After the Lord speaks to Job out of the whirlwind, Job responds to the Lord and experiences a complete restoration. When we have gone through a season of suffering, we need to be restored. God has a way of providing restoration to those who have suffered. In Job chapter 42 we see three things that we must do in response to God in times of suffering. As we do these three things, then God begins to work and provides five wonderful blessings on our road to restoration.
Acknowledgement. In verses 1-2, Job starts by acknowledging the sovereignty of God. He says that he knows that God can do anything, and that God knows everything. The first step to restoration after a period of suffering in your life is to acknowledge the fact that God is in control. Acknowledging the sovereignty of God is the first step toward any restoration in your life. To say that God is sovereign is to understand His position. He is God. As God there is nothing that He cannot do and there is nothing that He does not know. He is omnipotent. He is all-powerful. He is the creator of all things and the sustainer of all things. As creator and sustainer, there are no limitations as to what He can do to and for His creation. Therefore, we must humble ourselves before God understanding who He is and what He can do. God is also omniscient. He is all-knowing. There is nothing that God does not know or understand. You cannot teach God anything. He knows all things. He knows everything about you. He knows what you need before you need it. He knows what is best for you. Therefore, we must learn to accept the fact of his sovereignty and trust that He always knows what is best for us. Until you can acknowledge His sovereignty, you can never start on the path of restoration.
Confession. In verse 3, Job makes a confession. He says that he spoke without understanding. During his conversations with his friends, Job spent a lot of time defending himself and making statements about God. Those statements were out of line due to his lack of knowledge concerning why he was suffering. Job was not there to hear the conversation between God and Satan. He did not know that there was a debate in Heaven concerning his life. He also did not fully understand God and His ways. How often do we speak without knowledge? Just like Job, we talk about things of which we have no understanding. This is one of the major problems in theological academic circles. There are those who try to answer every question. There are those who think they have figured out God and they understand who He is and how He works. This is where many false man-made theological systems come from. Man attempts to understand God and then they create a theology to explain their understanding of God. However, God never once has asked us to understand Him. He does ask us, however, to know Him. Our goal as believers in Christ should not be to understand God, rather, it should be to know God. We should seek to know Him more. To have a closer relationship with Him. To know Him more, we must trust Him more. To know Him more, we must faithfully spend time with Him and live for Him daily. In order to be restored after a season of suffering, we must confess our lack of knowledge and learn to stop trying to figure out God and just simply believe Him.
Repentance. The final step toward restoration is to repent of our sins. In verses 4-6, Job says that after He is confronted by God, He realizes that he is abhorrent. He is disgusted by his sinfulness and repents of his sins. We can never be fully restored until we repent of our sins and turn to the Lord. Repentance always precedes restoration. We will never experience revival in our land, until we as God’s people truly repent of our sins. Repentance is not just simple confession. Repentance for the believer is to literally turn away from sin and turn toward righteousness. It is to stop feeding the flesh and start feeding the spirit. Unless we are willing to repent, we cannot even begin to be restored after a season of suffering.
Acknowledgment, Confession, and Repentance are three essential steps that we must take in order to be on the road to restoration. Once we take those basic essential steps, God will respond by providing several things for us.
Justice. In verses 7-9 we see the Lord turning his attention to Job’s friends. He says that His wrath is kindled against them due to the way they spoke to Job. He tells them to make a sacrifice and to repent of their ways. Job was a righteous man who honored the Lord. God always defends those who honors Him. If there is someone that has caused your suffering or has made your suffering worse, you can rest assured that God will avenge you. He will never allow the enemies of His children to go unpunished.
Rescue. Verse 10 tells us that as Job prayed for His friends, He ‘turned the captivity of Job.’ “By forgiving his friends and praying for them, Job brought back the blessing to his own life.” As Job forgives his friends, God forgave him and rescued him from his sufferings. God rescued Job from the torturous words of his friends. God has a way of coming to our rescue when we find ourselves held captive by our suffering. There are times when we are stuck in a situation where there seems to be no way out. There is no hope in sight, no light at the end of tunnel. We don’t know where to turn, we don’t know what to do. It is in that moment when we hit rock bottom that God intervenes. He comes into our situation and snatches us out of our captivity. Sometimes, God may wait till we get to a place where all we can do is trust in Him. He wants us at a place where our dependency is completely on Him. When we get to a place where we are stuck and we cannot save ourselves, we must cry to the Lord to rescue us. God loves being the hero. When we take the necessary steps on the road to restoration, God will come to our rescue.
Refreshing. As Job continued on the road of restoration, he was comforted by many who came to see him and even assist him with his needs. We see in verse 11 how his brother and sisters came to his aid and comforted him. As you go through a season of suffering and you come out the other side, God provides a period of refreshing. He uses others to bring you comfort and to provide for your needs. He does not leave us in our suffering. He has plan to get us through and provide the refreshing that we need.
Abundance. In verses 12-15 we learn how God restores all that Job has lost. He is blessed with even more than he had before. He has more wealth than ever before. He is given more children. An overflow of abundance is given to Job. The example we see from the life of Job does not guarantee that we too will receive such abundance once we go through a season of suffering. However, we do learn that when we come out the other side of suffering, there is a blessing in store for us. God has a way of replacing our suffering with His goodness.
New Life. In verses 16-17 we see that Job lived another 140 years after this event in his life and he saw four generations of children. Job was given a whole new life. If you are going through a season of suffering, remember, it is just one chapter of your life. As God brings you through the suffering, He will turn the page and open a whole new chapter in your life. He will give you new life.
The road to restoration begins with our response to God in acknowledging Him, confessing our sins, and repenting of our sins. As we do this and as we forgive those who have harmed us, we then enter the road to restoration where God works in our lives to restore us back to the place where He wants us to be. Your suffering is temporary. Restoration is coming.