Job’s Joy; August 2, 2022

Job 6:10 Then I would still have this consolation–
my joy in unrelenting pain–
that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.

Job went through a lot. Whether he actually existed or whether the book was written as an extended parable we can’t be sure at this point, but his name is synonymous with unearned suffering even today. However, he did earn for himself the joy he mentions here, as God Himself acknowledges at the end of the book. (Job 42:7) There is a satisfaction and a peace to integrity that can be had no other way. Jesus referenced this directly, in one of my favorite verses in the whole Bible: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Whatever happens to us in this life, and it can be horrendous, we can still aim for what I would call Job’s joy: the joy of faithfulness to our Creator. That joy has been experienced by martyrs down through the centuries, and it is available to all believers even if they aren’t called to such terrible suffering. In last month’s interdenominational Early Morning Prayer meeting, the speaker talked about a woman to whom he had ministered many years ago who suffered horribly with leukemia. She had called him in the middle of the night, telling him how she had just come down from the roof of the hospital, having gone up there with the idea of jumping to her death in order to end her suffering. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit he quoted Luke 9:23 to her: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” She took that to heart and the difference was dramatic. She became positively radiant with joy, and the hospital staff, as well as her family, were amazed. In less than two weeks, God took her to be with Him, and her joy was indeed complete. She truly discovered Job’s joy!

I haven’t had anything approaching Job’s sufferings but my wife has, and her faithfulness is an inspiration to many. I cannot say how I would respond to her level of physical and emotional pain, but it is certainly a blessing to me to live with her. She manages to be positively magnetic in her approach to life, and she accomplishes far more than most people with half her problems. People are drawn to her to a degree that is occasionally even inconvenient! I am honored beyond words that she has chosen to live her life with me, and I get to see and hear God through her, even when she isn’t aware that is happening. Her faithfulness to her Lord is an example and inspiration to all who know her, and I get to live with her 24/7!

Father, none of us would choose suffering, and we never fully understand it. Thank You that Your thoughts and ways are indeed far above ours. (Isaiah 55:9) Whatever I experience in however long You keep me here, help me indeed walk in Job’s joy, as an example to those around me and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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