Sometimes in life, we feel like we have so many questions but no answers. And believing in a benevolent all powerful external being that we cannot see, might not seem most sensible when what we can see is the exact opposite. Such was the case with a man called Job.
Job was described as a righteous man, and yet, all that could go wrong in his life went wrong in a single day. His story sounds almost comical, the degree of suffering he faced. He got understandably frustrated yet held on to his faith.
However, at a certain point, he decided to ask God directly what exactly he had done. Nothing made sense to him anymore. He had always been faithful and upright. He wasnt like other ‘sinners’. He most definitely was absolutely innocent of any allegations anyone might think to dump on him. So, he demanded for his case to be brought before the Lord. He told God to answer him right there and then. What was his offense?
For what portion would I have from God above, or what inheritance from the Almighty on high?
Doesn’t disaster come to the unjust and misfortune to evildoers? Does he not see my ways and number all my steps? Have I covered my transgressions as others do by hiding my iniquity in my heart
If only I had someone to hear my case! Here is my signature; let the Almighty answer me. Let my Opponent compose his indictment. I would surely carry it on my shoulder and wear it like a crown. I would give him an account of all my steps; I would approach him like a prince.
Job 31:2-4, 33, 35-37 CSB
Literally the definition of I’m not like other guys. I’m not like other people. I’m different. So then why am I getting all this Lord? Why? Answer me and try me right now. I will most definitely pass the morality test in flying colors. I’m a good person, not like others. So please Lord face me and answer me!
And God did answer him. But not in the way he expected. The Lord presented His own questions before him.
The Lord replied:
Who is this who obscures my counsel with ignorant words? Get ready to answer me like a man; when I question you, you will inform me.
Where were you when I established the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who fixed its dimensions? Certainly you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? What supports its foundations? Or who laid its cornerstone
Have you traveled to the sources of the sea or walked in the depths of the oceans? Have you comprehended the extent of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this. Who put wisdom in the heart or gave the mind understanding? Who has the wisdom to number the clouds? Or who can tilt the water jars of heaven
Job 38:2-6, 16, 18, 36-37 CSB
Get ready to answer me like a man; When I question you, you will inform me.
Would you really challenge my justice? Would you declare me guilty to justify yourself?
Do you have an arm like God’s? Can you thunder with a voice like his?
Adorn yourself with majesty and splendor, and clothe yourself with honor and glory. Look on every proud person and humble him; trample the wicked where they stand.
Then I will confess to you that your own right hand can deliver you.
Job 40:7-10, 12, 14 CSB
One word. Ouch!
Either those questions were rhetorical or God was being sarcastic cause I don’t think there a single human being that knows the answers.
But after those words by God, Job’s brain finally went to factory default settings. He realised that he was talking in the rubbish. There was nothing special about him and he was just like everyone else. The only thing that set him apart was the mercy of God.
And so here was Job’s sober reply
I know that you can do anything and no plan of yours can be thwarted.
You asked, “Who is this who conceals my counsel with ignorance?”
Surely I spoke about things I did not understand, things too wondrous for me to know.
I had heard reports about you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I reject my words and am sorry for them; I am dust and ashes.
Job 42:2-3, 5-6 CSB
There are many lessons to learn from this book of Job. But one for me was the reminder of staying humble.
As human beings, our knowledge is limited. And even all the knowledge in the world is infinitessimal in the eyes of God.
We literally know nothing.
And when we sort of, kind of, maybe start to feel like we know it all and we can then contend with God, we are just proving our limitations. Because if we in fact knew all things we would cease to exist as mere human beings, and instead be seated on the throne of God himself.
We are not Job of course. Let that fact be established. But sometimes life might seem to spiral out of control. We might even be tempted to lash out at God.
We have paid our dues, been faithful, been as good as we can be, and yet…..yet this thing remains.
Here is what Jesus says:
In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 NKJV
This world is designed to irk us. Wahala left, right and centre. Jesus knows this and tells us plainly, in this world you will have trouble.
But. But, but, but. Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
How can the response of someone that has trouble be cheer. How can tribulation warrant a response of gladness and joy. It makes no sense. But that the way things work with God. Up is down and day is night sometimes.
It’s not telling us to pretend to be cheerful, but to actually be cheerful. Why? Because he has already overcome it. He’s not trying to like we are. Jesus has already overcome the world. And in having him at our centre, we are overcomers also. We look away from the troubles and distress and look to Jesus. The answer. We look to Christ, the way. The solution. The ultimate response to all our questions.
As believers we understand that though we are saved, the world is not yet. And so we see the consequences of sin all around us. We anticipate and wait excitedly for the day when Jesus will wipe every tear from the eyes and all will be made new. But for the time being we are in the ‘not yet’. And being in the not yet, we may start to loose focus and get discouraged and bitter and tired and angry with everything. But Jesus is saying, Dont worry, I’m right here with you. I will never leave you, and I’ll never forsake you. My peace I give to you, my joy i leave with you. My comfort i wrap around you. All that you have is given to you by me. You are mine and I am yours. Because I have overcome the world 💙
The most important answer to all of humankind’s questions was given in the person of Jesus Christ. And most times we have questions because we forget and shift our focus away from Jesus.
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)
God gave us the greatest gift of all, which was Christ’s life, death, burial and resurrection. Understanding the who and why of Jesus will always point us away from our worries and towards God and his goodness. If he did not withhold his own son, his only son, will he not also graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
God literally did the most for us through Christ, and nothing is greater than the sacrifice of Christ. So beloved, don’t let your heart be troubled. Trust in the Lord. In him are all the answers we search and yearn for 💙
Let’s be friends!