Finding Faith Over Feeling
Day: 23 | Plan: Suffering and Sovereignty
Today’s Reading: Job 23
Job 23:9-10 (NIV) “ When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. ”
Distress has a way of sending us on a frantic search for God. Where we might before have been apathetic, we become desperate for a sign that God is working in our midst. Job knows this feeling all too well. In his immense suffering, he has searched for God – from east to west and north to south. (Job 23:8-9)
The problem seems to be that Job can’t find God. We might expect this to put him in even more of a panic, but despite being unable to find Him, Job is certain that God is at work – even if he can’t see it. (Job 23:9) Even more, Job knows that God has His gaze on him. (Job 23:10) God knows where Job has been and where he is going because God orchestrated Job’s life – the same way He orchestrates our lives. (Job 1:8; Psalm 139:16; Proverbs 16:9)
What would our lives be like if we had this kind of faith? When God seems absent, what if we knew that whether we feel the presence of God or not, He is there, at work and arranging our lives? (Proverbs 16:9)
In this book, Job experiences every feeling under the sun – he is happy, blessed, angry, joyful, afraid, peaceful and hurt – and he is right to feel all of those. Job’s feelings do not discount his faith, but they do not dictate his faith.
How did Job attain such a great faith? He tells us himself in Job 23:12. Job doesn’t know God’s specific work, but he knows how to follow God’s footsteps. Job didn’t even have the benefit that we do of having an entire, easily accessible, divinely-inspired Scripture. Yet, in the good and the bad, the amazing and the horrific, Job treasures God and His words and closely follows after God.
For us to override our feelings and walk in faith, we must first know God’s footsteps. The only way we can know God’s footsteps is by learning about Him from His Word. By becoming followers of Christ, we know God (John 17:3), but we have the opportunity to know so much more about Him. (John 14:21; Ephesians 1:17-19) God’s Word teaches us about Him and by learning about Him we grow in righteousness and in faith.
Because Job had an understanding of God and His character, he was able to have faith that his suffering was part of God’s righteousness. This kind of extraordinary faith is the result of a life dedicated to the Word and work of God.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I praise Your Holy name. I am grateful that You are in control and that I can rest in You. I pray that as I experience more life and learn more about You that my faith will grow. Please grant me the wisdom and perseverance to pursue holy discipline. In Jesus’ name, amen.
In Job 23:10, Job says God is testing him and that he will come forth as gold. There are two... Read More
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