Storms, suffering, and seasons of scarcity have all been promised to the child of God on this side of the grave. Should we not expect to experience what our Master experienced if we truly are His disciples? Why would we expect a crown of glory when the world gave our Lord a crown of thorns?
In all of Scripture, no one—other than the Lord Himself—experienced such terrible storm winds as did Job. God gave Satan permission to afflict Job, and his affliction was almost unimaginable; Job lost all of his children, his health, and his considerable wealth. How did Job get through such a terrible storm with his broken heart still beating for his beloved God?
If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling.
It the midst of such a terrible storm, Job desired to see His God. His friends meant well when they came to comfort him. And for the first seven days, they did meet Job in his deepest place of need. They spoke not a word to Job, and he was indeed comforted simply by their presence. But on that eighth day, they opened their mouths, and comfort turned into condemnation. Even Job’s wife refused to be the comfort God had ordained her to be as his helpmeet. Instead, she told her husband to curse his God and die! But Job did not give up or give in; instead, he sought the presence of God.
Job knew where to turn in times of trouble. Do we? The place for the afflicted child of God is at the feet of the Almighty. The first prayer is to be in the presence of God. Job did not ask for relief from his sick body; he did not ask for a restoration of his wealth; he did not cry out for the return of his children. No doubt his broken heart ached for those things, but it ached even more for the presence of God.
Job acted very much like a child who is playing down the street with friends and falls and scrapes a knee; crying, bleeding, and in pain, he immediately seeks the comfort of home, because no other comfort compares.
So . . . where do you turn when you’re in pain? What is your first prayer to God? When we remember that nothing happens to us that first doesn’t pass through His nail-scarred hands, we can be assured of two things: it is happening for God’s glory and our good. As difficult as that may be for us to see in the middle of the storm, we know it is true.
You see, we serve and love a God who came into this world and willingly walked straight into the most horrific storm in the history of mankind. Jesus lost everything . . . even His relationship with His Father while He hung on that cross in our place, bleeding and in terrible pain, paying the penalty for our sin and drinking our cup of God’s wrath.
Job did not have a complete understanding of this price that God Himself would pay to redeem Job’s soul, yet he still ran to God in his most desperate hour of need. We do have the complete understanding of the price paid by Jesus Christ. Why would we ever run to anything smaller than Jesus to find comfort?
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!