Pastor's Pen: When life goes wrong
“Are you still holding onto your integrity?” These were the words of Job’s wife after he lost everything – his house, his livestock, his wealth, his 10 children and even his health. Job’s wife saw no reason to continue following God after so many horrible circumstances had occurred. In fact, she told her husband, “Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9)
I don’t know about you, but I may have done just that if my life was as hopeless as Job’s. In Job 2:5 we are told that, after all this, Satan was certain Job would “curse God to his face”. Then Job’s own wife tells Job to do that very thing! Job is left with nothing and, seemingly, no one on his side. He is sitting in ashes scraping painful boils off his skin with everyone against him, perhaps even God Himself. That’s how life looked. It is life raw and unaltered, falling in an apparent never-ending downward spiral.
Perhaps that’s how your life looks. Nothing is going right. You’ve had significant loss. Your job is mundane. Your family is in crisis. Your life stinks. You are following God, but it looks like a futile effort with no real benefits. How should you respond? Let’s look back at Job.
Job replied to his wife in this way, “‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’ In all this Job did not sin in what he said.” (Job 2:10) Job knew that God was Creator over all. He is free to give us good circumstances and free to give us trying ones, even to the point of losing everything. Yet God is still God. He is the giver of life, the Lord overall and the only One we can appeal to in our time of despair. Psalm 103 gives us hope and encouragement in these desperate times:
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust…from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear Him…” (Psalm 103:13-14, 17)
We take comfort in knowing that if we follow God then He will care for us. No matter how terrible the circumstances of life are around us – and there will be some really bad times – we can know that our Father in heaven cares for those who fear Him. Have you given yourself over to God? Are you trusting Him through the painful sufferings of life? He will prove faithful when we stay close to him.