Fellowship of Suffering: God Speaks

After the back and forth between Job and his friends, God speaks to Job. It is the longing of every true believer to hear God speak. When God speaks, nothing else matters. When God speaks, everything is brought to a stand still. When God speaks, the truth is known. When God speaks, encouragement is given. When God speaks, a hard heart is softened. When God speaks, revival breaks out. When God speaks, lives are changed. When God speaks, souls are saved. When God speaks, everything changes. The words of God are no ordinary words. His words are always right. His words are always spoken at the right time. His words give life. His words give hope. His words communicate love. He words give peace. His words move mountains. His words calm a raging sea. His words demand an audience. His words are the only words you need to hear when you are suffering. As we consider how God speaks to Job, there is one notable thing to consider and four things that God reminds Job of. The one notable thing to consider is the fact that God speaks out of the storm. The four reminders from God are: He is creator, He is the giver of life, His strength, and His power.

                God speaks out of the storm. In 38:1 and 40:6 we see how God speaks to Job out of the whirlwind. We who live here in the south know all too well the destructive force of a whirlwind. We have witnessed entire communities destroyed from the overwhelming power of a tornado. We all tune in to our radios and televisions when a tornado warning is issued. We call each other up and warn one another when a storm is heading toward us. After the storm passes, we check in with friends and family to make sure everyone is accounted for. This routine is very familiar to we southerners. Job certainly experienced a whirlwind in His life. His whole livelihood was taken away from him in a moment. He lost his sons and daughters in the storm and all that he worked for and all the wealth he obtained vanished in a whirlwind of troubles and trials. His friends came to him and spoke to him out of their prideful assumptions. But when God spoke, He spoke to Job out of the whirlwind. In order for God to speak to Job out of the whirlwind, He had to have been in the whirlwind. God was with Job the whole time even though he didn’t know it. There was never a time during the storm that Job faced when God was not there. May I remind you of something child of God?! No matter what you are going through. No matter how difficult your life is. No matter how severe the storm may be. God is there! He has always been there, and He will always be there. God is not outside of your storm. He is in it. It is out of the storm, right there with you, that God speaks. Therefore, when we are in the whirlwind, we need to stop and listen. We need to drown out the noise of the storm around us and we need to listen to the voice that is in us. God is always speaking out of our suffering. Our problem is that most of the time we are too focused on the suffering that we do not hear the voice of God coming out of the suffering. Therefore, when life’s siren begins to blare. When the alert system of our soul is activated. When we brace ourselves for what is coming. When we hear the wind begin to blow. When destruction is at our doorstep, and we are about to lose it all. It is in that moment that we need to listen. Because it is in the moment of disaster and chaos that God speaks.

                God reminds Job that He is the creator. In chapter 38 of Job, God describes the awesomeness of His creation. He reminds Job that He is the creator by asking Job a series of questions. For example, He asks, “Who laid the foundations of the earth?” Who holds back the oceans and tells them to only come so far?” “Who causes the lightening to flash?” “Who brings the snow in winter?” “Do you know how the heavens work?” “Can you make it rain?” These questions go on and on throughout chapter 38. God is basically putting Job in his place. He is reminding him that there is only one who knows these things and that is the Creator. Our sufferings have a way of putting us in our place and reminding us that we are not in control. We did create this world. We are not the ones that keeps things in motion. Therefore, who are we to complain about our sufferings? Who are we to argue with God? Who are we to reason with God? He is the creator, not you. He is the King, not you. He is sovereign, not you. When we are going through a season of suffering, it would do us good to go outside and open our eyes and look at God’s magnificent creation and be reminded of our smallness and of God’s greatness.

                God reminds Job that He is the giver of life. In chapter 39 was see more questions being asked of Job. Essentially, God asks Job: “Do you know and understand how life is given?” “Were you there, Job, when I gave life to my creation?” Job is reminded that if it were not for God, He would not be alive. If it were not for God, he would have never experienced those many years of great wealth and blessing. Every good thing we have comes from Him. Our very lives is a gift from God. He sent His Son to be our Savior. He came to give us something that we could never obtain on our own. He came to give us an abundant eternal life.

                God reminds Job of His strength. Chapter 40 beings with Job saying to God that he has no words and that he is vile and is unworthy to speak, therefore, he declares that he will remain silent. God speaks to Job again out of the whirlwind and this time He talks about His strong arm. He describes the strength of a dinosaur that the Bible calls, Behemoth. The strength of such a massive creature serves as a picture of the strength of God. You can never be strong enough to endure the storm, but God is. You can never be strong enough to fight off the attacks of Satan, but God is. You can never be strong enough to resist the lure of the world, but God is. God is strong enough. He is strong enough to lift you up when you are in pain. He is strong enough to carry you when you don’t know where to go. He is strong enough to hold you when you feel all alone. He is strong enough to shield you and protect you. He is strong enough to take the brunt of the storm for you. He is strong enough to part the waters and provide a way. He is strong enough to move the mountains of impossibilities. He is strong enough! Whatever you are going through, do not rely on your strength. You can never be strong enough. Lean on the strong arm of our God and let Him do the heavy lifting for you. He is strong enough!

                God reminds Job of His power. In chapter 41 we see a description of another dinosaur type creature known as the Leviathan. Again, God asks Job a series of questions. He talks about this powerful creature and asks Job, “Can you tame the Leviathan? Can you go to battle with him?” “If you do, you will remember the battle no more because you will be dead!” “Even the sight of him will destroy you.” God then asks Job, “Who then is able to stand before me?” In other words, since you cannot possibly stand against the mighty Levithan, how do you think you can approach the Almighty God? Once again, God is putting Job in his place. You and I cannot argue with God. We cannot reason with Him or negotiate with Him. He is God and we are not. He is all-powerful and we are fragile. When we are suffering, we need to be reminded of the power of God. There is nothing that God cannot do. If He so chooses, He can certainly deliver us from our suffering.

                In times of suffering, it is good for us to stop and meditate on who God is and who we are compared to God. It is also good to remind ourselves of the great love that God has for us. This holy, righteous God who is the creator of all things, the giver of life, the all-powerful One; desires to have a relationship with us. He chose to send His Son, Jesus (God in the flesh) to be our Savior. He gave us the gift of eternal life though we certainly do not deserve it. Don’t argue with God. Don’t try to reason with God. Just accept who He is and keep on believing in Him even in times of suffering.

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