“I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me (Job 30:20).
They talk about the patience of Job. They marvel at how great it was. Yet we know he was not always patient. Sometimes he shouted in frustration. Sometimes he was very impatient. Sometimes, so are we.
If the Bible carried fake news, the heroes of faith would be shown only as strong in faith and unblemished in actions. But God doesn’t put that spin on their lives. The Scripture shows them sometimes weak, sometimes confused, sometimes unfaithful. It shows them warts and all.
Why is that? Many leaders know that perception and public opinion is powerful. They work hard and spend money to develop a positive image. If that image is blemished, their ability to serve as leaders fades quickly. We can think of some brilliant military leaders who lost power and influence when their moral weakness became known.
Job’s weakness is evident when he accuses his Creator with the words: “You do not answer!”Why does God allow us to see the not-patient, not all-trusting Job, but Job the frustrated—Job the complainer? It is for our benefit. It is to block an attack route of satan. Our Enemy #1 will use the times we run low on faith to try to prove to us that we definitely are not in God’s family, that our faith is fake. The despair of salvation is the killing shot of satan.
See,” he will shout in our ear, “you have lost your faith in a loving, caring God! There is no hope for you. Your own thoughts and words prove it.”
But then the Lord God points us to a David, and a Peter, and a Job. They may have stumbled; they may have fallen; but they were not forgotten. They were not left as prisoners behind enemy lines. The Holy Spirit sought them out, renewed their faith, and enabled them to return to the front lines. The same Holy Spirit works for us and in us. In the New Testament, we are pointed to Job as an example to follow: “You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy” (James 5:11).
So, he does end up as a hero of faith! We note that it is not his patience that is highlighted, but his perseverance. He may have lost his patience, but he kept grabbing onto his God. And his God never left hold of him. Job not only regained his wealth and a family, he kept his standing as a Child of God. This is what the Lord finally brought about. So, what do we do when satan points his finger at our weakness and says that we have no hope?
We go back to what we learned as a child: “Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.” Since he loves me, I can endure what he brings into my life. He hears me.
He always answers my cry for help—whether I see it, or not.
We pray: Heavenly Father, you have seen our frustration when we thought you were not listening to us. You have seen our weakness of faith. You have seen our doubts about your caring love. Forgive us for those times. Renew our faith. Refresh our spirit. Make us be like the faithful Job. Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida-Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military