“The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.'” (Job 1:12)
We all know that life can be unpredictable. The last two years have certainly proved that. One moment we are travelling along nicely, and then “wham!”, unforeseen events leave us reeling. Which one of us has not suddenly lost someone dear? Perhaps an illness or accident or an irreconcilable relationship. Maybe a financial crisis or even a pandemic. Like Job, no-one can escape adversity that comes to us all. The question God has for us is: where will we turn in these situations?
Job did not know God had allowed Satan to afflict him. There was no way he could. Job was only aware of the loss he experienced. And despite many encouraging him to turn away from God, Job’s faith remained. All those around Job believed they knew how he could escape the situation and involved being untrue to Job himself. They encouraged him to admit guilt for things he did not do. They questioned the depth of his relationship with God, and they told him to accuse God of the trouble by cursing him. Job chose none of those things.
What we see in Job is instructive. Job did not go looking for things for which he should be guilty. He trusted God’s word and his relationship, so he would know if there was a problem. Job did not blame God for his situation, and most importantly, Job chose to see God’s love in difficult times. He continually remembered the blessings he had received, and he was confident that God does not change. He knew that God’s love was permanent and circumstances temporary. Job chose to accept God’s love even when it didn’t feel like he was being loved. We, too, can lean closer to God in the tough times, knowing his love is permanent.
Lord God, may we see circumstances as ever-changing and your love as permanent. May we receive a fresh anointing of your love when we feel distressed. Amen.