Passage of the Day: Job 42 … Linked for study …
My Journal for Today: Today’s message is a tough one to swallow. No matter how mature we are in our faith, I don’t think we’ll ever be any different than Job here in Chapter 42. Yes, Job finally gets the message that God is God; and he finally understands – to a certain degree – the truth we’ve revealed in earlier devotionals this month from Isaiah 55: 8 -9 … that God’s ways are simply way above our comprehension. However, in some respects, my fellow believer, we’ll never be able to fully grasp the WHYs and WHEREFOREs of God.
And Swindoll is right … that this very weakness in our nature as humans is just the way we are. Again I say … “God is God and we are not.” And Pastor Chuck speculates that it is actual part of the futility of this truth that helps us. I guess you’d call it the “ignorance is bliss” part of our nature. Let’s face it. Would it really help for us to be able to understand why God allows planes to fly into buildings or why a wonderful Christian contracts terminal cancer or why a little babe is killed in a senseless drive-by shooting?
I think of Christ’s own disciples who walked with Him for three years; and like Peter, most of them truly believed that this man was God’s very Son, the Messiah, and the Savior of mankind. But even with them seeing the Lord perform great and wondrous miracles, … even with some of them seeing Him transfigured in Heaven, they still didn’t get it when they saw Him crucified. Peter, the most ardent of the disciple believers even denied his Lord; and they all ran in fear from the garden showing their disbelief, given the circumstances of life coming down around them.
And my friend, we’re no different. We may believe in our God’s love and mercy and grace in our heads; but when we walk into a scenario somewhat like our righteous hero, Job, we get just as confused and disoriented as Job had been prior to Chapter 42. And we can only hope that our maturity finally rests on our faith in the truth of that verse we keep returning to in this series of devotional, Romans 8: 28, that one I really hope you have memorized and internalized … that [from my memory] “…our God works all things together for the good for those who love our God and whom are the called according to His purpose.”
Do you really believe that, my dear one? Because if we do, we will respond as did Job in Chapter 42; and we’ll simply acknowledge – BY FAITH – that The Father knows best … that God will restore us sometime and in some way; … but we’re going to have to know that it will be His way and in His time. Job finally got it; and God was merciful to allow our hero of the faith to experience that restoration in his human lifetime. But my friend, our faith just may have to be greater than Job’s. Oh, along the way in life, God may give us little glimpses of our Glory; but while we live, we will likely never be able to see what Jesus’ disciples saw, … the Living Lord coming back bodily to show them of His resurrection. We may not be able to see God’ justice being worked out in our lifetime for all the injustices we see occurring in our world. And we may never be able to explain WHY God allows us to have to fight ill health or financial woes or some obsessive/compulsive drive to sinfulness.
But I’ll say it again, my friend, praying that we’ll all at least understand that God is God though we are not! And our God loves us … yes, even when we fight the rigors of cancer. And God’s mercy is new every morning, … yes, even when we see some elderly woman beaten on a dark street in our city for $24. And God’s grace saved me, … yes, even though I had spit in His face for 22 years living in a double life of horrible habitual sin.
Yes, … it is in faith we must come to Him. It is in faith which we must receive His grace, even when we cannot explain it nor understand it. And it IN FAITH we will one day stand before Him perfectly glorified and sanctified by His going to that cross for our sin. I pray now that we get it.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, at least in this moment, I see it. I get it. Help me to hold on to this reality of faith when I face the world today. Amen