“If only I knew where to find him;
if only I could go to his dwelling!”
Job 23:3 (NIV)
In the opinion of some Christians we should always be smiling, happy, and victorious in our daily walk. There is no doubt that we all wish for such a lovely journey through life.
No one seeks to be miserable unless they have a distorted way of thinking. But is the correct view of the believer’s life a pilgrimage that is all joy and peace and all the negative things of life absent?
Only if you ignore all the stories of God’s people in the Bible can you maintain the theory that life for Christians should always be fun and games.
The verse today describes just how low and desperate Job is in his suffering. He has lost his children, his herds and flocks of animals, he has lost his health, he has lost the comfort of his wife, his friends have attacked him and said lies about him, and now his connection to the Lord has been severed.
Job is utterly alone and there is no help in sight. He has no idea why the suffering came upon him. Having thought through his past life he cannot find a good reason for God to punish him. And, just when he needs to feel the strength and comfort of the Lord most, God has apparently withdrawn from him.
For Job there is no escape from the physical, emotional, and spiritual pain he experiences. There is no escape from the continuing sorrow he feels. We cannot imagine anything else happening that could add to his pain. He is as lost as anyone can be.
Job has followed the Lord carefully and God has acknowledged that fact (Job 1:8). However it seems that if you follow the Lord properly you can still be attacked by many enemies and lose all the pleasures of this life that others seem to have in abundance.
Where can you go and what can you do when even your God appears to have left you alone? Apparently as our verse indicates, Job was constructing his case to argue with God when he finally found God again. The picture is of a lawyer studying the laws of the land and other similar court cases in order to make a strong case before the judge. Job pictures his prayer to God as being like that lawyer when his day in court finally comes.
We can take a page from the history of Job and learn from him how to pray in times of grief and loss. We must read the Bible and see what it says about situations like ours. We then need to find promises to bring before God in prayer. Has God promised He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5)? Then bring this promise to Him and call on Him to be faithful to His word.
Remind God of His faithfulness to you in the past and plead for more of the same. The Lord desires us to be bold as Job was and to become strong in prayer when the trials of life threaten us. Come to Him as a child to their Father, His tender heart will never turn you away.