I have been reading through the book of Job this past week. Always an interesting read - to be sure! I wrote two journal entries this week about some scripture in that book and they ended up going together so I thought I would share them with you today.
Job is a mysterious book. We see Satan having a conversation with God about Job. Well, that right there is pretty interesting! The events that follow are somewhat puzzling but there is a lot to be learned.
In Job 2:10, it says, "Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?"
No one really enjoys adversity (have you ever heard of someone doing an adversity dance?) No one likes to experience injustice or disrespect. And yet, these experiences are real life. We are not entitled to anything - NADA - nothing. We are not entitled to respect, or justice or smooth sailing. We are not immune to pain, disappointment and even tragedy.
God uses adversity, injustice and even disrespect to chip away at anything in my life that holds on to entitlement. It is easy to see entitlement in someone else but I can be blind to it in my own life. Warning phrases: I should . . . I deserve . . . That shouldn't be . . . I can't believe . . .
I have chosen to give up my rights as I give over my life to Jesus. I must accept adversity along with the good knowing that I can trust Jesus with all of it.
In Job 5:17-18, it says, "Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For He inflicts pain and gives relief. He wounds and His hand also heals."
The whole picture of God - or maybe the spectrum of His hand is just a hard thing to get your mind around. Being joyful in the midst of discipline is certainly not a natural response. Accepting God's hand of discipline and the pain that often follows must be done with the same joy that His relief and healing brings.
How is that even possible?
He is God.
His love is perfect.
His motivations are always pure.
He is always for me.
Without any exceptions.
His only agenda is making me more like Jesus.
I must let go of my ideas of entitlement. I must embrace the work that Jesus in doing in my life right now. Like Job, I want to grow to understand my Heavenly Father more deeply through life's experiences.
In Job 42:5, Job makes a statement that really struck me.
"I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You."
Oh, how I want to see Jesus more clearly. Let's hang in there!