Affirming Trust in the Midst of Confusion

Affirming Trust in the Midst of Confusion
Job 1
“Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.”

When Job awoke in the morning, everything in his life revealed the blessing of God. He was enjoying financial success. His family was a model of a godly family. His children were following the footsteps of his faith, and his family was close-knit, with his sons and daughters genuinely loving one another. It is not a stretch of the imagination to imagine Job walking outside the entrance of his tent, looking at the sunrise, and offering a deeply felt prayer of thanksgiving to God for his bountiful blessings. At that moment, everything seemed to be perfect. However, as he reflected upon his life, little did he realize that by the end of the day, his life would be entirely ruined, and everything he believed about God would be questioned. By the end of the day, his world would be destroyed and his faith shaken to its very foundation.

The first hint of trouble came when a messenger arrived with the report that a raiding party of Sabeans had attacked and killed his servants and taken all his oxen and donkeys. It would have been a shock, but one not unheard of. It was a reality of the ancient near east. His first thought must have been to gather his servants, pursue the marauding party, and regain his possessions.

But even before he could fully absorb the blow, another servant limped in. He brought another report, but this report was different. His message was not of a plundering party but a powerful lightning storm that came and destroyed all his sheep and servants. This report was troubling, for this was not some enemy attacking; this portrayed an assault from the hand of God. A new thought passed through his mind, a fear that would shake him to the depths of his soul—Had God turned against him?

But even before he could process the thought, yet another servant arrived, reporting that the Chaldeans had come and captured all his camels and killed his servants. But even as he spoke, a fourth servant entered to report the coup de grĂ¢ce. A great wind had blown against the house where his children were gathered for a feast and caused the house to collapse. And then he heard the words that would have broken any visage of joy—all his children were dead. In a span of fewer than 10 minutes, his world had turned from one of blessing to utter ruin and despair. Even his health would be broken, and he would suffer the terrible discomfort of boils covering his whole body. So broken was his wife in her grief that the only words of comfort she could offer was for Job to curse God and die!

It is one thing to sing the praise of God when life is good and his blessings rain down upon us. In those times, we can sing the Hymn “Count your Blessings” with joy. But how do we sing God’s praise when there is no longer even one blessing we can identify when all we can see about us is the curse of adversity and the silence of heaven? How do we praise God when we are broken?

Job’s faith was shaken to the core, and he would question everything he believed about God. He would question the very purpose of life. When he arose that morning, he rejoiced in God’s blessing of life itself; by evening, he saw life as the ultimate curse, one in which it would have been better for him to die at birth than live the life he now faced. In a world of wisdom where the underlying assumption that God blesses the righteous and curses the wicked, Job’s faith was shaken.  
However, as shaken as Job was when everything was stripped away, his faith remained intact. Even though everything he believed about God and God’s blessing was shattered, he still could not deny God. Amid his confusion, he still affirmed his faith in God.  

The measure of our faith is revealed by our response when our lives are thrown into turmoil. It is trusting in God even when we do not understand. It is walking in obedience despite our questions. Faith is not surrendering to the questions but trusting despite the questions. It is believing God and His word even when it does not make sense. Such was the faith of Job.

It is one thing to sing the praise of God when life is good and his blessings rain down upon us. In those times, we can sing the Hymn “Count your Blessings” with joy. But how do we sing God’s praise when there is no longer even one blessing we can identify, when all we can see about us is the curse of adversity and the silence of heaven? How do we praise God when we are broken?

Job’s faith was shaken to the core, and he would question everything he believed about God. He would question the very purpose of life. When he arose that morning, he rejoiced in God’s blessing of life itself; by evening, he saw life as the ultimate curse, one in which it would have been better for him to die at birth than live the life he now faced. In a world of wisdom where the underlying assumption that God blesses the righteous and curses the wicked, Job’s faith was shaken.  

However, as shaken as Job was when everything was stripped away, his faith remained intact. Even though everything he believed about God and God’s blessing was shattered, he still could not deny God. Amid his confusion, he still affirmed his faith in God.  

The measure of our faith is revealed by our response when our lives are thrown into turmoil. It is trusting in God even when we do not understand. It is walking in obedience despite our questions. Faith is not surrendering to the questions but trusting despite the questions. It is believing God and His word even when it does not make sense. Such was the faith of Job.

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