When life hits like a tornado, where do we go? When we’re anxious about the future, to whom do we turn? Over thousands of years, God’s people have faced setbacks, even disasters. Their experiences show us ways we can respond and how our faith in God can remain intact—and maybe get even more real.
Mass killings in workplaces, livelihood and finances wiped out, loss of family, disease—imagine one of these happening to you. Or maybe you don’t have to imagine.
These hit Job all at once, including the sudden loss of all his children. When the whirlwind of external forces whip life around until it’s unrecognizable, we’re likely to experience fear, anxiety, acute pain, and deep sorrow.
How do we take setbacks and deal with our emotions?
Job’s world completely fell apart, his livestock—a kind of 401K—and loved ones suddenly wiped out. In his book, The Bible Jesus Read, Philip Yancey calls Job’s experience “a cosmic drama.” Job felt life’s devastation just as we might: agony, confusion, misery. Rather than stoically denying his emotions during his trials, Job expressed his grief the way others might have in his time. He tore his clothes, shaved his head, and fell to the ground.
Still Praising God
Yet Job also acknowledged God’s gifts and praised Him. He had plenty of questions, and later took them directly to God. But in this section of Job 1 and 2 he refuses to blame the Creator for the devastation all around him.
Questions to Consider
- What whirlwind have you experienced recently?
- How did you express your anguish and faith?
- Do you want to try praying Job’s prayer (Job 1:21)?
- “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21)
Promising his disciples an Advocate and peace amid turmoil, Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:7,33). Jesus promises His disciples that we’ll face life crises, which can turn into crises of faith as well.
Excerpt from the YouVersion Bible reading plan, “Trusting God in the Storm” by Elliot Williams for The Navigators.