“Though he slay me, I will hope in him.” Job 13:15
When I think about our theme of faith and fortitude, Job is the first person who comes to mind. This man had it all – wealth, family, respect, health – and he lost it all. Raiders ran off with his oxen, donkeys and camels, fire destroyed his sheep and his children were killed in a freak wind storm. Job himself developed boils over his entire body. That’s how quickly life can change. His friends stopped by to “comfort” him by asking what on earth he had done wrong to deserve all the punishments God seemed to be raining down on him. Even his wife advised him to give up, curse God and die.
There’s no question that Job felt despair and anger. He questioned God, he railed against his misfortunes and he grieved for his children. Still, through it all, he doesn’t lose his faith. He acknowledges that God has the right to control and direct his life:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
We can learn some things from Job. He wasn’t afraid to express his emotions. He kept talking to God, and God answered him. It wasn’t an answer Job could completely wrap his mind around, but he admitted his lack of understanding and his total dependence on God. I guess that’s what we mean by “the patience of Job.”
It’s easy to have faith when things are going well, but sometimes we find ourselves in a bad situation, like Job. We didn’t cause it, we don’t deserve it, but it’s out of our control. That’s when the rubber meets the road. There’s no way, as humans, we’ll ever comprehend God’s plan. Things that look disastrous may turn out to be blessings. (think of the crucifixion). The Bible promises He is working everything out for our good. So I’ll leave you with this question: when difficulties come (and they will) will you trust God and grow in your faith?