All my life I've heard when someone shows extraordinary patience that he or she has "the patience of Job". But, I've always taken issue with that. I don't think Job was particularly patient.
He questioned God. He grieved. He sought answers. And who could blame him? He lost everything near and dear to him (except for his wife and for all the good she did him, he probably grieved he DIDN'T lose her!)
He was considered "the greatest man in the east". (Job. 1: 3) God was proud of Job, saying "there is none like him on the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that fears God and eschews evil". He was in right standing with God and living an exemplary life before Him.
Then it all fell apart. God allowed Satan to attack him in every way except taking his life. He lost his entire family, except the wife; he lost his livestock...his livelihood and all his servants. Then on top of all that, he was struck with disease from head to toe. When his wife urged him to curse God and die, his reply was "Shall we receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive evil? "
But though he did not ever curse God, he did curse the day he was born. He questioned why God allowed this to happen to him. What had he done?
When bad things happen in our lives, that is usually our reaction. Why God? What did I do or what did I fail to do that has caused you to allow this in my life?!
One thing I've learned is that God allows these things for many different reasons. One is that it causes us to press into Him. Another is it quickly gets things into perspective...shows us what is really important in life. Sometimes it is to get our attention...to wake us up to something that God is trying to teach us...maybe something we've been dragging our feet about. And sometimes God simply allows it so that in our suffering HE is glorified.
The most difficult part of being in circumstances of suffering is that we don't always know what God is up to...we can't see where it's leading. We pray and seek His face, but when we see nothing happening, it is easy to lose heart and to lose hope.
That is when we must be like Job and remember what we KNOW!!!
Job lamented to one of his so-called 'friends':
Know now that God has overthown me, and has compassed me with his net. Behold I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard. I cry aloud, but there is no judgment. He has fenced up my way that I cannot pass and he has set darkness in my paths. He has stripped me of my glory and taken the crown from my head. He has destroyed me on every side and I am gone and my hope has he removed like a tree. He has kindled his wrath against me and he counts me unto him as one of his enemies. He has put my brethren far from me and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me. My kinfolk have failed and my familiar friends have forgotten me." (Job 19:3-14)
But after this gut wrenching declaration, Job finishes by declaring:
"For I KNOW that my redeemer lives and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth and though after my skin is destroyed by the worms, yet in my flesh I shall see GOD whom I shall see for myself and my eyes shall behold!" Psalm 19: 25-27
Yes, dear friends, when we find ourselves in the dark places of our life...when all seems lost, we must remember what we KNOW....
We KNOW, like Job, that our REDEEMER lives!!!!!!!!!!!!
We KNOW that we shall see HIM face to face one day!!!
We KNOW that He does all things well....even when we see NO evidence that He is doing anything.
We KNOW that He has promised that ALL things work together for good to those who are the called according to HIS purpose.
These are just a few of the things we can KNOW. But the important thing is that the only way you are going to KNOW these things in the dark, is to be partaking of them in the light! You must be in the Word to KNOW the Word. For knowing the WORD is what will see you through those dark days, those days when all hope seems lost and no answers come. Then you must rely on what you KNOW and not what you SEE.
"For faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1
If darkness comes your way today, what do you KNOW?
19 hours ago