Suffering is Your Opportunity to Show Your Quality (Part 14)

Whose Life is on Display Anyway? (Job 6, 7)

As Eliphaz has just finished his railing at Job with strong words that reveal that his perspective and understanding do not reach to the place that Job is at, it becomes more and more difficult for Job to compose himself and remain quiet.

Sometimes it is those who are nearest us, who we have allowed to enter a sacred place in our hearts, who end up wounding us the deepest. Unfortunately each of us can only relate to events that we are brought into as spectators, from the arsenal of our own limited understanding and experience. In our pride and/or desire to be helpful and consoling to another we begin speaking out of turn about things that we know nothing about. We want to have the right words, we want to solve the problem, we want to be the hero. Job’s friends passed from wisdom and encouragement on to error and frustrating confusion when they begin to speak into Job about something that God had not spoken to them about.

How often, too often, we speak from our human reasoning and scientific analysis giving our prescription and unsought opinion into matters best left to God and the work of His Spirit.

When a person is within the depths of sorrow and pain, when a person is holding on to the fringes of the meaning of life with nothing but the tips of their fingers, don’t you dare place another burden in their hands. These places of agony and bewilderment are sacred ground, hallowed by the Presence that enters with you to give you His strength and His hope. There is fellowship in this place when it is a place that you have been led into by the loving hand of your Father.

There are these types of situations – the untimely death of a child; the senseless murder of a loved one; the destruction of a home by a family member; those sick and twisted things that people do to one another that leave us numb and at a loss for sense and meaning. They shatter our world and the security we once had in understanding (or so we thought) how it worked. Such is Job’s predicament. He has found futility in navigating in uncharted waters. He is in a place that he has neither heard of nor fathomed.

Just listen to the expressiveness of inexpressible things through the words of Job: “Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together!  For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up.  For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me… Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!  Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off!” Job 6:2-4; 8,9.

You just can’t touch this. This is sacred ground. This is not God making a son, this is God displaying a son, showing forth his quality.

Recall that God has already declared Job perfect, mature, ready for every trial. Remember also the challenge of Satan, “Doth Job serve God for nothing?” Satan is challenging God’s assessment of Job, a son in whom He is well pleased. He is asking God to prove it. And the fire is the place for proving just what a thing is made of. “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” 1 Cor. 3:12-13. And then, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter 4:12-13.

Here is the test question: “Doth Job serve God for nothing?” That is a good question. The way Satan sees it, nobody would serve another unless there was a profit and personal benefit. He can see it no other way. The concept of love is foreign to him. This is a trademark of his and his followers – that everything and everyone can be had for a price. It is the economy of self-service. In this economy there is no such thing as trust, loyalty, generosity or love, all is dependent on wiles, power, strategy and taking. The thinking (satanic thinking) is that if you just find out what Job is getting in the deal and cut it off, then he will surely curse you to your face.

This is a sad statement and even more sad are those who have bought into it and have had their minds corrupted and made cynical regarding others.

What God is getting at, what Satan cannot even begin to imagine, is that Job loves God irrespective and independent of what God does for Job. Job loves God for God. Job has already met God’s love. It is not what God does but who He is that draws us. God is Love. And not just any kind of Love but unconditional love, a love that loved us when we were not lovable, when we were not doing anything commendable or loving. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. It is by this love that we are changed and made like Him. It is this very quality that He is making in us – the ability to love Him and even others independent of the way they treat us and what they do to us or for us.

“We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:9 His love enters our hearts as a seed, a son-seed and transforms us. And when we have cooperated with the watering and nurturing of that seed we grow up to be like Him! Not only can we love those who love us, but those who hate us and persecute us and spitefully use us. Like we did to God. Now by His grace through faith we are becoming like Him. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35.

This is what the world and all of creation is waiting to see – the sons of God manifested in the earth. Christ in us, the hope of glory. A love that surpasses human understanding. A love that sacrifices and gives for the sake of another. That is what God was bragging about regarding Job. He does love Him for no reason, just the same way God loves.

Suffering is your opportunity to show your quality.