There is Promise in Pain (Week Twelve)
- 2017 Oct 02
Week Twelve Study Overview: Today, we discuss Job chapters 22-24, and think through God’s timing.
Key Point of Struggle: When God’s timing does not match our own.
Key Proof of Comfort: Our God of the impossible lives without the confinement of time, and teaches us what it means to wait for His perfect plan.
- If you’ve not read Job chapters 22-24, now would be a great time.
In my own life, I’ve often struggled with God’s timing versus my own. His timing usually seems inconvenient and forces uncomfortable circumstances. When we were trying to have another baby, fifteen years passed and not one step of the way was easy. Other people who hadn’t walked a day in my shoes wanted to tell me all about God’s timing. It did nothing but aggravate me.
I was aggravated because they were right. Good, godly people had great intentions and wanted to comfort me with truth. Let me tell you, it’s difficult to accept something might take years to come to fruition, or possibly might never happen at all.
This whole thing about time and space, where God is concerned, is tough to wrap our brains around. He does not adhere to the laws of physics. He’s everywhere at once and yet sometimes it feels like He’s not where we need Him. Or at least, it feels as if He’s inactive in that space. Too often we become caught up in the idea that God should have some kind of magic wand and wave it whenever we call on His name. It doesn’t work that way. It never will.
In chapter 22, we hear from Eliphaz again, and though he mixes some truth within his upside down theology, he really just uses his breath to belittle and persecute Job for sins not committed. In chapter 23, Job talks a lot about judgment. (This will be the topic of our #WordforYourWeekend subscriber only content.) And, in chapter 24 we take a front row seat and watch Job struggle over the feeling that God seems absent and deliverance is coming slowly… if ever.
In one way or another, we can all understand Job’s feelings. We need rescue and when we cry out to God, it’s as if the only voice we hear speaking back is the echo of our own. It’s frustrating. Job begins chapter 24 with yet another question.
“Since times are not hidden from the Almighty, why do those who know Him see not His days?”
It seems to me that Job begins to feel as if living a righteous life has earned him the right to understand God’s timing. He’s unsure as to why he cannot grasp the plan of God and see things as He does. All of this is about the divine will of God. Yes, we CAN expect Him to work on our behalf. No, we CANNOT expect it to be according to our timetable.
When we seek a close relationship with the Almighty and feel as if He’s actually our Father, it becomes easy to feel overlooked when enduring trial. We expect our Father to pick us up, hold us, and defeat our foes. And, friends, He does. However, He does it according to perfection. Our time and plans are not perfect, only His. We cannot begin to understand what it means to live according to perfect will. This is why we struggle. Our flesh gets in the way. The enemy wants to whisper lies that God isn’t there, isn’t fighting for us, and isn’t working according to a perfect will. We must be ready to battle.
In all of this, Job couldn’t understand why the righteous and wicked seemed to be treated in the same manner. I believe it’s because we have a tough time comprehending what a perfect will is. We think we understand, but tragedy and trial makes us weary. Job was weary. I’m often guilty of the same weariness.
Faith takes perseverance regardless of how we feel.
I don’t know what it is you’re waiting for. Personally, I’m waiting for a few big things right now. Everyday I’m conditioning myself to remember I need the perfect will of God. I want what He wants. And, I want it when He wants me to have it. It’s like spiritual exercise to tell myself those same words every day. And just like physical exercise, the more I discipline myself, the more results I see.
If you find yourself feeling worried about God’ timetable, let me encourage you to stand firmly in His promises while reminding yourself that His will is perfect. He never fails.
- In your journal, write a list of everything you’re waiting for God to do. Prioritize it, and then write a prayer to God underneath asking Him to help you find contentment in His perfect will. Ask Him to unveil what perfect really means, and even if you are having a hard time seeing it, allow faith in His perfection to help you carry on. Jesus will help you, He never disappoints.
- For next week, please read Job chapters 25-31. We will cover a lot of ground!
If you’re a subscriber, I’ll see you Friday on Word for Your Weekend. If not, you’re only an email address away from deeper study!