The Process is Part of the Point
Day: 13 | Plan: Suffering and Sovereignty
Today’s Reading: Job 13
Job 13:15-16 (NIV) “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance, for no godless person would dare come before him!”
A number of years ago my husband and I watched dear friends deal with soul-crushing suffering. We were invited into their pain and had a front row seat to watch them grieve, cope, grieve some more and by God’s grace, heal.
The processing of pain isn’t the same for everyone. It’s deeply personal, and different from person to person and situation to situation. But the consistent part of the process is just that … it’s a process.
Over the last few chapters we’ve read Job and his friends ping-pong arguments back and forth. There is a process to his pain, and where he lands in Job 13 is both hopeful and heartbreaking.
Isn’t that life? Grief comes in waves and makes everything feel uncertain. One minute we are confident. The next minute we are caught in a riptide of doubt and fear. Yet in the midst of Job’s confusion, he clings to God’s character. As we read through Job’s replies, look for what he says about God.
Throughout his rebuttals in Job 6, Job 9, Job 10 and Job 12, Job extols the attributes and character of God. Here are a few of the things Job says:
God is worthy of loyalty and faith.
God is the righteous judge.
God is the answer-giver.
God alone has wisdom, might, counsel and understanding.
It is Job’s faith in God that leads him to say in Job 13 that even if God would slay Job, he will still hope in God. Job’s confidence in God’s righteous judgment leads Job to conclude he will see God face to face. Job is convinced of his integrity before the Lord and only the upright stand before God. Job 13 is a heartbreaking highlight for Job so far.
Despite his friends’ accusations, Job has wrestled well with the grief and pain of suffering. He doesn’t have answers, but Job trusts what he doesn’t know to the One who knows all. I love that each chapter shows Job in a real and raw way trying to reconcile his emotions with the truth of who God is.
Knowing who God is doesn’t necessarily change Job’s circumstances or ours. Life isn’t easy, and every question doesn’t have an easy answer. But the process is part of the point. And I’m grateful that the book of Job gives us an example of what that messy, hard process looks like.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am so grateful that You are there in our pain. Your character gives us hope when life feels hopeless. Even when we don’t have answers, give us peace that You can be trusted. In Jesus’ name, amen.
One of God’s attributes is that He is holy. We know this is true, but one of the... Read More
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