To Read, To Think

The Faith of Job

Bet you think I mean patience.

I don’t.

One of the greatest gifts I got by getting sober was the gift of faith in a Higher Power. Previously in my life, although I believed in God, I was completely convinced that God only helped them who helped themselves. That meant that I was wholly responsible for everything in my life. That included things I could control and things I could not control. That’s a heck of a burden to be responsible for. I literally thought it was all my fault if bad things happened, but did not take credit for good things. That’s because God helped them who helped themselves, ergo: I did good things so God deemed good things for me. No wonder I was drinking and abusing. That’s a tall order for a mere mortal.

picture of the sun setting over a river with plants in the foreground

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.” pg 60-63 BB

In the book of Job, Job is a wealthy, pious man. One day Satan and an Angel of God come to visit Job. Satan claims the only reason Job is as so much faith is because he has everything and lives in comfort. The Angel says not so and to prove it gives all of Jobs things to the Devil. Afterwards Job has many problems, his children die, he loses his wealth and he becomes afflicted with pain. His friends come to visit him and say it must be because he is not a righteous as he claims to be, that perhaps he has sinned or transgressed in the eyes of the Lord. Job goes to get an explanation from God. God tells Job that he could not possible have the knowledge of the Cosmos to understand and to trust Him. Job apologizes to the Lord with humility and repentance. God ends up blessing Job for the rest of his days.

The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys.

Job 42:12

In my own life I have been much like Job’s friends who over simplified God’s justice. Do wrong, get struggles, do right, get an easy blessed life. If you are struggling, it is because you haven’t done enough or dont have enough faith. Sometimes I am like Job himself. I blame the Lord for my struggles when in reality, the Lord himself doesn’t always cause those struggles. We all find it easy to trust in the Lord when things go right and blame the Lord when things go wrong.

Before the mountains were born, or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Psalm 90:2 NIV

Turning over the job of controlling on the things and stepping out in faith have saved me from myself. No, life isn’t always peaches and cream, but because I am no longer tasked with fixing the things, life is easier. As long as I put my faitht in a Higher Power those tough times seem to not be so bad. I still get angry at God for “allowing” things to happen and I don’t have the knowledge of the Cosmos understand why. Usually, though, after time has passed and the event has come and gone, I can look back and see the blessing it really was. Why were we kicked out of house? Because we were to be blessed with a beautiful home of our own. Having the faith of Job is hard, but the rewards are many.

and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” Job 1:21

our meaning in life comes not through what we do, but through the One for whom and through whom we do it. Apart from God, we fall under His wrath and our few days are passed in futility, soon forgotten. However, through His mercy, our lives have been redeemed from the curse of sin. We have been given joy in life again. God the Creator, Lord of Heaven and Earth, establishes our work, placing His glory upon that which we do, thereby giving permanence and lasting meaning.

Author: Leah Joy
TaylorJournal: Inner Resources for Leaders
Issue: 2 Volume: 1 Year: 2008

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Psalm 23:5