And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Job is a story that teaches us uncomfortable truth. It teaches us the truth about human suffering and God's sovereignty. It teaches us to worship despite our pains. It teaches us that misery is not a hindrance to faith. It teaches us that God is so sovereign and wise that not even Satan makes a move without God's purposes remaining intact.
None of this is comfortable to consider. It certainly doesn't make for the kind of truth that we think when we want to comfort people. And I doubt that Joel Osteen could have much to write about from Job's story. Yet I think the uncomfortable truths of Job are the stuff of life. This world gives us untold pains and misery. They are hard to take. They depress us if we don't put them in perspective. And the more we learn what to do with pain to honor the LORD, the better off we will be.
From Job I see that we should acknowledge God's right and authority in even our most pain filled and perplexing moments. He is not surprised by any part of our experience. He is there with us. He brought us into the world. He takes care of us in it. And none of our circumstances are untouched by His sovereign love and grace. In a precious way, our pains are places to know God's tender mercies.