The book of Job is part of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, along with Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. Job tells the story of a wealthy, successful man living in the land of Uz who had seven sons and three daughters. The story opens with an insight into Job’s character. When Job learned that his children may have inadvertently sinned, he offered sacrifices on their behalf—an example that Job was a righteous man who loved God.
In an unusual twist, an adversary (often thought of as Satan) approached God about Job. Satan claimed that the only reason Job was righteous and loved God was because Job had been successful and prosperous. If stripped of his possessions, Satan argued, Job wouldn’t be as faithful to God.
Out of this heavenly court scene would come an unforgettable test for Job whom, according to God’s command, Satan would be allowed to strip of all his material blessings.
At Satan’s request, Job would be allowed to lose everything—everything, said the Lord, except for his life.
Almost immediately, Job lost all of his children when a mighty wind collapsed the house of his oldest child while all of Job’s children were gathered there for a feast. Every single one of Job’s children died. Soon after, Job lost his sheep and servants to a fire that fell from heaven. Bandits stole Job’s remaining livestock. However, instead of responding in bitterness and anger, Job declared:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)
Despite the tremendous loss and pain, the trials for Job had only begun. The calamities continued. Job’s body broke out in painful boils. Sitting in ashes, Job resorted to scraping his skin with broken pottery to alleviate the pain.
When Job turned to his friends for comfort, he found their responses disheartening and discouraging. The conversations circle around the issues of sin, justice, God’s sovereignty, and mercy until God finally spoke in the form of a cloud or whirlwind.
God’s response took the form of rhetorical questions challenging Job to recognize God’s power in creating and holding the world together. God made it clear that He did not need creation’s approval because He was the creator and maintained freedom and sovereignty over all. God defended Job from his friends who were unhelpful and misguided, and upheld Job as a righteous servant.
At the end of his story, Job, who held on to faith through all the tragedy and heartache he faced, was blessed with seven more sons and three more beautiful daughters. All of Job’s wealth and possessions doubled and he lived another 140 years, having the privilege of seeing his children to the fourth generation. Job died wealthy and satisfied with life at an old age.
Job experienced tremendous loss and pain, which was marked by sadness and mourning, but even in the midst of the discouragement and depression, he chose to honor God.
In all of our lives, the question is not if we will experience loss and pain and feel sadness, but how will we respond when we do?
Job’s example encourages us that even when we don’t understand, God is still in control. Even though we may be tempted to question or doubt, God is still good.
And though we experience hardship and challenges, God uses those times to draw us into a more intimate relationship with Himself and reveal Himself to us in unexpected ways.
Job’s story also invites us to grieve–both the bigger and lesser losses of life. The ones that scar our souls. The ones that we tell ourselves they don’t matter, but they really do.
What if the sadness is really a gift, a sacred echo of God, inviting you into deeper healing and wholeness?
Will you give yourself time to grieve–even amidst the romp and roar of this crazy season?
This summer, I’m challenging you experience the wonder of tears through the Wonderstruck 7-Session DVD Bible Study. Join our Summer Bible Study beginning on June 6th.
Through seven sessions filmed in the Canadian Rockies including Lake Louise, let’s explore the wonders of God as found in the Scripture. Together, our eyes will be opened to the wonder of God’s presence, the wonder of friendship, the wonder of forgiveness, and so much more.
Invite your neighbors, co-workers, small group, Sunday school class, long-distance BFF, and more to walk alongside you, pray for you, and fall more in love with God’s Word together.
To join us for the Wonderstruck Summer Bible Study, you’ll need the following:
• A copy of Bible in your favorite translation (or simply the app on your phone)
• The Summer Bible Study Special: The Wonderstruck 7-Session DVD Kit PLUS a FREE copy of Live Loved: An Adult Coloring Book (click here to purchase).
• A expectant heart to the ways God wants to reveal Himself to you this summer
• Between 15-20 minutes of time carved out each day to dive into God’s Word and the workbook homework
• Subscribe to the free RSS feed at MargaretFeinberg.com so you don’t miss a beat.
As you dip into the five nights of homework each week (20 minutes or less each day), you’ll find out just how much God is busting at the seams to display His power, glory, and might in your life. Grab a friend, some compadres in a book club, a small group cohort, and let’s unwrap the wonder of God together.
Pick up your Wonderstruck DVD Kit + Live Loved: Adult Coloring Book today and begin asking God to prepare your heart for what’s in store this summer.
We’ll be gathering together each week here at MargaretFeinberg.com starting June 6th to discuss, pray for one another, and dive into God’s Word.
Can’t afford the DVDs just yet? Grab the Wonderstruck book and workbook combination and join us! Don’t miss the summer that will change your walk with God forever.
*Photo courtesy of here