Trust God’s heart when you cannot trace God’s hand.
Have you ever heard this statement before? Have you ever said it before? What does it mean in terms of real-world faith?
Job can help us answer these questions.
As he suffered, Job complained against God: “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him” (Job 23:8-9). Job’s complaint was not about his sufferings. His complaint was that he could not seem to find God in his sufferings. Wherever he turned, God was not there. He could not find God. God was not present to comfort, explain or vindicate.
As Job complained, however, his confidence in God did not waver. Although he could not seem to find God, Job testified, “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold” (Job 23:10). Job trusted God’s heart, even when he could not trace God’s hand.
With stubborn trust in God, Job described the severe trial he did not understand with spiritual insight.
A Spiritual Journey
Job declared, “But he knows the way that I take” (Job 23:10). Job described his painful experience as a “way,” a path leading to a destination. Job was not in a ditch, or grave. He was on a spiritual journey. His present location was a dark valley, but it was not the final destination. Job was on his way somewhere. His sufferings were a means to an end.
Job was on his way somewhere. He could not understand the path or see the destination. But Job was confident that he was not on this journey alone. “He knows the way that I take,” Job insisted. Job may not have known where God was, but God knew where Job was. Moreover, God was watching over the way that he took. And God is watching over you as you follow The Lord Christ on this adventure of faith.
A Spiritual Examination
Job described himself as being on a spiritual journey. He also pictured his sufferings as a spiritual examination: “When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold” (Job 23:10). In the ancient world, there was a simple way to determine if an item was legitimate or counterfeit. Throw it into the fire. If the article survived the furnace, you knew it was real. If not…
God commended Job to Satan as the “real deal,” as it related to his faith in God, obedience to God, and worship of God. To prove Job, God permitted Satan to place Job in a furnace of suffering. But this trial by fire would not last forever. God had his hand on the dial and his eye on the clock. Job’s troubles would not last always. The spiritual examination was designed to purify Job, not destroy him. And when he had been tried, he would come out as gold. You will too, if you maintain confidence in God when you don’t understand what he is doing in your life.
This article originally appeared here.