Today’s reading is Job 42.
Do you know the story of Job? Job was a wealthy man who loved God, and Satan told God it was only because God was protecting him from bad things. Satan said God had a “hedge” around Job (Job 1:10). Satan was convinced that if bad things happened to Job he would fold and curse God. So, God let Satan take Job’s property and children and strike him with leprosy as we read in Job 1 and Job 2. However, Job stayed strong in his faith, and while he questions why God is doing this, he does not curse God and lose his faith in God as Satan expected. In fact, he continues to put his hope in God.
When I was growing up and even until probably about 10 years ago, I would do something wrong and feel guilty about it and then when something bad happened within a few days or weeks later completely unrelated to the mistake I had made I wondered if it was because of what I had done wrong. Were things not going my way because of that unrelated mistake, and was this a punishment for what I had done? You may have also thought when something bad happened to someone “that’s justice” or “they had it coming to them” because of their past sins. In fact, Job’s so called ‘friends’ named Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar believed these things must have happened because of Job’s mistakes. However, God calls their thinking “folly” in Job 42:8 and says is Job 42:7 they “have not spoken of me what is right.”
God tells us in Romans 8:1 there is “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I’ve said it before that God is not like a kid with a magnifying glass in the sun burning us who are the ants because we do something He’s not pleased with. We still may face earthly consequences for our actions or God may allow things to play out as a sort of discipline to ultimately draw us closer to Him which is His greatest desire, but we must know the heart of God and that it is not a punishment. This is hard to understand. Isaiah 55:8:9 tells us his ways and thoughts are not only not ours, but they are higher than ours. We won’t figure it out. However, it is very important we understand Jesus already paid the price for our sins on the cross. In fact, in John 9 Jesus’ disciples ask Him if a blind man walking by is afflicted because of his or his parents’ sins. Jesus replies in John 9:3 by saying it is not because of either of their sins, and he is blind so that the works of God may be seen through Him. When so called bad things happen to good people, our first thought is likely not so God can be glorified through it and them. We know that in John 3:16 Jesus not only says those who believe in Him will have eternal life, but also in John 3:17 that He did not come to condemn the world.
God may let things play out in your life and the lives of others which in our eyes do not seem good like Job. He may even let Satan “win” for a while just like He did when He was crucified and died. For 3 days, Satan thought he was victorious and Jesus’ disciples did too..but then what happened? The Resurrection! We are still celebrating Easter over 2000 years later. As the saying goes, you can’t have a comeback without a setback. We read in Job 42 where God eventually blessed Job with even greater riches than he had prior to all his misfortunes. While I can’t promise you when something bad happens to you that you will see great things happen on this side of eternity, but what I can promise you is if you confess your sins and believe in Jesus’ Resurrection on Easter you will live with Him in Heaven after this life where there will be no pain or problems and everything will be perfect. Until then, we must keep trusting in Him and trusting despite our circumstances His love for us in unconditional and never failing. Let us remember why He came that first Christmas this December and always.
“..but God shows His love for us in that while were still sinners, Christ died for us.”