Oh, how I wish I could have the heart of Job in my suffering!
If you’ve read the entire book of Job, you sympathize with the journey of emotion Job goes through to conclude why all of these terrible things are happening to him. If only Job could have witnessed the conversation Satan had in the throne room of God (1:6-12), surely Job would’ve understood the context of his suffering.
Interestingly, this throne room conversation is one of the ONLY places we see God’s presence in all of this. Everything from then on is a picture of humanity grasping for answers until the very end of the book when Job concludes with a final plea: Where are you God? (31:35). It’s there that we see God’s unmistakable presence depicted as a massive storm of power and glory fulfilling Job’s ultimate desire (38–41).
How does the Lord respond to Job?
God answers Job by showing up and revealing His majestic nature. That is it! No explanation for suffering. No explanation for choosing Job for this test. Just revealing Himself. I am God. Job, you are not. I rule the universe in ways you will never understand. But I am your God, and I am for you.
Back to the Beginning
So, going back to the throne room scene. Here is God, transcendent and seated on the heavenly throne while Job is on earth with everything taken away from him –– his family, wealth, and health. The distance between us and God, especially in moments of suffering, can truly feel this vast. So, how do we make sense of it all? Consider what Job teaches us in the midst of his great suffering:
Though he slay me, I will hope in him;Job 13:15
yet I will argue my ways to his face.
- Job never loses hope in God despite the unknowing circumstances, and
- Job chooses to wrestle (argue) with God to his face.
Our natural tendency in the midst of suffering is to make sense of it all with earthly wisdom, or as James coins as wisdom from below instead of wisdom from above (Jas. 3:15-17). But Job, albeit embittered toward God, wrestles with God throughout the entire book.
Job’s pursuit of God transcends the limited earthly perspective that his friends try to offer him for answers. He never detaches from his relationship with God even in God’s silence. And take note that Job’s character was one set on seeking the face of God long before he was brought so low. Job had everything yet he feared God (1:1) and continually went to the house of the Lord to commune with Him (1:3-5). This was Job’s posture when things were really good.
How should we then live?
Life’s greatest questions will come and go. Let us not seek satisfaction in answers, but rather in God’s promises, namely the promise of His presence, both now and for eternity.