I think I learned to love Job the most when I was battling depression. I struggled with the conversation between Job and his friends, but then I would sit and read God’s answers over and over. His glory hushed the scream of my pain. His power quieted the spinning thoughts in my head.
I read them again today. All those words God spoke from the whirlwind.
There are three main things the book of Job teaches us.
- It reminds us there are things happening in the heavenly realms. The first couple chapters give us a glimpse into a conversation between God and Satan that flings the doors open to the mystery of the spiritual world. Right now we only see as through a mirror dimly, but the day will come when our vision is cleared and we will fully understand the greater war taking place for our souls.
- It points out that being “good” doesn’t exempt you from suffering. Nor does being righteous. For Job was a righteous man, and he lost everything. Just as we can’t “work” our way into heaven, it is also impossible to “work” our way into an easy carefree life. In this world we will have trouble- but take heart. Christ has overcome the world.
- The key to surviving hardship is found in maintaining the conversation with God. Human tendency is to pick one of three responses when facing sorrow:
- “God must not exist.” and then shut down communication because He’s not there.
- “God isn’t really good.” and then shut down communication because who wants to talk to a God who isn’t good?
- “God exists, is probably good, but He doesn’t really care about me personally.” and shut down communication because we’re not important enough.
But the book of Job gives us another option. We see what happens when mere man continues his dialogue with the holy God, right past the place where he doesn’t understand. Right into the questions and the anger and the tears and the desperation. Right through depression and so much loss it aches to even think of it.
And it shows us that this God, the Creator of the universe, honors the man who keeps the lines of communication open. He honors him by responding, by teaching, by rebuking, by building up and pouring into.
Don’t let the enemy steal your conversation with God. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is so much better to bring honest questions before God than to claim belief and trust, yet have neither.
God is big enough for your questions. And He is love enough to show up.
So keep the doors open. Keep your ears tuned to His voice. Keep your heart humble before Him. Ask, seek, and knock. He is there.