A Lesson from a Suffering Saint
"At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." - Job 1:20-21
Job is a book commonly thought of as a "go to" guide for situations of suffering. Most everyone knows Job's story. Most everyone trembles at the thought of such circumstances coming into their own life. But God tells us about Job's trials and sufferings to teach us how to live. After all, it's easy to love and serve God when life is good, but our true character, the true depth of our faith, shows when suffering comes. How do we relate to God when we fear for our lives, or fear for the life of someone we love?
Over the course of one day, Job lost all of his 500 yoke of oxen, 500 donkeys, 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, and a "large number" of servants. If that wasn't enough, all 10 of his children were killed.
Look at the Scripture above. Job's example to us in this is profound. In the midst of unimaginable tragedy, Job falls to the ground in worship! How is this possible?! It's only possible because Job had a rock-solid understanding of God's character and his own role in this life. Job understood that God is to be worshipped because he is God, not because of anything that takes place in this world or in an individual life. Job suffers tremendous, heartbreaking loss, and, yet, he never curses God.
Job 1:22 tells us: In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
We must approach our sufferings in the same way as Job: we mustn't worship God motivated by what He'll do for us; we must worship in truth because of who God is. The only way we can do this is by knowing Him. The only way we can know Him is by spending time reading His Word, spending time in the quiet contemplation of His truth, spending time in prayerful conversation with Him. When we practice these things, God will prove Himself faithful and more than worthy of the pure worship that Job displayed. As we catch a glimpse of God's nature, we will fall to our knees in worship and nothing in this world will shake us. May the name of the LORD be praised!