If Job could have known as he sat there in the ashes, bruising his heart on this problem of providence – that in the trouble that had come upon him he was doing what one man may do to work out the problem for the world, he might again have taken courage. No man lives to himself. Job’s life is but your life and mine written in larger text…So, then, though we may not know what trials wait on any of us, we can believe that, as the days in which Job wrestled with his dark maladies are the only days that make him worth remembrance, and but for which his name had never been written in the Book of Life, so the days through which we struggle, finding no way, but never losing the light, will be the most significant we are called to live. -Robert Collyer (Streams in the Desert)
What if in the midst of Job’s trials he could have read, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose?” (Romans 8:28)
Would those words have brought him comfort, hope, and perhaps even joy, or would they have seemed a small, almost offensive quote that failed to assess the scope of his circumstances?
Remember, the book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible so he would not have had the context of understanding the history of God’s interaction with His people. The Bible stories of our youth would not have been in the library of his memory. David and Goliath, Daniel and the lion’s den, the nativity story, Calvary, and Paul’s epistles, are all yet stories to be told and lessons to be taught long after Job’s death.
You may think this a strange question to ask, but let me ask you an even stranger one: Why would we, with the account of God’s Word, the history of our own experience with God, the gift of His Son, and the revelation of His Holy Spirit ever doubt for a second the absolute integrity and unalterable truth of that verse found in Romans?
Job, this righteous man surely did wonder at his circumstances yet proclaimed, “I know my Redeemer lives” and “Though You slay me, yet will I trust You!”
Job had so much faith based on so little information! Often we have so little faith based on so much information! Can any of us testify that God ever failed us? Has God ever fallen short or not come through for the best interests of the kingdom in any situation throughout history or in our lives now?
He is always faithful! He simply cannot be unfaithful.
So we can be absolutely sure in the midst of whatever our present circumstances may be, that all things are working together for good. The only thing we have to be sure of is that we are “those who love Him” and we are “called according to His purpose.”
This is really a simple thing to determine. You either love Him or you don’t. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Proclaim your love for Him today in both the words you say and the life you live. If you truly love Him, the “called” part is automatic, because every disciple is called to His purposes.
It always comes back to love, have you noticed that? In Job’s life as in ours, the enemy of our soul seeks to discourage and damage our love relationship with Jesus. It is in that arena that the battles are always won or lost.
The story of Job’s life serves as a great testimony to God’s faithfulness and encouragement to every believer going through a struggle. In the same way, our life’s story should serve as a similar testimony and encouragement to others watching now and hearing later.
In the final analysis, we will remember more the treasures given in darkness than the blessings received in the light. We will be remembered more for how we dealt with adversity than how we dealt with blessing.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart.” And then you will possess the assurance that in any and every situation all things are working together for good. All things!