Those bruises are mine. They disrupted my plans three weeks ago. But God had other plans. He gave me time with Him – a different kind of time than I had planned on. A time of resetting priorities. A time of prayer and accepting help from others.
Are you bruised and broken today? Has COVID-19 shattered your health? Has your bank account dwindled? Did hope flee from you?
Job can identify with you. He was a righteous man, and God blessed him with wonderful children, wealth, health, and prestige.
In one day, Satan destroyed his flocks and his children.
Job responded to this tragedy by saying, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!” Job 1:21 (NLT).
Then, Satan struck Job with boils, from his head to his feet, Job 2:7, and his wife told him to curse God and die.
But he didn’t.
There he sat scraping his boils with a broken piece of pottery.
He had lost everything important to him. Have you been there?
His friends came to comfort him. They sat with him for a time in silence. Then, they lectured him. They told him that there must be some sin that he hadn’t confessed. But there was none.
When I had fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, I searched my past trying to uncover sins that I hadn’t confessed – just in case that might be the reason for my suffering. Have you asked yourself if your sin caused the trouble you’re experiencing?
Job lost his sons and daughters, his wealth, his health, and the respect of his friends and wife; yet, he still trusted God.
“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last,” Job 19:25 (NLT). We can hold onto this reality. It is a promise that we can cling to in the midst of suffering.
And the suffering continued. Is your suffering continuing even though you trust God. Cry out to Him. Job cried out to God.
Praying That Makes a Difference
“I cry to you, O God, but you don’t answer. I stand before you, but you don’t even look” Job 30:20 (NLT).
Eight chapters later, God reminded Job of His power, wisdom, provision, and more. God asked Job questions, and a conversation began. Isn’t that what prayer is all about? A conversation with God.
- Job trusted God. Before his tragedies, he worshipped God. After his tragedies, he still worshipped God and trusted in God.
- Job listened to his friends but he kept insisting upon his innocence, Job 32:1. Elihu reminded Job of God’s greatness.
- God responds to Job, by reminding him that God is the Creator of the universe, Chapter 38.
- Job responds to God, “I am nothing-how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say,” Job 40:4-5 (NLT).
- God continues the conversation. God challenges Job’s understanding of Him.
- Now Job understands God. “I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance,” Job 42:5-6 (NLT).
- God tells Job to pray for his friends. They offered sacrifices to God, and Job prayed for them.
- God restores Job’s fortunes to twice as much as they were before and gave him sons and daughters.
Isn’t it interesting that God didn’t tell Job why he suffered? God also told him to pray for his friends who had accused him of sinning. And Job did pray for his friends.
Job’s suffering caused him to cry out to God. His prayer became a conversation with God Almighty. Pray and listen for God.Tweet
Friend, perhaps you’ll never know why you are going through what you are experiencing today. Cry out to God in the midst of your suffering. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you in a deeper way. Ask Him, and pray for those around you. Listen for His voice, His revelation of His character and love for you.
Our Creator, Provider, Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and Redeemer, thank You for Job’s story. It is Your story of redemption and love. Father, teach us to pray like Job. Come close to us and show us more of You. You are all we need. We stand in amazement that You are willing to have deep conversations with us. Show us how to pray deeply and drink deeply of Your wisdom and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.