“My ears have heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”
I want to follow the example Jesus set for us. This is a lofty goal, but Jesus definitely gave us an awesome example of how to love others and overcome adversity. Jesus being tempted in the desert shows us how to resist temptation: use the Word as a weapon. This means I need to constantly be studying Scripture so that it might be readily available in my mind and heart when I am tempted. When the blog hop I participate in challenged us to pick a Bible passage from the current chapter we are reading, I knew this was the topic for me. Reading Scripture and thinking about what it means for me is one of the most distinct ways I hear God’s voice.
As I was looking over the choices, Job 42:5 stuck out to me: “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” I have always struggled reading the book of Job. It seems a difficult study of the nature of God and trials we face as humans, but this verse makes several things very clear. First, Job never lost faith that God would be there with him through all things. Second, Job studied God and His Word so that his faith in God’s promises was strengthened. Finally, although the trials Job faced were difficult to say the least, Job did not see God until he persevered with faith through the trials set before him. This paints a picture of hope and promise for each of us.
First, Job never lost faith that God would be there with him through all things. In order to see this, you may need a little background on the story of Job. Job was a wealthy man with a healthy, large family and many possessions. Job was a man God called upright and blameless. When Satan questioned how strong Job’s faith could actually be given the fact he had never been tested, God allowed Satan to test him, but Satan was not actually allowed to harm Job. Job lost pretty much everything: his property, much of his family, not to mention the trust of many of his family and friends in the God who had blessed them. Job’s story is an amazing one, because throughout this extensive time of trial and loss, Job does not curse God nor blame Him. No, while he does not understand fully the purpose of the trials God has allowed, Job holds to the faith he had when he was blessed with many things. Job had not had to rely on God through major trials before this, but Job was ready for the challenge because of the faith he had built through studying the Word. Job had faith God would be there with him through the end of these trials, despite the fact that it was certainly not easy and there was no clear end in sight. In my life, as I face trials much smaller in scale to Job’s, I pray for the faith to remain steadfast in my love and trust in the promises God has given us.
Second, Job studied God and His Word so that his faith in God’s promises was strengthened. Throughout the book of Job, as others question Job’s faith and his uprightness, Job held on to what he knew of the character of God, what he knew of Scripture and the promises God had set before them. The Words of God were so ingrained in Job’s soul that while he may have questioned the purpose, Job never doubted the sovereignty of God through all of it. Job sets an example for us that when we study the Word and understand the character of God as we would the character of someone we love, we can remain hopeful and faithful in the midst of extreme hardship. I pray that God continues to allow His Word to seep into my heart, mind and soul so that I may hold onto the hope I have through Christ Jesus.
Finally, although the trials Job faced were difficult to say the least, Job did not see God until he persevered with faith through the trials set before him. Job knew God’s Word inside and out, yet he had never experienced, never seen God before the trials he faced. While I cannot give you an exact list of reasons why Job experienced what he did, I can tell you that God did good in Job through it all. God sculpted Job into someone who could more fully experience God’s power and love. Job was able to see and feel God’s strength while he was yet weak. Job was able to experience many of the characteristics he had internalized throughout his life in a very real way. Job’s testimony became a powerful testament of the strength and restorative power of God. Job exclaimed his relationship with God was forever changed for the better due to his circumstances. This brings me hope and reassurance of the refining power of the trials and difficulties I currently face. I see the power and strength God has given me through past trials, and I have faith He will use my current circumstances for His good also.
While this hope may not remove the difficulty, it gives me hope. It gives me resolve that God is there with me through all of it. It gives me the belief that God is shaping me and refining me into the person He wishes me to be. This is almost never easy, but it is almost always worth it. I pray for God’s strength in me, but I also pray for each of you that read this post. I pray that you feel God’s strength, His love, His hope, and His redeeming power.