Job 7:19,20—Will You ever look away from me, or leave me alone long enough to swallow? If I have sinned, what have I done to You, Watcher of mankind? Why have You made me Your target, so that I have become a burden to You?
One of the things I love about the Bible is the raw honesty that it contains as people interact with God. You undoubtedly heard the story of Job and how God allowed Satan to sorely test him. Job was exasperated. The man who lived in wealth and privilege suddenly felt like a big target was drawn on his back. Nothing he could say or do would eliminate his suffering. Perhaps most discouraging was the fact that even his friends turned against him. Yet there is much we can learn from his questioning God.
Will you leave me alone? Have you ever felt like God was picking on you? A time of testing comes and it seems relentless. You get so sick you cannot work, lose a long-time client, suffer multiple deaths in the extended family, and finances are so shaky you wonder how you will make it to the end of the month. God can I just catch a break!
What did I do to deserve this? The natural follow-on question to testing is why me? Was there something I did that made God angry—so annoyed that He is severely punishing me? Trying to inventory my thoughts and actions to account for my situation is bewildering.
Why have You made me your target? Beyond the question of deserving is the feeling that God no longer loves me. Somehow I’ve become a burden to the universe’s Creator. I’m out of His favor.
If you have ever asked one, or all three of these questions, several possible answers exist. Maybe God is punishing you. Perhaps there is a persistent sin or an egregious action that drew His judgment and you are paying the consequences. Maybe God is allowing you to suffer not because of any particular sin but so as to refine you. Suffering has a way of changing us. Maybe God is not behind the trials—they could be the natural consequence of living in a fallen planet. He has not removed your testing because it fits a bigger picture only He understands.
In your mental grappling, it is sensible and okay to storm heaven with tough questions. God understands your hurt, fears, anger or confusion. Underneath whatever it is you are going through is this truth: God loves you! If you are being punished it is only temporary. If you are in a season of testing it will eventually pass. This corrupt world will be replaced as part of a perfect eternity because you trust and follow Jesus. Job’s story ended in joy. So will yours! Something to think about . . . in reveration.
We suffer, yet do not allow the mission of suffering to be accomplished in us. I pray the Lord that we may none of us fall into that torpid state in which our crosses do us no good.—Francois Fénelon
©2018 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)