Job 23:10: “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10).
As believers, we must be careful not to assume that we know what God is doing in the lives of one another.
There is a definite purpose for trials as a means of purification, but there is also a testing of our faith that can carry the appearance of trials. God tested Job to show that Job was pure gold. There is no doubt that Job was different after his suffering. He used to be a man who knew God and, like his friends, probably had much counsel to offer to others about God. But after his painful testing, he was a man who had seen God face to face. “My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You.” (Job 42:5, NIV). A necessary part of Job’s faith was a fear of God who does what He pleases. “But He is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever His soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is appointed for me, and many such things are with Him. Therefore I am terrified at His presence; when I consider this, I am afraid of Him.” (Job 23:13-15).
In contrast, his friends tried to make God predictable. They claimed to know why Job was suffering. They spoke about God with accurate Scriptural knowledge, but they failed to speak from a personal knowledge of the living God. “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as my servant Job has.” (Job 42:7).
Believers, wisdom is only found in God and in the fear of Him. God does what He pleases. He cannot be manipulated to perform, nor is He in debt to us. It pleased Him to allow Satan the liberty to practically annihilate Job’s entire life. All this so that Job — a man who feared God and shunned evil already (Job 1:1) — would have a personal, revolutionary concept of what it truly means to fear God.
How many of us could prove to be such worthy vessels? At what point might we give up believing that our Father of love and mercy was still our Father of love and mercy? At what point might the feelings of utter abandonment take their toll within our finite minds? “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).
Lord Jesus, give us discernment as we walk in our finite minds and yet long to grasp the infinite. Give us eyes of faith and spiritual understanding. Take away our presumption, Lord. Show us how spiritually arrogant we can be. Give us, O Lord, a humble, reverent fear of You. And give us also a faith that will prove to be as gold if You should ask of us something that we would never have imagined. And may this faith be the kind that You will be pleased to find when You return as the Righteous Judge.
Nothing can stop the work of the Living God.
©2005 Masterpiece of the Wilderness, Deanna Deering