“Behold, I go forward, but He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him: On the left hand, where He doth work, but I cannot behold Him: He hideth Himself on the right hand, that I cannot see Him; But He knoweth the way that I take: When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:8-10).
In troubled times, Job looked for God where He normally had found Him before, and it seemed that God was no where to be found. Have you ever felt that when you prayed, your prayers were bouncing off the ceiling above you and falling to the floor unanswered? Have you ever felt that you were praying in a language that God did not understand? Have you felt that God was uninterested in the things you were facing, or did not think you were important enough to send an answer? If you have felt this way, take heart … the man God described as “… perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil (Job 1:8);” felt the exact same way.
There are going to be times in each of our lives when we feel the deepest hurts that we look for God, and He will seem a distance from us. Job experienced this too. This morning I do not want to dwell on that part of these verses, but on Job 23:10. Even in the midst of all Job’s doubts, he still had confidence that when God was finished with him, the result would be a purifying affect in his life. Can you please take note of that? Instead of us constantly asking God to remove the challenges that come in our lives, could we have a little faith, and ask God to reveal the refining process He is putting us through that will make us more like Him? Could we stop being such spiritual babies and begin to show some maturity, recognizing that God has no more forgotten us than He had forgotten Job?
It is important for us to understand that while Job may have felt that God had abandoned him, God was still very much involved and watchful over his steps. It is good for us to realize that even when we cannot see the hand of God, we can remember that His eye is never off of the righteous here on this earth! He is working all things together for His good and ours as well. We cannot always see His plan, but we can be sure that when His plan is accomplished, we will be more like pure gold than when He started working on us. Don’t fight the Refiners fire today. Look for the dross to be burned off, and serve Him with that heart that has become purer.
“When you don’t know what else to do … try singing.” – Unknown