My servant Job, . . . blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil.

We’ll be spending the next week reading from the Book of Job. When we are introduced to Job today, God describes him as a beloved servant, “blameless and upright” (Job 1:8). He is devout and prosperous, richly blessed with material wealth and a loving family. Until all of those blessings are taken away.

What does Job have to say in the face of this unexpected tragedy? “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21). How could Job possibly speak words of surrender and trust after losing everything? Because throughout his life, Job was faithful to the Lord. During times of plenty, he recognized that his blessings came from the Lord. When tragedy struck, it didn’t change his outlook all that much. He still believed in God’s goodness. He understood that nothing ultimately belonged to him.

We know that while Job begins his story well, he eventually loses his footing and his focus on God’s goodness. He starts to challenge God and defend his own righteousness in the face of his suffering. But in the midst of his complaints, Job is still supported by the foundation of his lifelong faithfulness to God. And through it all, the Lord never abandons him and eventually restores him.

We can all relate to Job’s struggle to trust God in times of hardship. Life can be really tough, and our trials can overshadow our vision of God’s goodness. Like Job, you may lose your footing. That’s why it’s so important to lay a good foundation when things are going well and life seems peaceful. Live in a way that is pleasing to God. Remember and treasure the times you have experienced his love and direction in your life.

Then when it’s hard to understand what’s going on or why bad things are happening to good people, the faithfulness you’ve cultivated can support you. That’s what sustained Job as he grappled with his losses. And it can help you face whatever difficulties arise in your life.

“Jesus, I believe you are faithful to me. Help me to be faithful to you.”

Job 1:6-22
Psalm 17:1-3, 6-7
Luke 9:46-50


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