You seem to be failing at everything and suffering needlessly? Nothing is working out for you anymore. Job offers have dried up, relationships crumbling; the things that came easily, that you once excelled at are no longer working for you. There seems to be no end in sight! The rug has been pulled out from under you.
Stresses and problems, disappointments, grievances and pain are a given in this life. We can’t avoid or escape them; but we can learn how to deal with them by understanding what God is doing in that situation. Dealing with life is a learned skill and regardless of what you have been through and how well you coped at that time; when something new hits you it can feel as if you are starting all over again. Every situation has its’ own set of unique principles. One of the first things to learn is that life will keep happening. It is not just a one-off occurrence disappearing once you’ve dealt with it, expecting that everything will run smoothly from that point forward.
When you have been going through what seems like a never ending roller-coaster of disappointments; for absolutely no fathomable reason, look deeper. There is always a reason. Like me, you will be reasoning with yourself… have I done something wrong, why is this happening, did I put myself in this position? “I’ve been focussing on God’s work and His purpose for my life,’ you tell yourself. “So why is nothing working out for me anymore?” It is good to reflect, look inward and assess yourself first. Although many times we do act foolishly, and get ourselves into all sorts of situations, not everything that happens to us is of our own doing, whether good or bad.
So, when this situation presented itself to me for the second time in my walk with God; seven years in, I sought guidance from the Lord. I had to try to understand what was really happening. The Lord will always answer and on this occasion, He lead me back to the book of Job. Now, just to be clear, I am not saying I am Job or that I am going through anything remotely close to what Job went through! However, there are always deeper meanings in the Bible that we cannot find on the surface. And this was the case in reading Job, which is not the easiest book to understand. I was able to understand what the Lord was saying to me… and it was deep!
Job was a blessed man, who lived a righteous and consecrated life for God. He was very wealthy, had seven sons and three daughters and was very happy. Job had all that he could every want and more. Then comes Satan, who as we know walks the earth seeking to kill and destroy anyone and everyone. So, he presents himself to God to see who he can turn against God. Now God knows the heart of those who claim to love Him, so He suggests that Satan tests Job; but does not allow Satan to kill him. Job loses all his children, all his wealth and is struck down with sicknesses, sores and boils.
Job continues to worship God and although he never curses God or sins or turn away from his faith, he begins to question a lot of things and to question God. He also has three so-called friends who not only mislead him but greatly misrepresent God at the same time. God then speaks to Job challenging his arguments. After Job’s repentance, God restores Job and gives him so much more than he had before.
So how does the narrative of Job help us when we are suffering in a way that we cannot explain? It would take a whole book to explain the deeper meanings of Job so a study guide to Job will be available on my website by the end of this month. Check out www.plbennett.org for more information.
In the case of Job and also in our situations, many things happen in the spiritual realm that we are not privy to and do not understand. God has councils and meetings with angelic and celestial beings who report things to Him that we know nothing about. Satan had access to God and would also go and present his findings. A lot of things changed when Jesus came so we don’t know if Satan still has that level of access to God. Sin has already entered into the world so there will always be suffering and destruction. We see also that God did not cause the destruction, it was Satan; yet so often when natural disasters happen we claim it was an ‘act of God!’ Like Job, we should hold on to our Faith and what we know of our God whilst seeking Him to reveal the deeper meanings to us.
The fundamental message from the book of Job is that suffering is an inevitable part of our lives whether we are directly responsible or not. We will not understand it unless we seek God’s face and speak to Him about it. He is the only Person who can reveal these things to us. God will watch over us and even when we cannot hear from Him we must know that He has not forsaken us and will bring us through; and when He brings us through it, we will never be the same as we were before. We will always be spiritually stronger with a deeper insight into God our Father and how He works in our lives.
Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hides himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:
But he knows the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.