Passage of the Day: Job 42 … Linked for study …
My Journal for Today: I agree with Chuck Swindoll that some may be reading what he or I write having been abused or treated extremely unfairly in their past; and you’ve read through Job with a bit more of a jaded attitude than I might have. Perhaps you’ve now chosen to place your trust in God; but you still hold some reservations. But, at least in your head, you have believed in the truth that God’s word is true. And now you’ve read through Job 42 and you read of God making it right for Job and bringing his three bad counselors to task for what they told our hero of the faith. But you still may have trouble trusting God completely because of all those bad things which happened in your past life.
My friend, I know how you might feel. I was abused sexually by a Boy Scout camp counselor when I was twelve; and my situation may not have been as bad or extended over time as was your situation; but mine did lead to me getting deeply addicted to pornography and spending 22 years of my life living a Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde life into all types of sexual sin and hiding that life from all who loved me. Those life choices also led me to atheism and a deep distrust of God. So, I do know what it feels like to be estranged from God.
But, a little over 25 years ago, God led me into a place in my life where I learned that He had never forgotten me; and, in brokenness, I was able to see that He had been watching over me all along. And He led me, as it says in Psalm 23 into, through, and out of the “valley of the shadow of death,” our of which I came into the Light and was able, as did Job, to see that He was in total control all along and that my God not only forgave me; but He gave me the enabling grace to forgive my original abuser as well as my mother, who, though she was never able to give me the hugs I so desperately desired and needed, really always loved me just as God had.
I came to experience, like Job, the God who never quits listening; and He is the God Who will exact perfect justice at exactly the right time – with HIS perfect timing. My friend, if you’ve had trouble trusting God; and He’s has seemed distant from you, do what Pastor Chuck suggests and go back and meditate on God’s word in Hebrews 6: 10, which states (in the NKJV), For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
And it’s good to see that Eugene Peterson, in The Message version of Scripture, translates the first phrase of that verse, “God didn’t miss anything.” No, my friend, if you can believe that God’s word is true, Job 42 and Hebrews 6: 10 and one of my favorites, Psalm 116: 1-2 [link provided], tells us that God never quits listening to us. Yes, God sometimes, like He did for Job, seems to be quiet for a long time; but He will intervene at exactly the right time in our lives to make things all right again.
However, I know, at times, for some of us, that’s going to require, as it did for Job, an extra degree of patience and a whole lot of faith. But the message of Job screams loudly for us to stick in there with God, to wait on Him, and to acknowledge that our God is in total control, with, as Paul learned in 2nd Cor. 12: 9, His grace being sufficient for us and that His strength being made perfect in our weakness.
I know that your situation may be entirely worse than mine; but it’s doubtful that it’s any worse than was Job’s. So, God’s word tell us – from Chapter 42 of Job - to stick in there with God; and let Him do His thing, in His time, and in His way. My friend, He’s going to make it right in the end.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, thank You for showing me the way to trust You is to trust in Your word, which lets me know of Your love and Your grace, which I now know is sufficient for me in all the circumstances of life. Amen