Who but a master physician could use crushing blows to mend wounds? Who but a master shepherd could lead a flock to summits by valley byways? This aspect of God’s nature — His ability to lead us to blessed destinations by cursed roads — is one of the greatest evidences of His perfect wisdom. It’s a strategy that’s absolutely upside-down… but unmistakably supernatural.
In moments of trial, our response is often to put God on trial. Our flesh tells us to see the character of God through our situation, rather than the other way around. What good God would give someone a prodigal child or an unpayable bill, or would allow past sins to be exposed? When God’s idea of provision and guidance differs from ours, we demand to know just who God thinks He is.
By chapter 36, Job is walking this line of accusation. Amidst the reality of his God-ordained suffering, Job forgets that God delights in bringing light through darkness, healing through brokenness, and renewal through loss. While Job begins by refusing to curse God (Job 1:20-22; 2:10), he eventually succumbs to his grief and invites the Judge of all judges into his own courtroom (Job 9:19-20, 32-33). How often do we extend this same angry invitation to God?
In his God-ordained suffering, Job forgets that God delights in bringing light through darkness, healing through brokenness, and renewal through loss
But in chapter 36, Elihu declares that God uses affliction to save the afflicted (v. 15).
In the very circumstance Job wants to escape, God is painting a beautiful portrait of sovereignty. God’s glory shines brightest through impossible redemptions, and His wounding leads to fruit. Rather than escape, what is God seeking from those He tests? Elihu knows: not anger, strength or a plan of resolution, but simply an honest prayer for help (v. 13). After all, God would rather we process our pain with Him than apart from Him.
By dwelling on God’s perfect story-telling abilities (v. 22-25), we find the faith to endure, so that we might reap the growth and blessing intended in our hardship.
How is God testing you? Are you postured to learn, or poised to accuse? Rather than responding in anger, cry out to Him. He longs to demonstrate His steadfast love in unexpected ways.
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