28 February 2011
Insights from the Book of Job
An insightful and simply wonderful book I have been enjoying lately is Mining for Wisdom: A Twenty-Eight Day Devotional Based on the Book of Job by Derek Thomas. This is an exceptional work that should be read by all and indeed by those who are hurting. Let me share just one excerpt we can all learn from:
...Every disciple of Jesus can expect to engage the implications of cross-bearing. Christians will suffer for no apparent reason. They can find themselves victimized or ridiculed on account of their holiness, rather than as a judgement due to their lack of it. The closer we are to the King, the more likely we are to the enemy's fire.
Job is only glimpsing it here from a distance here, and only for a brief moment. Quickly the light fades and darkness descends once more. Whatever hope there is lies in the future; the present is torture. His every conscious moment is filled with pain, and Job cannot escape the thought that Gods is unwilling to do anything about it. Slowly but surely, as water erodes stone, Job's hope fades away (14:19). He is left only with the nightmare of his pain.
...There is a loneliness to suffering that goes deeper than words. We were created for companionship and mutual support and when these things are gone, the chasm left is vast and daunting. It is the haunting cry that says, 'Nobody understands me. Nobody cares!'
...Have you ever felt like that? Perhaps you have not uttered it quite as starkly as Job does here; and perhaps you have. It is at such moments that we need to recall our Saviour's words:"My God, my God, what have you forsaken me?' (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34). He too, experienced the abandonment of a suffering that, to all outward appearances, made no sense at all.
What was it that helped Jesus through the darkness of Gethsemane and the cross? What the book of Hebrews calls, 'the joy that was set before Him" (Heb. 12:2). Knowing that heaven awaits every child of God keeps us going through the darkest periods. (pgs. 84-85 emphasis mine.)
This book is just too good to pass up. We all need to understand how to get through those difficult periods of adversity in our lives and this work by Thomas helps us understand how the book of Job sheds light on those times.