What a question to start your Monday morning with, right? This was the very question that smacked me in the face this morning as I sat down at my kitchen table to resume my daily time with the Lord.
Conviction isn’t always the nicest of feelings, is it? It doesn’t always feel good going down, does it? But could we all just agree for a moment that it is often necessary? This is exactly where I found myself this morning, on the pages of Job 38—a.k.a. the chapter of conviction. Would you turn there with me today? Grab your Bible or your Bible app, and get your eyes on a copy of God’s Word. Read through the 41 verses of Job 38, and meet me back here.
What you just read was a one-sided conversation between Job and God. Did you notice that? God did all the talking. If you are at all familiar with the story of Job, you know full well that this godly man suffered much, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve wondered why more than once. Job feared the Lord, and even though he was described as “blameless and upright” in Job 1:1, God still allowed the devil to mess with him.
The suffering that Job endured is all but unimaginable, and even so, we see in Job 38 that God has and always will have the final word on all matters in our lives, including our suffering.
His words to Job simply start off with this one question:
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?”
Translation: “Who do you think you are, Job?”
God then goes on to list off a bit of His own résumé. By the end of reading Job 38, I’m not much more than a puddle of humility on the floor. This chapter does a fine job of putting me in my place and putting God back in His rightful place.
Here’s the thing about the question of suffering—we will always want to know “why.” Isn’t that right? We feel entitled to the answer, don’t we? Often times, we will demand that God give us answers to our questions of “why.” However, it’s so important for us to remember this one simple truth:
God is God. We are not.
His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8)
He is not required to work according to our timetable nor according to our plans. He does what He wants, and everything that He does is good and comes from His love. It’s just who He is. Never failing. Never inconsistent with His character.
Over the years, I have found myself demanding many things of God in my times of desperate need. What I’ve learned through my foolish attempts to demand answers from the Almighty is that there is a far better question to be asked.
“What? God, WHAT is it that you are trying to teach me through this?”
To ask “what” is a question of faith. To ask “why” is a question of doubt. In our pursuit of the Holy, have we forgotten just WHO He says He is in His Word? When it comes to how we approach Him, have reverence and awe for the God who grants you and I our next breath been forgotten? Do we think that the God who spoke all that we can see into existence is somehow incapable of holding it all together? And does He not have the right to ask us, “Who do you think you are?” Have we forgotten that the testing of our faith produces perseverance within us? (James 1:3)
I don’t know about you, but I’m a broken, sinful, prone to wander, filled with pride while at the same time desperately trying to follow Jesus kind of Christian. I don’t know about you, but I need gentle and sometimes swift reminders of God’s truth, reminders that get me back down to my knees in repentance.
Because at the end of the day, friends, it will always come down to who you say Jesus Christ is. Is He Lord of your life? Is He in charge? Is He Savior? Is He God? Because if He is, remember, He gets the final word. Just as He should.