The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Lent Devotional: Job 39

Job 39 (click here)
Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you observe the calving of the does? Can you number the months that they fulfill, and do you know the time when they give birth, when they crouch, bring forth their offspring, and are delivered of their young? Their young ones become strong; they grow up in the open; they go out and do not return to them. (Job 39:1-4)

Reflection
God takes Job on a tour of the animal kingdom and the whole point is for Job to recognize that none of these creatures depend upon him for anything…they depend upon God for everything! From the moment they are born and throughout their lives, it is God who sustains their every waking moment.

Life itself displays the awesome power of God…for he gives it, sustains it, and guides it all the way home!

The point is not for Job to merely feel powerless (although he should), but to see that the all powerful one is on his side! If God uses his power to care for animals, then surely he will do the same for Job!

This is a promise to every believer…that God lovingly uses his power to work for our good and his glory…which are the same thing! God’s glory IS our greatest good, for that is where eternal joy and satisfaction are found! Through Job’s suffering, the glory of God is put on display as Job’s holding onto him reveals that he is more valuable than all Job has lost. Whether he knows it or not, Job is displaying God’s worth/value/glory to the world.

Job will discover more and more how glorious God truly is, and this will deepen Job’s joy in him. God IS working for his glory and Job’s joy…and we are promised that he is doing the same in our lives…even when we cannot see it! Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Verse 28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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Lent Devotional: Job 38

Job 38 (click here)
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: 2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. 4 Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. (Job 38:1-4)

Reflection
God speaks! If we knew nothing else…this would be grace enough. After so much silence, the Lord speaks to Job, but in a manner for which Job was completely unprepared. Job wanted to question God, but the reverse is what unfolds.

God aims to show Job his human limitations in contrast with God’s own divine limitlessness! Job’s estimation of all that is happening in his life has acted like a blanket of darkness, covering up the light of God’s counsel/plan. Through his questions, God will dispel the darkness, but not in order to reveal his complete plan to Job, but in order to reveal himself!

God doesn’t give Job the “WHY” he wants…he gives Job the “WHO” he needs!

Job may be limited in time and space, but God is not! God has seen all from beginning to end and been present for it all. This means he sees Job and is present with him in his suffering. He knows how his suffering fits into the big picture of history. He knows how Job’s suffering is working for Job an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison!

He knows…and so he can be trusted! When you suffer, you haven’t fallen of God’s radar. He knows, he sees, and he is there with you amidst all the pain. Things may make absolutely no sense from our limited perspective, but from his eternal perspective God promises all things are working for our good and his glory. Trust him.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

Lent Devotional: Job 36-37

Job 36-37 (click here)
Bear with me a little, and I will show you, for I have yet something to say on God’s behalf. 3 I will get my knowledge from afar and ascribe righteousness to my Maker. 4 For truly my words are not false; one who is perfect in knowledge is with you. (Job 36:2-4)

Reflection
Elihu claims to speak on behalf of God. We all do this from time to time. If we ever try to teach someone anything about God then we are, in a way, claiming to speak on God’s behalf. We have been commissioned to do this very thing! We are ambassadors representatives of the Lord, and we are to proclaim him to the world.

Yet…teaching people about the Lord is a mission that should be approached with humility, holy fear, and much trembling.

James 3:1 warns, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” As someone who regularly teaches and preaches, warnings like this often cause me to lie awake at night, thinking back through everything I’ve taught…searching to see if I can find any error in need of correction.

Elihu has a good goal that we also should seek… he wants to ascribe righteousness to his Maker. He wants to proclaim the glory of God and show his greatness to the world! Our heart should beat with this kind of passion and our lips should proclaim it! Yet, Elihu’s approach is anything but humble…he claims to be perfect in knowledge…a claim that can be made by God alone.

Don’t get me wrong… we should teach truth with conviction and confidence. Uncertainty is not the same thing as humility. The difference in an arrogant or humble approach to teaching the truth about God is found in the source of our confidence. Elihu’s confidence is in himself and his own knowledge. Our confidence needs to be in Christ and his Word.

We humbly, confidently teach people the truth about Christ on the basis of his Word…striving to be as faithful as possible to what he has said about himself.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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