“Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!” (Job 23:3)
Maybe as a child of God in tribulation, you feel like Job felt. In verse two Job said, “Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.” Job could not understand the reasons he was in such a great trial. Job was a child of God; described by God in Job 1:8, “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?”
Therefore, Job knew it was not because of some grievous sin in his life that all his troubles had come upon him and his family; but that it was an appointment of God (Job 23:13-14). But even so, Job felt he needed God; and he could not find Him.
Many times, when troubles enter our life, especially those that are life-changing, we are so intent on the circumstances of our test, that we fail to see God in the midst of our trial. We cannot see that God is working it out for His glory, and to prove us, and to conform us to His image. We are too busy asking questions such as, “Why is this happening to me? I have served God, separated myself from sin and worldly relationships, even from the philosophy of this world as to what is important. I have loved God above all and treated my neighbor as myself. But look at me now. Not only is my complaint bitter and my stroke heavier than my groaning, but now I can’t find God.”
Sometimes, God draws back into the shadows, in order for us to have to walk by faith, depending upon His Word, and not our “feeling.” Many times it is when God cannot be found by the child of grace and He appears not to hear our cry for help and for understanding, that He is teaching us great and powerful lessons; in order for us to grow in the knowledge of God our Savior; in order for us to be grounded, established, strengthened, encouraged, and to bear fruit.
God used Job in a test to first prove to Satan that God’s grace in one of His children cannot be moved, cannot fail, and cannot be destroyed; second, to prove to Satan that when God’s grace and power dwell in a person, that person will not deny God. Thirdly, to prove to Job that God’s grace and power did and will always sustain him (Job 1:22; 2:9-10); and will never fail him:
(Job 23:8-12) “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: (9) On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: (10) But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. (11) My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. (12) Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.”
Even though Job could not find God, he held firm and made a great declaration of his faith in God.
Fourth, Job realized that God was sovereign (Job 23:13-14); that he could not change God’s mind, but he must endure this appointment of God. Fifth, Job knew that what he had previously believed about God, he now knew to be true by experience.
What this did for Satan is to reveal that he was subservient to God. What it did for Job is to prove God’s grace and power dwelt in him; and they were sufficient to the end. It proved to Job that he in fact was a possessor of faith; that he did love God more than his necessary food, or his family, or his wife, or his “stuff” (material wealth), or more than his own life (Luke 14:26-33).
Therefore, child of grace, when you are in a test or a trial, and you can’t seem to find God; be still; wait on God; depend upon His Word; rest in His promises; and walk by faith, looking at Him and not at the circumstances. Don’t look at the famine; but look at the Bread of Life. Don’t look at the darkness; look at the Light of the world. Don’t look at your enemy; but look to “El Shaddai” the God of your strength. Don’t look at your suffering; but look to your Supplier, Jesus, who has all power in heaven and in earth.
Know that God is right, just, and perfect in all His ways. Whatever is happening is for His glory and your good.
Where is God? Where He has always been, “in the heavens” (Psalm 115:3a). What is God doing? “he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased” (Psalm 115:3b). (See also Psalms 121:1-6.)
In the New Testament, Paul tells us where God is: In His Church (Ephesians 3:21); “Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20); “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27)
And what is God doing?
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
Child of grace, believe God is (Hebrews 11:6) and diligently seek Him (not by emotions, but by faith), no matter the circumstance. Then believe that God is a Rewarder of the same. Trust His Word; walk by faith; and God will reveal Himself unto you as He did to Job.