How to Stand When You Don't Understand
As you go through life, you will find many things that will not make sense to you. You may turn to God and ask why. And that just might be the time when heaven will be absolutely silent. Job was someone who understands what that feels like.
God permitted Satan to sift Job. And Job never knew why. "And the LORD said unto Satan, 'Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD" (Job 1:12).
Just like that...Job lost it all — his fortune, his family, his fitness, and he even "lost face" with his friends. And he hadn't done anything wrong (read Job 2:3). One of the first things that you may say when trouble comes (i.e., a loved one is in a wreck, you get cancer, you lose your job) is, "What did I do wrong?" Maybe you did something wrong, but then again, maybe not. God is simply allowing you to be sifted as He did His son Job.
It was indeed a tragic time in Job's life (see Job 19:13-19). And how did Job respond? The lesson of Job teaches us that our first response is to worship God. After the first wave of loss, Job praised God (see Job 1:20-22). It takes faith to praise God in the midst of loss. We don't have to know why. We don't have to understand. We just simply say, "God I praise you." But Pastor, that sounds like I would be a hypocrite. I don't feel like praising God. Of course you don't. But I don't understand. Of course you don't. But we are to thank God in everything (see 1 Thessalonians 5:18). Just simply say, "God, I worship you. I praise you." Move beyond your feelings into faith.
You and I have 20:20 hindsight with the book of Job in our hands. We know about the dialogue between God and Satan. Job didn't know that. From what we read in God's Word, he never knew why he suffered. His suffering was an unexplained mystery (read Job 23:2-9).
Friend, life is not a problem to be solved, it is a mystery to be lived. That is what the book of Job teaches. We do not live by explanations, we live by promises. It takes more faith to trust Him when we don't understand then when we do.
Job didn't know why this happened but instead of walking away from God, he walked towards God in an attitude of trust (see Job 13:15 and 23:10-12).
Now, say these sentences out loud: (1) I am here by God's appointment. (2) I am in His keeping. (3) I am under His training. (4) This is all for His time. C. H. Spurgeon said, "God is too good to be unkind. He is too wise to be confused. If I cannot trace His hand, I can always trust His heart." You can, too!
God never gave Job a reason for his trials. Instead He gave Job a revelation about a relationship. When Job shut up, God showed up and taught him that He is sovereign and that He is sufficient (read Job 38:1-4). Job could only be still and listen as God declared Himself the great I AM.
God's sufficiency was the second thing Job learned. Not only can God do whatever He wants but all we want can be satisfied in God. In chapter 42, God permitted Job to speak and he was awe-struck by the glory of love of God (see Job 42:1-5).
I would venture to say that most every person reading this would say that they know God is necessary. But, I wonder how many of us know God is enough. You see, you may not know God is enough, until God is all you have.
How do you know you aren't getting your joy from your spouse, children, health, or possessions? Take away these things and you'll know — just like Job discovered. God reduced Job down to nothing and no one and he learned that God is sufficient.
You may never know why you are suffering. That's okay. What's important is that you know Him. He is sovereign. He is sufficient. Praise Him! Trust Him! He knows what is best for you.
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