Usually when I hear “Man of sorrows,” I think of Jesus because of all He went through for us. But, there’s another man for whom the description fits, and that’s Job.
Job was “blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1). A pretty upstanding guy in the Old Testament.
But, he’s one of the few that have suffered tremendous loss and heartbreak—and one who was restored completely, doubly (Job 42:10).
It’s incredible to see how God used Job’s story and his life to touch our lives today, those of us that live in a completely and totally different world than Job.
Trust Over Anxiety
The story of Job teaches us to always keep our eyes on the Lord and trust Him—which is often easier said than done.
I learned this lesson in a new light recently, when I realized that my desire to control time (as if I could ever do that) took over my rational thinking.
I would leave for work on time, but since I have a longer commute, I decided that I needed to be at the highway at a certain time, otherwise I will be late (even though I never was). I got so in my head that even if I was a minute “behind schedule,” I would freak out. I checked the clock every time I stopped, and worried about traffic.
This affected my driving and fear of getting into an accident, and took away my focus from God.
One day, I had an urge to pray about it, and at first I was like, “No, I’m not sure if this is going to help.”
But, the Holy Spirit kept nudging me, so I began to pray.
When I got to the highway, I began to question why I was so anxious about the time and driving, especially since I’d never experienced that before. I had no reason to feel this way. Then, as I was gripping the wheel, I sensed the Lord tell me that it was because I didn’t trust Him.
What does trust have to do with anything?
I was a little shocked, to be honest.
This had nothing to do with trust, right? I was just overly concerned about being on time.
I felt that my feelings were something I did have control over and it wasn’t because of my lack of trust in God.
But, as God and I continued our conversation, I learned that I was completely wrong in my mindset, and that one, I should have trusted God and relied on Him, and two, I cannot control when I would be at a certain place at a certain time.
Also, one minute is not going to hurt me… Or two or three.
Lack of trust led to lack of confidence which led to discouragement and fear, all because I allowed the lies and doubts planted by Satan to take root.
God is sovereign. He knows all and is above all.
Trust Over Discouragement
If you aren’t familiar with the story of Job, he lost everything by the hand of Satan.
In the beginning of the book, Satan questions Job’s integrity and character:
“Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land” (Job 1:9-10).
Since Job was an upright man and was faithful to God, Satan thought that was the only reason why Job believed and trusted in God. So God said,
“Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person” (Job 1:12).
Then in the rest of the first chapter, Job loses his servants, sheep, camels, sons, and daughters.
However, the interesting thing is what his first reaction was: worship.
“Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. … In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong” (Job 1:20, 22).
As if that wasn’t enough, Satan came into the presence of God one more time.
This time, Satan said,
“Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” (Job 2:4-5).
Now, Job’s physical body was targeted:
“painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. … In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:7, 10).
Job did a much better job at handling his losses, I think, at first, when he was worshipping God, because he still chose to trust in God and who He is… until he was prideful in his behavior.
Job thought he wasn’t ‘that bad’ and thus didn’t deserve all what Satan did to him:
“I am afraid of all my sufferings; I know that You will not hold me innocent. If I am condemned, why then do I labor in vain? If I wash myself with snow water, and cleanse my hands with soap, yet You will plunge me into the pit, and my own clothes will abhor me” (Job 9:28-31).
However, he didn’t know that everything was from the hand of Satan. He assumed God was the One behind it all, which caused him to lash out. However, he didn’t realize that God gave Satan permission to take away everything he owned and loved.
And his friends didn’t either—they judged and condemned his behavior. This is surprising to me because the first seven days, the four of them sat in silence as Job grieved his losses:
“So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great” (Job 2:13).
But, they too, were missing the big picture.
They missed seeing God’s hand on Job’s life despite the fact that he lost everything.
They missed His limit over Satan’s power.
Job and his friends were focused on material things, rather than on the character of God.
God’s Sovereignty Over Us
How often do we miss the grand picture that God has in mind for us, and miss the lessons He wants to teach us?
I’ve been learning to embrace each season of my life and take the lessons and move forward, but sometimes the pain and suffering is too great, that I miss it all.
This is what happened with Job; he was too focused on himself and justifying why God shouldn’t have condemned him, that He was brought to a place of humility when God asked him where he was in the beginning of time. Where was he when He created the heavens and the earth? (See Job 38-39).
These questions humbled Job and reminded him that God is in control. He always has been, and He always will be.
This is a lesson that I need to learn too. It’s hard to accept God’s will when things aren’t going your way, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going God’s way. Just because we don’t see the big picture of what’s happening in our lives, doesn’t mean that God has lost control.
No, quite the opposite.
God is in control in every moment of our lives, and is orchestrating every event for our good—even when it doesn’t seem good in the moment.
But, like Job, life isn’t based on feelings, it’s based on faith and belief in the Word of God.
I pray that I would surrender more and more of my feelings and activate my faith and focus on the Lord more each and every day. Jesus, the man of sorrows, took all our sorrows, and, Job, a man of sorrows, showed how faith in God takes you further than anything else this life has to offer.
Yuliana is a blogger, proofreader, and sometimes photographer (when the occasion calls for it). She graduated with a creative writing degree in English and has a Russian minor. She strives to use her talents for God’s glory and prays that He touches others through the work of her hands. Yuliana loves meeting new people, supporting small and local businesses, and spending her time outdoors (when the Carolina heat isn’t ridiculous!). Jesus overwhelms her heart, and iced coffee runs in her veins. She currently lives Waxhaw, a city outside of the greater Charlotte area.