There is always a time in life we are confronted with tensions and sufferings, faced with difficulties of life. As Christians faithful to God, we wonder why. We, often times question God; “why me?” Thinking about it thoroughly, you discover it’s the really faithful ones that encounter a lot of challenges, and then they just wonder why such things happen to them. Is it happenstance or there is a mysterious reason why?
A typical example of faithfulness and total submission to God was evident in the life of Job. The Bible described him as “perfect and upright, and one that feared God and eschewed evil”. The description alone will confirm to you he was TOTALLY loyal to God in all ramifications; okay, knowing this is exactly God desires from Christians, why then did Job suffer total disaster? Why did he lose all his children and property?
The book of Job, Chapter 23- Job presented the tensions that confronted him. He was literally suffering. Reading the whole chapter, you will find out how upright this man really was. He lamented, yes he did, but then what was his conclusion? Let’s go through some of the verses; in verses 3, 8 and 9, Job acknowledged that God is everywhere and hears prayers, but the constancy of unanswered prayers but the inability to get through to Him stand in apparent contradiction of this truth (God is everywhere and hears prayers).
In verses 4, 6 and 7, he recognized and admitted God is just, He administers justice, but then, how can that justice and the intense suffering relate to each other? It seems a mystery. Does it imply he was being punished for an unknown sin he committed? In verses 11 & 12, he affirmed how loyal and submissive he was to God, stating how he esteemed the words of God’s mouth more than his necessary food. He went ahead to confirm one basic truth in verse 13; that God does whatever he wants to do and no one can stop Him. Next verse, he testified to this truth; God fulfills what He has planned. These two verses are somewhat related. It might take a long or short while, but no matter what, God’s plan will be fulfilled. This plan can never be evil, right? Jeremiah 29:11. So, where the suffering fits in and what the purpose is, is difficult to discern. Job knew that God is a self-revealing God, a God of light, who delights in making Himself known, but the silence that occurred throughout the suffering enshrouded Job in silent darkness.
He relieved these tensions with two truths, even in the midst of the confusion. Firstly, in verse 10, “God knows the way that I take: when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold”. The difficulties might become overwhelming, friends may condemn and leave you, but God knows the integrity of our faith. This integrity, beyond the suffering, will be vindicated. Secondly, true faith in God is not silenced. God may seem silence, even in the midst of the turbulence, but true faith still cries out to Him. This true faith knows it is OK to express fear, agony and confusion. It knows it is okay to cry. No matter how tempting it becomes, do not give in to Satan’s ploy, let your faith in God stand, our ultimate confidence in Him is all He wants. Job ended well.