Some of you pastors are facing what could easily be called an unsolvable problem. You alone know what it is. It’s you I hope to encourage this week.
Often the situations with no human answers form the basis upon which God does some of His best work—even in the lives of His messengers. This is illustrated beautifully in the life of Job.
I know, I know . . . we’ve all preached on Job. Personally, as pastors, we tend to flip the page when his name comes up. We’re far too familiar with his story. The account of his misery has become common and—may I say it?—boring. I mean, what else does this sad, suffering saint have to teach us?
Think about Job as a living example of your unsolvable problem. Job’s biography includes a clipboard full of questions about it. Is God fair? Is this situation just? Does He care? What am I to learn while slogging through these deep waters?
Job had trusted God in the good times. Now the scene was set to determine if Job would trust God in humanly impossible situations. He endured loss like no one else we know. His home . . . destroyed. His children . . . dead. His health . . . ruined. His finances . . . wiped out. His friends . . . no support.
In the long process of working through his questions and struggles, Job finally resolved to trust God—no matter what. He had worshiped. He had humbled himself. He had sat in silence. He finally responded to his wife, “I accept what God has sent. I have accepted good; now I accept adversity.” Read that once more . . . slowly . . . thoughtfully. It is the secret of his stability.
I find several reasons Job could respond like this:
- Job looked up and was comforted by God’s sovereignty (Job 2:10). He saw more than God’s actions; he saw His heart. He accepted what God gave and took away. Looking up, he saw God’s sovereign love.
- Job looked ahead and was reminded of God’s promise (19:25). In the end, all will be made right. Looking ahead, he felt spurred on.
- Job looked within and was shaped by God’s instruction (42:6). He saw that God had taught him in his suffering and illness as in no other way. Looking within, he gained insight.
It’s a courageous thing for a pastor to give himself to a sovereign God while facing impossible situations. Perhaps that’s exactly what you need to do right now.
My friend, if your days have been difficult and nights have felt like a long and dark tunnel, find your comfort in God’s sovereign control and everlasting love. Your Savior knows your breaking point. The bruising and crushing and melting you are enduring are designed to reshape you . . . not to ruin you.
Your strength and courage will increase the longer He lingers over you. Remembering Job’s secret can make all the difference.