In the meantime, if we are honest, we have many questions coming and going in our heads, questions like: How long will this last? What could be my worst-case scenario? What is my plan B? How bad can things get? What is God doing through all this? Is He going to stop this? When? Can we trust Him that He cares? Is He listening to our prayers?
All these thoughts and questions come from our own worldview, and it is very normal. We are people living in a fallen world and we do not have all the answers.
But what if we would change our perspective for a minute? What if we could see some things from God’s perspective? How would we do that?
The best way is to look at a person in the Bible who was going through a lot, asked many questions, had many thoughts and God answered that person with His perspective. In the Book of Job, after many chapters of Job thinking, talking, and complaining, God came and changed Job’s perspective.
We can learn several things on God’s perspective from Job’s story.
Perspective #1: God created all things and is Sovereign over all things. Job 38
If you read God’s response to Job’s thoughts, words and complains you see God’s perspective by all the questions He asks of Job that starts with” Where were you when… Tell me if you understand… Who determined…Who stretched…Where is…Who has put wisdom…Who provides…?” In all this God is saying that He is God and He is sovereign over all things that includes food, shelter, weather, heaven and earth.
Perspective #2: We have limited knowledge. Job 38
Look at the other series of questions God is asking from Job in the same chapter “Tell me…Have you commanded…Have you entered…Have you comprehended…Can you send….Can you hunt….Can you send forth…Can you number…?” God knows we have limited knowledge and understanding. Isaiah 55:9 says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Some things we just don’t understand, and we must trust that God in His sovereign wisdom knows what He is doing.
Perspective #3: God can use suffering to test us even when we are upright and fear God.
Job 1:8 “And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”
James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
The ultimate goal of any test of faith is for me to mature, to be complete and to be lacking nothing. This is not punishment; it is love. The same way when you take away the third cookie from your child’s hand, it is not punishment. It is love. God as our Father is a source of all the tests of our faith, and ultimately the test of our faith is for our good and for His glory.
So what should we learn from Job’s response?
- Weep and pray - You see that Job never turns away from God. Even though he is questioning why he was born, in the end he trusts and knows that there has to be a God or there is nobody to be mad at. There has to be a God or who is going to fight evil? Some people say if you trust God, you shouldn’t be too upset. The answer in the Bible is, trust God and you can be really upset. Look at Jesus Christ who said “Thy will be done!” Yet He was crying out on the cross “Father, father, why have you forsaken me?” Cry out but cry out to the Father.
3.Prioritize and love - Very often when suffering hits, you have to rearrange your priorities. Rearrange and put forward what is really Important to you. Maybe you love some things more than you ought to. Then love. Job prayed for his friends. He loved his family and his neighbors. Jesus said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-40
Encourage and pray for each other.