I can remember the first time that I attempted to read through the book of Job. It took several times before I felt like I had a glimmer of an understanding, but there was one truth that I did grasp after my very first encounter with Job.
I can remember reading how Job lost everything – his family, wealth and even his health. As he sat in the dust scratching the boils on his skin with pieces of broken pottery, his wife stuck her head out of the door of their home and gave him some advice. “Curse God, and die!” From a natural stand point, this was understandable. Was it not obvious that Job was cursed, that God Himself was against him?
What stunned me was Job’s response. “Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him!” Job was not aware of the battle going on in the heavens – that it was Satan that was raining down all the fury that God would allow against Job . Satan was going to prove that Job had a breaking point, a point in which he would indeed curse God and die. Even when Job wrongly believed that God Himself was destroying him, he determined in his heart to praise His God.
I begged God to give me the strength to never ever react like Job’s wife, no matter what life threw at me. I asked for the grace to be able to respond as Job did, to praise Him always in every situation. This, by the way, was so much easier to say than do.
Fifteen years later, and I suppose the time it took for me to grow in my faith, this vow has been challenged. It is not necessary to tell of the circumstances that me and my family find ourselves in, but my vow certainly has been put to the test.
It is my intent to assure you that no matter what, God gives us the grace to praise Him. We have so much more than our friend Job did. We have promises from God Himself that He will never leave us or forsake us, just to name one. I believe that Job’s statement about God, “Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him!” was a final blow to Satan’s challenge and a victory for Heaven. When we, in our agony, find ourselves saying “Why, God, Why?”, I hope we will catch ourselves and choose to say, as Job did, “yet will I praise You!”
Praise is a powerful source of hope and strength. I believe it moves the very heart of God on our behalf. It is also a WMD, a weapon of mass destruction against the enemy’s plans to kill, steal and devour. Nothing will allow you to stand more boldly before the throne of God in your desperate time of need than praising Him in the darkness – seeing the light only through the eyes of faith.
Christ Fellowship member