Guest Post by Tony Roberts
Prayer Text for Today is Job 42
Job has pleaded with God to better understand his suffering all the while maintaining his righteousness in the face of a wife who wants him to curse God and so-called friends who want Job to accept false blame. In chapter 42, Job admits directly to God, “I am of small account.” Still, Job stands up to God and raises the painful question, “Why?” He faces head-on the mystery of suffering. He does not run or try to hide from it.
Job is humbled by the response of God. God, in effect, puts him in his place. Yet, God also receives Job’s prayer. God listens and responds. It’s hard to hear the compassion in God’s response, but Job no doubt feels great relief that God has heard his cry. God gives no reason for Job’s suffering, yet God does not heap blame on Job, either, as his friends do.
Just that the Creator would hear his plea gave Job a ray of hope. The universe is not some benign entity unconcerned with human affairs, nor is an evil force in charge, bent on human destruction. God is not a machine, nor is God just some cosmic cop. God is one who listens, who cares, who responds.
Not only does God hear Job’s prayer, God has also heard the bad counsel of Job’s friends. Remember – they tried to convince Job of his wrongdoing. You must have sinned, they contended, or God would not be punishing you. While Job raised questions of God, they pretend to answer for God. God is angry. “You have spoken of me what is not right.” They have misrepresented God in such a way that their hurting friend was further isolated in his pain. Instead of a caring hand, a loving shoulder, a listening ear, they offer Job bad theology. God rejects their pat answers. God accepts Job’s prayer because he demonstrates trust in his honest humility.
“The fear is suffocating, terrorizing, and I want the remedy, and it is trust. Trust is everything.” ― Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
This year, let’s resolve to demonstrate trust in the face of fearful pat answers. TR
Tony Roberts is the author of an excellent book that taught me a lot. Delight in Disorder chronicles Tony’s journey with bi-polar and gives us stark and honest insight into the struggle (see link below to purchase on Amazon). You can keep up with his excellent writings at his blog (HERE) and website (HERE). You can also check out his author page on Facebook for updates HERE.
Pick up Tony’s book today: