about his sufferings, he gave in. When God gave him wisdom so he could understand what he was going through, he realized that God did not leave him and was always on his side. When he was confronted by the presence of God, he became aware of his unworthiness to stand before him. Just like Isaiah when he experienced the presence of the Almighty, he said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips” (Isaiah 6:5). Job repented of all what he said about God and was willing to “sit in dust and ashes to show repentance.” Job learned valuable lessons when he went through trials in life. No matter how his friend and his wife persuaded him to forsake believing God, the more Job realized that God is trustworthy. It is during times of trials that God reveals clearly His character to us. This provides a great reason to trust Him and seek Him in times of sufferings. Just like Job, you will discover that God is not far from you. Even when everyone in Job’s life abandoned him, God was the only one who was with him. Times of trials are opportunities for us to see God’s clear revelation of Him.