During an interview, singer and songwriter Meredith Andrews spoke about being overwhelmed as she tried to balance outreach, creative work, marital issues, and motherhood. Reflecting on her distress, she said, “I felt like God was taking me through a refining season, almost through a crushing process.”
Job was overwhelmed after losing his livelihood, his health, and his family. Worse still, although Job had been a daily worshiper of God, he felt that the Lord was ignoring his pleas for help. God seemed absent from the landscape of his life. Job claimed he could not see God whether he looked to the north, south, east, or west (Job 23:2–9).
In the middle of his despair, Job had a moment of clarity. His faith flickered to life like a candle in a dark room. He said, “[God] knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (v. 10). Christians are tried and purified when God uses difficulty to burn away our self-reliance, pride, and earthly wisdom. If it seems as if God is silent during this process and He is not answering our cries for help, He may be giving us an opportunity to grow stronger in our faith.
Pain and problems can produce the shining, rock-solid character that comes from trusting God when life is hard.
Dear Lord, help me to believe that You are with me, even when I can’t see You working in my life. I surrender myself to Your purpose for any suffering I may endure.
Faith-testing times can be faith-strengthening times.
In today’s passage, Job responds to the accusations brought by his friend Eliphaz, who sarcastically asks whether Job thinks God is judging him because of his reverence for Him (22:4). Eliphaz insists that Job is suffering for a hidden scandal (v. 5). With assumptions but no evidence, he explains Job’s troubles by accusing him of being a self-centered rich man who has mistreated weak people for his own material gain. And so Job expresses his desire to be able to argue his case before God (ch. 23). The wrong assumptions of his friends have become part of the fire that is testing and refining him (v. 10). Do we have the courage to express our honest questions and true feelings to the Lord?