The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.Job 1:21
MingTeck woke up with a severe headache and thought it was another migraine. But when he got out of bed, he collapsed onto the floor. He was admitted to the hospital where the doctors informed him he’d had a stroke. After four months of rehabilitation, he recovered his ability to think and talk but still walks with a painful limp. He often struggles with despair, but he finds great comfort from the book of Job.
Job lost all his wealth and his children overnight.Despite the harrowing news, he at first looked to God in hope and praised Him for being the source of everything.He acknowledged God’s sovereign hand even in times of calamity(Job 1:21).We marvel at his strong faith, but Job also struggled with despair. After he lost his health too (2:7), he cursed the day he was born (3:1). He was honest with his friends and God about his pain. Eventually, however, he came to accept that both good and bad come from God’s hand(13:15; 19:25–27).
In our sufferings, we too may find ourselves vacillating between despair and hope, doubt and faith.God doesn’t require us to be dauntless in the face of adversity but instead invites us to come to Him with our questions. Though our faith may fail at times, we can trust God to always be faithful.
Job 1:20-22 (NIV)
20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.[a] The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”22In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
Job 2:7-10 (NIV)
7So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head.8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. 9His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”10He replied, “You are talking like a foolish[a] woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
What doubts and questions do you need to bring before God today?
How can you use Job 1:21 to guide you in your prayers?
Job’s story, even with its extremities of loss and suffering, is an honest presentation of life in a broken world. We face opposition both spiritual(Satan)and human(Job’s wife and friends). We experience seasons of fullness (Job 1:1–3) and extended times of great loss (chs. 1–2). We endure heartache related to those we love (1:18–19) as well as trials related to our own health (2:7). Job’s trials were so comprehensive that they touched almost every area of human suffering, and his responses were also completely human. At times, Job expressed extraordinary faith and trust in God (1:20–22), and at other times he questioned the Creator’s seeming lack of care in his struggles (30:20–24). This roller – coaster of spiritual and emotional turmoil reminds us of life’s realities—realities in which God calls us to rest in Him (chs. 38–41), even when we don’t understand what’s happening to us.
Dear Father, when doubts and fears overwhelm me, help me remember I’m precious in Your sight. You’re always in control, and You care for me. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen!!