Job and his Friends, True Faith Tested

A daily devotion for December 6th

Lord, Leave Me Alone!

Let me alone; my days have no meaning.

Job 7:16b

Job turns to God and complains about the difficulty of his present experience. He has given up. He thinks he will never see any relief and that he will go on like this to the end. And out of that meaningless suffering and hopeless darkness, he cries out in honest despair.

Have you ever felt that way? Lord, leave me alone. I've had enough! Why are You so intent on making life miserable for me? Why don't You just let me go? Job cries out in baffled bewilderment. Now, even at this point in the book, there are some things that we must constantly remember. One is that we know something about this scene that Job does not know. We see some purpose in this that he has not yet seen that is also true about the sufferings we go through. In every time of trial there are two purposes in view: Satan has his purpose, and God has His.

Satan's purpose here was to use the pain of Job's illness to afflict his body; to use the priggish, well-intentioned comfort of his friends to irritate his soul; and to use the silence of God to assault his spirit and break his faith. But God's purpose is to teach Job some truths that he never knew before, to deepen his theology and help him understand God much better. God's truth was to answer Satan in the eyes of all the principalities and powers of the whole universe and to prove him wrong in his philosophy of life. God's purpose was also to provide a demonstration for all sufferers in all the ages that would follow that He knows what He is doing. As the book of Job unfolds, we will see how this is gradually brought to light.

What an encouragement to those of us who must go through some times of suffering to understand that it is not always because we are sinful. Sometimes suffering is the result of our sin, and we will know it when it is. But if, like Job, you know of nothing you have done that you have not dealt with and still the suffering goes on, look behind the curtain of God's purposes, and you will see that great and eternal events are hanging upon the outcome of the struggle.

Our Father, what marvelous lessons Job's sufferings teach me about my own sufferings. Help me to know more truth than Job knew and, therefore, realize that I have far less reason to give up than he did.

Life Application

When pressures in life become unbearable, do we collapse into despair, or do we choose to trust God's wisdom, and put all that we have and are into His hands?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

Is It Better to Die?

Listen to Ray