A Holy Response to Affliction
“Then Job . . . fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.’” (Job 1:20-21 NASB)
When I consider the magnitude of grief that Job was experiencing as accounted in this portion of Scripture – a magnitude which I have never known and can scarcely even wrap my head around – I am awe struck at his response and the insane level of faith he displays after he loses his family, his livelihood, and his health, even when he knows that the God whom he had served so faithfully was orchestrating all of it.
Many people skim right past the first two chapters of this book and head straight for the last few chapters where the Lord humbles Job and then later restores his fortune twofold; but I cannot get over the fact that even in the midst of fresh devastation, Job “arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped” (Job 1:20 NASB, emphasis mine). He did not curse the Lord – even when urged to do so by his own wife – but instead he answered her most profoundly, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (2:9-10).
It’s sad how easily we are pulled into the mindset that the base principle of our faith is to take little steps toward God and expect Him to turn around and reward us with health, wealth, and comfort as though it is somehow our due; because we would be very hesitant to think that way if we knew just how depraved we are at the depths of our hearts and minds. Heaven forbid we believe the lie that God owes us anything at all, let alone every good that may be available to us through His power.
When we encounter adversity our first instinct may be to either fight or flee, but I challenge the both of us to follow the example of Job – humbly bowing down under our grief before a sovereign God, relying on His perfect knowledge and goodness to orchestrate our every circumstance for the revelation of His glory. All is grace upon grace upon grace, even our deepest suffering.
Father, I am thankful that You are completely sovereign over my circumstances. I’m so sorry for not always trusting that You are good and loving, especially when things aren’t working out according to my preferences. Help me to be more like Job in times of affliction. Remind me of Your grace and reveal to me Your glory, in the name of Jesus.
When was the last time you experienced loss and devastation? Did you praise the Lord or become bitter toward Him? God cares about our grief (regardless of the magnitude of it) and deserves our trust in any circumstance. Meditate on 1 Peter 1:6-9.