“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” Job 23:10
Several years ago, my husband and I took a road trip through Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. One morning road damage to the highway forced us to take a lengthy detour. Traffic diverted to a country road, but after several miles we were at a standstill due to an accident in front of us. We inched forward slowly until my husband noticed another road veering off to the right. In his impatience, he reasoned that we could follow it and go around the traffic jam, eventually connecting with open highway again. Hours later, we were still winding through remote hills on a narrow one-lane road with no idea where we were or how to get where we were going. We had no cell service, no GPS capability, and our road atlas didn’t show tiny mountain roads. We were hot and thirsty. We were well and truly lost. Eventually we stumbled across a man mowing a field and stopped to ask directions. He was incredulous at our predicament, his accent was difficult to understand, and his directions made no sense. I’m now a lot like Job’s friends, irritated and accusatory. My husband is defensive and grumpy. And we’re still lost.
Job wasn’t lost in the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia, but I can imagine him defensive and grumpy with his irritated, accusatory friends. He’d done nothing wrong, but he had lost everything and was enduring excruciating pain. His friends were incredulous at his predicament, and they might have been speaking a foreign language for all the sense their directions made. Job was weary and wanted relief. He wanted understanding. He wanted vindication. He wanted God’s presence and he wanted God’s release. Job begins to ask questions, but his queries come with a steadfast acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, and this encourages me today.
Honest in Brokenness
Job’s journey is miserable, his loss is great, but he doesn’t try to hide his misery with pious cliches. His suffering permeates the depth of his physical, emotional, and spiritual being. Humiliated before the judgmental court of public opinion, Job must endure the scorn of “friends.” He wrestles honestly with the futility of “why.” “Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power? Why does the Almighty not set limits for judgment? Why must those who know him look in vain for such days? Does God listen to his cry when distress comes upon him?” Job’s deepest despair comes not from his temporal suffering, however. Job’s agony is greatest when he no longer feels God’s presence in his life, and he freely gives voice to his longing: “If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling.” Job’s honest “why’s” and “if only” longings encourage me not to try to hide from God or others in my suffering. The enemy and accuser of my soul would have me pretend to be okay when I’m not; he would condemn me for my questions. Victory comes in honestly acknowledging my struggles before the Lord, in knowing that it is okay to not be okay all the time, and in confidently coming to Him with my questions and doubts.
Humble in Battle
Job is not only battling loss, pain, and brokenness on this road of suffering, but he is also doing battle for his integrity. His friends bombard him with false accusations and unjust condemnation couched in self-righteous consolation. Job is tired of their emptiness and wants nothing more than to have God hear his case, assured in the comfort that would come from his acquittal. While he refuses to deny his integrity, he never fails to exalt God’s righteousness, power, and supremacy. In Chapter 26, Job proclaims, “He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing. He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight. He covers the face of the full moon, spreading his clouds over it. . .And these are but he outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?” Job questioned but his humble acknowledgement of God’s power enable him to submit to God’s authority even when his questions were not answered. I experience victory over the battles in my life when I submit in humble worship to God’s sovereignty.
Hopeful in Belief
Job was able to be honest in his brokenness and humble in the battles he faced because he knew God intimately and remained hopeful in his belief. Walking with God for so many years gave Job confidence in who God is. Job’s identity and integrity were based on God, not himself. Though he felt weary of the battle, broken in his pain, and lost in God’s silence, Job knew that God had not abandoned him. Job closely followed God’s steps and treasured God’s words more than his daily bread. He understood that he was a sinner in need of a Redeemer. And he knew that God was in the process of purifying him like fine gold. The heat of the Refiner’s fire was great, but Job centered his belief on the reality of the God he loved. He questioned the One who knew the way in confident hope, his perspective was eternal, and his victory already won.
Just a mile or so up the road from our stop for directions, my husband and I pulled over and prayed. We felt lost because we were on unfamiliar ground and didn’t know what was ahead of us. We recognized that God could clearly see above the trees, and He had never lost sight of us. Accusations and defensiveness evaporated in that moment, and we continued confident in God’s ability to guide us. Sure enough, as we crested the very next hill, the freeway was clearly visible. We arrived at our destination feeling triumphant, knowing we had experienced more than just beautiful scenery that day. We experienced the joy of questioning confidently the One who knew the way.
- What resonated with you from these chapters of Job?
- What keeps you from being honest in your times of brokenness?
- How can you experience victory by humbly submitting to God’s authority in your life?
- Where do you center your beliefs?
Father, grant us faith to be honest in our brokenness, humble in our battles, and hopeful in our beliefs. May we experience the victory that comes from knowing You and exalting You in our lives. ©
4 thoughts on “Confident Questioning”
Marie I know I have missed a few blogs even through I have tried to keep all email and not delete-until I have read. This morning my phone throught I was swiping when I was scrolling. Any way to see which I have completed? Love ya, Denise
On Mon, Jan 24, 2022, 3:31 PM Encountering Mercy wrote:
> thistleplaid posted: ” Job 20-30 “But He knows the way that I take; when > He has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” Job 23:10 Several years ago, my > husband and I took a road trip through Kentucky, West Virginia, North > Carolina, and Tennessee. One morning road damage” >
Denise, the only way I can think of would be to go directly to the blog site and scroll through them there. Or I can email you a list if that would help.
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That is what I am doing. I can see which ones I have liked. This way I do not have to wait until you publish them. I LOVE these blogs.
that is what I am doing. Glad I am, since I am re-read some, I need to hear and pick up those I missed.