Scripture: Job 23:10-14
The promise: “But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.” (Job 23:10)
Observation: As Job endures suffering, he proclaims his faith in God’s plan for his life. He acknowledges the sovereignty of God and concludes that the Lord controls his destiny.
Application: A few Christmases ago, Andy handed me a bright, robins egg blue box – and I instantly broke into a smile. Was this real life?! If you're a female who has ever been handed a bright blue box, you know what I thinking: "He loved me enough to get me something from Tiffany's?! Wow!" That thought was quickly followed by a mental guessing game: "I wonder what it is? Earrings? A bracelet? Is it possible that there are DIAMONDS?!"
When I opened the box, my feelings of elation quickly disappeared.
It wasn’t earrings. Or a bracelet. And it certainly wasn't diamonds.
In fact, it wasn’t Tiffany’s at all. It was just a bright blue box that looked like a Tiffany’s box…but wasn’t. (In Andy’s defense, he had no idea… he bought me a perfectly nice necklace that unfortunately, I’d always consider “second best” to a true piece of Tiffany’s jewelry.)
Part of the beauty of Tiffany’s is the quality – the purity and the clarity – of the materials they use. A lot happens before you find that white gold heart necklace in a little blue box. Gold goes through a process called “refining,” which includes melting it down and putting it through fire to remove its impurities.
Job could relate.
He experienced quite the refining process, enduring suffering and trials that didn’t make sense. He couldn’t see a “why” in all the “what’s” that threatened to defeat him.
Have you ever felt like that? Your problems pile up. Your relationships crumble. Your prayers seem to go unanswered. Your resolve wanes. And you can’t make sense of any of it. You can’t see the end – so all you’re left with is the middle of the story, the part that’s filled with disappointment and discouragement and heartbreak and no clear way out.
Then comes the doubt – doubt in yourself, doubt in your circumstances, and doubt in the God you want to trust but seems so distant and absent.
It’s in those moments that Job’s words provide us such comfort, such assurance:
“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.” – Job 23:10
God knows where you are going. He’s written your entire story – and though it may be punctuated with suffering, it is full of goodness and victory and hope. And that pain that you’re feeling right now? It’s part of a purifying process.
Just like gold endures the highest heat to become pure, we endure brokenness and suffering and hurt and loss and grief and despair – and as we do, we become purified and righteous in the eyes of the Lord.
The pain has a purpose – and it’s worth the prize.
Prayer: God, thank you for knowing me, creating me, guiding me towards the life you’ve created for me. I pray you’ll help me remember that pain is part of the process – and it has a purpose. Fill me with resolve, endurance, and perseverance to face everything that comes my way. Amen.