An Unlikely Response
By: Jill Briscoe
Job, incredibly, does not declare war on God when disaster comes but rather responds in worship. That’s right—in worship! “The Lord gave me everything I had, and they were his to take away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21, TLB).
It may strike you as a little weird that someone could lose everything he owns, as well as all his children, and say, “Praise the Lord,” but we need to look a little bit closer to get the real impact of Job’s amazing response. His trouble is the same trouble that comes to all of us, the just and the unjust, because of that original sin in the Garden of Eden. Job had actually wondered why God had kept the inevitable results of the Fall from visiting him for so long! He had been waiting for the sky to fall on his head for a long time: “What I always feared has happened to me. I was not fat and lazy, yet trouble struck me down” (Job 3:25-26, TLB).
Some commentators believe Job had lived at least seventy years in peace and tranquility up to this point. But even though he resided in a wild environment, among roving bands of cattle thieves and vagabonds, when trouble first came to Job, he did not ask why, but rather, why not—because he knew trouble was to be expected. He understood that the Lord may well give, or the Lord may well take away. In accepting this, Job found a measure of peace when trouble eventually came, and he refused to charge God with wrongdoing. He would not interpret this trouble as proof of a flaw in God’s perfect nature. He insisted that God is a holy God and has a perfect right to give or to withhold his blessing and protection. And so Job passed his first test with flying colors.
Would you have come through with flying colors? Would you have charged God with wrongdoing? Do you believe that God is in control over your suffering—not causing it—but sovereignly watching over it? Suffering gives us the opportunity to learn something new about God and ourselves. Pray that God will help you have the right response to your suffering like Job did.
Jill Briscoe is the Founder and Executive Editor of Just Between Us magazine.