The third and fourth chapters of Job begin the speeches, the back and forth between Job and his three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite; Bildad the Shuhite; and Zophar the Naamathite. In these two chapters we see the grief of man and the steadfastness of God. It is a rhythm and flow that is experienced throughout the Bible. All of this calamity has come upon Job, but he is reminded in so many words, that God is his steadfast Redeemer.
Perish the Day I Was born.
Job chapter 3 is the first time we hear him speak in his grief and to me, this first speech is raw. At times, it almost seems crude. We even see in his closing statement, as it were, that he is overwhelmed, restless, and without peace. This isn’t due only to his physical affliction, but also to one of spirit.
I am not at ease, nor am I quiet, And I am not at rest, and yet trouble still comes [upon me].Job 3:26 AMP
The truth is, grief and desperation are not pretty. They’re not ladies in pretty black dresses and hats daintily wiping their eyes, or men in sharp suits standing solemn and hard-faced. Grief in its realest and deepest form is harsh. It is a loss of control and being overwhelmed.
Grief in itself is a heavy burden to bear. It is natural in this life, but it is heavy. As with any burden, the only true relief we have is to give it over to God. We pour it out to Him, as Mary did with the perfume. God will not judge our grief. He doesn’t look at us and say, “You shouldn’t grieve for that.” He won’t tell us that the way we’re grieving is wrong. He doesn’t put these limitations and timelines that we so often encounter with others. Instead He extends His invitation to sit with Him. He is there with us in our grief, for however long we are in it.
There’s a Reason
[Why give light] to a man who wanders blindly, whom God shuts in on every side?Job 3:22 CJB
Job asks the age old question of, “Why was I born?”
It is easy to think that a mistake was made, that our life is just the product of some misguided accident. But even as he questions his existence, Job does so in a way that speaks of intentionality. He knows that he is alive for a reason, even if he does not know what that reason is.
God doesn’t make bad things happen. He may allow them, but He is not the cause of them. If He has allowed us to be put in the position we’re in then there is a reason. And the thing is, God already has an escape plan for us. He doesn’t leave us in that state. He doesn’t lead us anywhere without already knowing what the next step is. He knows the way through. It is us who do not know. We have to cling to Him and follow His directive if we want to make it out.
We may be lost in our pain, but if we’re not dead yet then there’s a reason. We may not see that reason now, but if we trust God then He will eventually show us.
God Never Fails
You have given moral instruction to many, you have firmed up feeble hands, your words have supported those who were stumbling, and you have strengthened the weak-kneed. But now it comes to you, and you are impatient…Job 4:3-5 CJB
It is easy to give encouragement and words of wisdom to others, but do we believe those things for ourselves? We need to remember that God’s Word and comfort are for us just as much as they are for others.
We are not all powerful. I do not care how great a platform you have, none of us are completely shored up. None of us have the strength to carry ourselves all the time. That is why we need God. We are designed to be a being who is completed by God the Most High. That’s just how it is. He is the missing puzzle piece.
But now adversity comes upon you, and you are impatient and intolerant; it touches you, and you are horrified. Is not your fear of God your confidence, and [is not] the integrity and uprightness of your ways your hope?Job 4:5-6 AMP
How often do we argue against what we perceive as injustice done to us? How many times do we go through the trials of this life and think it unfair because we have devoted our life to God?
Adversity comes upon us. Whether by our own doing or an attack from the enemy, it will come. Our hope has to be in God.
The fear that Eliphaz speaks of is not being scared, it is the reverential and worshipful awe that comes from being redeemed by God. Where is our confidence? In God and the knowledge that He has redeemed us. It is not a one-time redemption, but a continual promise to bring us out of the place of adversity.
The Hebrew word for Hope is Tikvah and it has a connotation of being expectant. We expectantly hope in God’s redemption, looking for it and relying on His sure coming to our aid, and in the meantime we continue on in the way of uprightness and integrity according to God’s Word.
Our hope isn’t in ourself, in our own righteousness or actions, but in God and the actions we take are a reflection of that.
Have you ever been overwhelmed by grief?
How did God meet you there?
If you are struggling with your purpose, no matter your age, turn to God. Ask Him to reveal His purpose for your life, it was no accident, and to meet you in whatever stage of life or grief or darkness you are in. He will do it. Put your hope in God.