As Christians we often feel like God should take care of all of our immediate needsâ€”immediately. I often find myself praying for a quick fix to my little problems. I easily find myself frustrated with the difficulties that are a part of living on this mortal plane.
I have been reading the book of Job for my personal study, and I find it very convicting. Job is identified as a â€œman [who] was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil,â€ and, yet, he suffered greatly. He lost his family. He lost all of his possessions, and, if that were not enough, he suffered from great physical pain.
Job not only suffers both physically and emotionally from his circumstancesâ€”he suffers through the council of his so-called friends. Not only are they useless comforters, but they accuse Job of being in sin, and under Godâ€™s punishment. Over and over again they encourage him to repent from his sin. Zophar the Naamathite declares, â€œIf iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and let not injustice dwell in your tents.â€ They surmise that if all of these bad things are happening to Job he must be in sin. Job vehemently disagrees and states â€œHow long will you torment me and crush me with words?â€
Even though Job cannot understand why these things are happening to him he still trusts in God. In Job 19:25-27 he makes one of the most amazing statements of confidence in God:
I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
with my own eyesâ€”I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
Even in the midst of his suffering Job still desires God, and looks forward to the day when he will fellowship with God. It is not a desire for death, but a desire for fellowship.
While I am not presently suffering, because I live on this fallen earth it is only a matter of time before I do. I need to remember that this earthly suffering is only temporary, and that God promises a life with him that is eternal where suffering is no more. While we should, like Job, yearn for that day to come; we should also pray that when we suffer we are as confident in God as Job is.