Are you going through a time of testing? It can be hard to know sometimes if the struggles that we are facing each day are because of the sin in the world or because God is testing us. How are you handling this difficult time in your life? Do you find that you handle it well with faith and trust that God is in control? I am amazed at Job, his constant struggle with his situation continues this week, but he has not lost faith in God.
This past week we went through chapters 21-26 in the book of Job. Job’s friends are not convinced that Job is telling the truth. They believe that Job is either lying or has deceived himself in regards to his innocence. Job has been trying to convince his friends they are wrong about him, but they simply won’t listen.
Can you imagine the isolation Job is now feeling? He is facing the most painful time in his life and now his closest friends have turned on him. They are making assumptions about his character, and actually accusing him of telling lies and covering up his true behavior. In chapter 22, Eliphaz has a whole list of terrible things that Job, “must have” done.
“You must have refused water for the thirsty and food for the hungry…. You must have sent widows away without helping them and crushed the strength of the orphans.” Job 22: 7,9
We do this as Christians don’t we? I think that when we as Christians behave this way we push non believers away from Jesus more than a lot of other things. We are known for kicking our wounded and accusing the victim. Many people have been deeply wounded by the church by this behavior and have walked away from their faith. God will hold us accountable for this behavior.
Recently, in a town near to me, there was a scandal at a local university. This Christian university is known around the country for its highly conservative stand on many issues. It came out in the local news that there had been some sexual assaults on campus and the victims were not given the opportunity to get justice. In stead they were accused of being part of the problem.
Before I go any further, I don’t want to point fingers at any specific organization because I believe each and every one of us who call ourselves Christians are guilty of this behavior. The university here was a terrible case of injustice and cruelty on a large-scale, but I think we all should stop and consider how we are guilty of this type of behavior ourselves.
When you go to church and see a young woman who is unmarried and pregnant, do you judge her first before you have ever heard her story? Do you see the homeless man on the street and assume he is there for his own sins? Do you look at someone and find ways to condemn and put them down. This is nothing more than pride. We are seeking to put others down in order to push ourselves up. This does not honor God.
We are all guilty of the same sins of Job’s friends, and I believe we as a Church, meaning the global Christian Church, need to work hard to purge our hearts of the critical, and condemning spirit we are so guilty of. But I don’t want to follow that rabbit trail further…..
I want to get back to Job. He has been attacked, and criticized. He has been wrongfully accused and slandered. He desperately wants to hear from God so he can ask why this horrible thing has happened to him, because he knows that it really doesn’t make sense.
- God is quiet.
- His wife has condemned him.
- His friends have slandered him.
- His wealth is gone.
- His children are dead.
- He is in constant pain and anguish.
- He can’t even sleep.
- Yet Job still has hope.
Would you have such courage? Would you have such deep faith and trust in God? I don’t know that I would. When things get hard in my life my first response is usually the opposite of trust and faith. My response is usually is more closely related to panic and depression.
I want to be able to say with Job, that when he has tested me I will come forth as gold. I don’t know that I could say that now. I hope that one day I will. Job is a shining example of what our faith should look like. Was he perfect. No. But he didn’t lose faith in who God is. Job didn’t assume that God had somehow changed, he knew he didn’t understand what was happening, but Job’s image of God stayed intact.
What are you learning in our study of the book of Job? I would love to hear you thoughts.
This post is part of the Blogging Through the Bible series with Courtney Joseph over at Good Morning Girls. For more information and FREE resources please click the button below.