Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Upbeat of Job

No doubt, Job dwellers have increased in the aftermath of two horrific tornado outbreaks, one that pounded Alabama on April 27, and a second that cut Joplin, Missouri in half on May 22. In wake of these tragedies, relief and response strategies have become spotlight topics again, and people across the country have begun investigating various calls to action: how to react, encourage, help victims emotionally process the ‘what nows’ and how to quench unbelief and apprehension, etc.

In times like these, numerous doors are opened to Good Samaritan hearts, which can reach in and reach out to an ailing community. With mobilization materials and deployment discipline, hope will ultimately win the war, even if preliminary battles are lost. But the greatest tool concerning the grief journey is a double-edged sword, known as the Word of God. Meditating on a book like Job can stir us to appreciating God’s master plan, even in light of great tragedies.

We often do not view Job and Psalms in the same light. Job is perceived as a sober book, left on the shelves of our hearts, joining Lamentations and Leviticus among others. But if one reads closely, one can find some of the purest passion found in entire Bible.


Take Job 8:5-7 and 19:25 as examples:

“ 5 But if you will seek God earnestly and plead with the Almighty, if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your prosperous state.Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.”

“ I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.”

1.Job 19:25 Or vindicator
2.Job 19:25 Or on my grave (dust)

Talk about uplifting resounds! Job, who lost more than other human, still has the mind, heart and strength to emphatically proclaim truths about God. His sufferings, like many, came in the form of an extreme, testing season. When the pain overwhelmed him, he did not shrink in his despondency, but rather used it to bounce his cries back to God.

When hurt and sorrow fill one’s cup to the brim, God doesn’t want us to be caught up in what we deem non-relatable. He wants us to talk to him with an open, honest and humble heart. When humility meshes with thanksgiving, faith is produced. And faith can yield some astounding positivism in light of significant tragedy. As faith builds, so does our belief in the promises and purposes of God. Remember Job had it pretty rough, rougher then any of the families who lost loved ones and homes in this spring’s historic storms. But God is in the business of coming through for the broken. And as our earthly home encounters more growing pains, we must be mindful of the trust deposits we give to Christ. No matter what side of disaster you find yourself, be grateful and be giving. Know that victory is never completely out of the picture. And read the book of Job, you just might come away with something powerful and profound to take to the world.

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