7 truths to consider from the book of Job
By Kyle Patterson
The book of Job is usually one of the books of the Bible we rarely read. It’s not typically going to make the list of favorite Bible verses, books, or even stories. It’s one of those parts of the Bible we like to avoid talking about and even acknowledging. It’s hard to explain and uncomfortable. But the book of Job is none the less one to consider and can provide us with a lot of wisdom, encouragment, hope, and endurance. James reminds us in his epistle to consider Job, not forget him, ignore the book, or pretend it’s not in the Bible. Consider Job.
Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. James 5:11 ESV
James is encouraging believers with the idea of patience under hard circumstances and he reminds us to remember Job and what God brought about in his life when he endured. So as we consider Job, I see at least 7 things that stand out to me.
Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people.
When Jesus spoke of the storm rising on the just and the unjust and the winds beating against the homes, they hit both the righteous and the unrighteous. The difference was some had built their lives on the rock, some on the sand. The truth is there is no one righteous, no not one. Only in Christ is our sin dealt with on the cross. So building your life on Christ doesn’t earn you an easy life, it helps you endure and overcome a difficult one to the glory of God. For Job, he was the most righteous man in the land. The storm came and he weathered it and came out as an overcomer in the end.
Patience pays off.
No one would ever wish what happened to Job on anyone else, but the fact is, Job’s patience brought about full restoration and even more so of everything Job lost. He was tested by fire and proved genuine. He didn’t renounce his faith, but grew in grace and in the end encountered God in a way that made history, thus we are still talking about it today. So God's timing may not be our timing, but as we wait in patient, expectant faith, God meets us there.
Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit.
The power to live the Christian life is not of ourselves. The sooner we realize our need for God’s grace and strength in our hearts, the better off we will be. We need God to serve God. We need his Spirit to strengthen us and to give us eyes to see and ears to hear so as to interpret what we are walking through in light of eternity. Paul prayed for the church in Ephesians 1:18-19, That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
You’re not in control.
As much as we like to think we’re in control of our lives and the masters of our own destinies, we’re not. God is very much in control. He says, “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.”
I recently heard a preacher on the radio say something along the lines of, “You are where you are because it’s where your thinking has taken you.” I have to say I disagree. Try telling that to Job. Tell that to Jesus. "Jesus you're being crucified because of the way you are thinking. If you would have not confronted the Pharisees, and would have just sat back in silence and not stirred the pot, you'd be "in" with the "in crowd" and not be in this situation." I can just hear the counselors now telling Jesus to just settle down about this Messiah stuff and go with the status quo.
While there are certainly a role we play in obedience, faith, and action, we are not the masters of our own destiny. That space is for God alone. The mystery of his ways should cause us to marvel and worship him knowing it is from him and to him and through him are all things. In him we live and move and have our being. This truth should cause us to stand in awe of this great God we serve and love.
God is always working.
No matter what you’re facing, God is working behind the scenes, doing things we don’t understand with a redemptive goal in mind. When things don’t make sense, trust God’s nature and character. He is good, loving, and compassionate. Even when your circumstances are screaming otherwise, take refuge in his unchanging nature and goodness.
All things work together for good.
Whatever happens, whether good or bad, God or the devil, evil imposters or loving saints, God can and will use it all for good in the end.
Christ will triumph.
Christ endured the ultimate adversity and trial and overcame death, hell and the grave. In Job we see a picture of Christ, showing us that God can accomplish some incredible things through difficult circumstances. God worked through Christ’s suffering to bring about the greatest victory and triumph the world ever saw when Christ rose from the grave three days later. So remember, whatever you’re facing is temporal, Christ and his kingdom is eternal, and as a believer you’ll live eternally with him in paradise.