The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Tag: presence

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)

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 23-24

Job 23-24 (click here)
Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; 9 on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him. 10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. (Job 23:8-10)

Where is God? Job cannot “sense” the presence of the Lord. It doesn’t matter what direction he moves in, what he does, what he says… it is as if God is absent. Every believer knows this feeling. In fact all people know this feeling… we call it “alone.” But, when one has known the presence of the Lord and all of a sudden if feels removed, then “alone” transformed into “forsaken.”

This is how Job feels. This is how we have all felt. But… Job recognizes that feelings do not equal reality.

God is not a feeling! So, when we cannot feel him that does not mean he is not there! It just means the feeling is not there. Job recognizes the truth that God is still present and God is still at work amidst all his suffering. He says God is working, but he cannot behold him. The problem is not God’s presence… the problem is our perception.

He is present, but we don’t perceive.

So what are we to do? When we cannot perceive God’s presence we believe he’s present. Job says, “He knows the way I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” Job cannot “feel” God, but he believes he is present, he knows, he sees, and he will save.

Times when we “feel” God’s presence are blessings indeed, but at the end of the day I would rather have the guarantee of his presence that I don’t perceive, than a feeling that turns out to be false.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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