James 5:11 says, "Behold, we count them happy which endure. You have heard of the patience (perseverance) of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord (His results); that the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy." The book of Job is a large and amazing story that teaches us to look at life's problems with God and eternity in view. We can learn to trust God when we suffer. We can also learn how to minister to others who suffer. Job had suffered great calamities. Friends, who came to comfort him, failed miserably. Job began to defend himself and said things that he would later regret. But God had a plan to teach Job and perfect him through these trials. In the midst of Job's darkness a few wonderful statements seemed to leak out from his lips. Let's just take a moment to glean from some of those glimmers of light.
"But he knows the way that I take: when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold." (Job 23:10)
Job was not feeling close to God at that moment. But he still was aware that God was knowing him and his situation. He knew God had a plan - that God was testing and perfecting him through these trials. In the end, God's results would be good. Gold is not destroyed by fire. It is refined. See I Peter 1:3-7 cp. Isaiah 43:1-2.
"My foot has held His steps, His way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." (Job 23:11-12)
Sometimes, when we cannot see God clearly, we have to remember what we learned in the light and trust the wisdom and goodness of God. Like a pilot flying in the dark, or in a storm, we have to fly by instrument. Therefore, the steady flow of God's Word in our lives is more valuable than food. See Deuteronomy 8:3; Psalm 1:1-3 cp. II Timothy 3:14-17.
"But He is in one mind, and who can turn Him: and what His soul desires, even that He does. For He performs the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with Him." (Job 23:13-14)
The sovereignty of God is not an ominous mountain that blocks our path. It is a solid rock on which we can stand, walk, and build. The sovereignty of God is not only inevitable, it is desirable. God's immutable (unchangeable) wisdom, power, and love is working, even when it doesn't feel good to us or make sense to us. See Romans 8:28-39; 11:33-36; Ephesians 1:3-14; John 1:12-13; James 1:17-18 cp. Deuteronomy 29:29; Jeremiah 29:11; 31:3.
Consider one more statement, made by Job:
"For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:" (Job 19:25-26)
Job was miserable, but he was still able to grasp that God had a Redeemer planned for Him, who would give him eternal life and cause him to stand with God in a better world. See Psalm 130; Galatians 4:4-5; II Timothy 1:7,12; James 5:7-13; I Peter 1:13; Jude 1:20-21; II Peter 3:10-14 cp. Romans 8:18-23.
Testimony of Dr. Pat
Missionary to Persecuted Christians Around the World